How do you rate our federal politicians?

The idea for this exercise came from bloggers on The Poll Bludger a few days ago.  They were giving scores out of ten to our senior politicians.  I thought it might be of interest to visitors to The Political Sword to join in this attempt to evaluate the people whom we have elected to govern us almost two years ago, and twelve months after Malcolm Turnbull's ascension to leadership.

It is inevitable that judgements will be dominated by one’s preferences politically.  You will have guessed mine.  But in making my judgements, I’ve tried to be as objective as I can and have attempted to justify my position. [more]

The ratings below, out of ten, are made from observations of parliamentary functioning, performance in the portfolio or shadow position, writings, TV and radio appearances, and from the opinions of journalists, commentators and bloggers.  As portfolios vary considerably in their degree of difficulty I have added my understanding of this as a rating, also out of ten.  In a manner similar to that done in diving, the score is the product of the rating and the difficulty.

As league tables seem to appeal, I’ve rank-ordered my assessments with the highest scoring politician first.

Labor

Only the most prominent of the Government members are assessed.

Kevin Rudd – Rating 9 Difficulty 10
He is very well informed across the whole spectrum of Government business, politically astute, tough, decisive, articulate, a strong parliamentary performer, media savvy, a strategic planner, consultative, process orientated.  He writes about political philosophy with discernment.  He has ameliorated the effects of the GFC, and has placed Australia advantageously on the international scene.  He is personable, genuine, and very popular in the electorate.  His long replies in parliament and on TV and radio draw criticism and annoy some listeners.  More succinct replies would find a more receptive audience.

Julia Gillard Rating 9 Difficulty 9
Despite criticism, she is coping with a complex portfolio made more stressful by the GFC and the rapid rolling out of the schools program, about which she has been attacked relentlessly by the Opposition.  She liaises effectively with business and unions.  A strong parliamentary performer, can be withering in her criticisms, has substituted splendidly as acting PM.  Speaks slowly and often repeats herself; gives lengthy replies and in doing so may lose her audience. 

Lindsay Tanner – Rating 10 Difficulty 8
I’ve given this rating because I cannot recall him ever having put a foot wrong.  He is well across his brief, thoughtful in his understanding of the finance portfolio, well-informed about the GFC and what Australia needs to do, aware of the structural defects in the budget he needs to address and the need for budget cuts, balanced in his comments, articulate and brief in his responses in parliament and on air.

John Faulkner – Rating 10 Difficulty 8
Respected by all parties, has integrity and decency.  He is careful, thorough, persistent and successful in carrying out his role as defence minister.  He speaks slowly and clearly.  I cannot fault his performance.

Wayne Swan Rating 9 Difficulty 8
The supposed ‘weak link’ in the Government, who was attacked unremittingly by the Coalition initially, has grown into his job and is well across his brief.  His parliamentary performances that started tentatively are now strong, articulate and politically powerful.  He has gained the confidence of business groups.  He has, with Rudd, Gillard and Tanner, managed the GFC proficiently.  Well respected internationally.

Stephen Smith Rating 9 Difficulty 8
Consummately diplomatic, he handles his complex foreign affairs portfolio with quiet dignity and common sense.  He has established good relationships with his counterparts in many countries.  His performance in parliament and in the media are articulate and clear, and generally brief and to the point.

Penny Wong Rating 8 Difficulty 8
Has a difficult job, is very persistent and tough, but sometimes seems stubborn and unwilling to compromise, is repetitive and often boring on media interviews and in Parliament.

Anthony Albanese Rating 8 Difficulty 7
He is rolling out a comprehensive infrastructure program, is well across his brief, a solid and at times an amusing parliamentary performer, a good manager of Government business.

Nicola Roxon Rating 8 Difficulty 7
Is a good performer in a difficult and complex portfolio.  Has shown she can handle crises, such as the swine flu epidemic.  Articulate in the media and in parliament, a strong performer under attack, and can hand it out as well.  She is one of a dazzling coterie of female ministers.

Tanya Pliberseck Rating 8 Difficulty 7
A solid performer in the housing portfolio, concerned about the homeless, rolling out a large public housing program.  Is a strong parliamentary player.

Craig Emerson Rating 8 Difficulty 7
An effective advocate for small business, a good media and parliamentary performer, liaises well with business.

Simon Crean Rating 8 Difficulty 7
Handling his trade portfolio successfully.  Articulate and a good communicator.

Jenny Macklin Rating 7 Difficulty 8
Working conscientiously in a very difficult portfolio, to which she brings much empathy.  Patient, but frustrated by the slow progress she has been able to make.  Does not speak much in parliament but when she does, it is done proficiently.

Harry Jenkins Rating 7 Difficulty 8
Has an arduous job controlling an unruly House of Representatives, but is doing well.

Robert McClelland Rating 7 Difficulty 7
He is handling the Attorney General portfolio sensibly and competently.

Chris Evans Rating 7 Difficulty 7
Is handling the immigration portfolio competently.

Martin Ferguson Rating 7 Difficulty 7
Doing well in his resources portfolio.

Peter Garrett Rating 7 Difficulty 7
One of the most impressive speakers in parliament and in the media; suffers from his past life in the conservation movement, but doing a sound job.

Kim Carr Rating 7 Difficulty 6
Handling the industry portfolio well, but runs into criticism for his protection of the car industry.

Chris Bowen Rating 7 Difficulty 6
Well informed on financial services, diligent, articulate, good parliamentary and media performer, personable.

Tony Burke Rating 7 Difficulty 6
Well informed about agriculture, articulate, good parliamentary and media performer, personable.

Greg Combet Rating 7 Difficulty 6
Good negotiator, developing quickly as a parliamentary and media performer, helpful in the ETS debate.

Stephen Conroy Rating 6 Difficulty 7
Has engendered angst over Internet filtering, but has received much support for his recent stand on Telstra and his NBN work.

Mark Arbib Rating 6 Difficulty 6
Learning rapidly but still has much to understand about Canberra politics and parliamentary procedure.

Maxine McKew Rating 6 Difficulty 6
Not very visible, but when she is, speaks well and assertively.  Hard to know how well she’s doing in her backroom job.

Bill Shorten Rating 6 Difficulty 6
Progressing well in his disabilities and bushfire portfolios.

Coalition

Only the most prominent of the Coalition members are assessed.  As he leaves today, Brendan Nelson is not listed.  Because Coalition shadow posts are less important than the corresponding ones in the Government, the difficulty ratings are lower.  It is also recognized that it is more difficult to score a high rating in Opposition.

Listed in rank order with the highest scoring first.

Andrew Robb Rating 6 Difficulty 6
Has the difficult job of formulating a policy for an ETS against opposition from the Nationals and some Liberals.  Senior, sincere and experienced, but has a dour almost depressed demeanour on TV.  Quiet in QT.  Would have been a good choice as a nightwatchman leader until after the next election; he would likely lose less seats than any other leader.

George Brandis Rating 6 Difficulty 6
Arguably wrote the best chapter in Liberals and Power, edited by Peter van Onselen that showed he has a good sense of political history.  As shadow Attorney General is well informed and able to argue logically.  Has an acerbic tongue.  Fairly low profile.

Tony Abbott Rating 6 Difficulty 5
He is one of the better thinkers in the Coalition and has written a sound chapter in Liberals and Power and a new book on Liberal philosophy Battle Lines.  He is a willing participant in media interviews and argues his case well.  He managed Opposition business well in Christopher Pyne’s absence.  He irritates with many points of order in parliament.  Seems bored with his shadow portfolio and feels he deserves a higher post.  Sometimes uses unseemly language. 

Warren Truss Rating 5 Difficulty 6
Leader of the Nationals, quiet, decent, but relatively ineffective as a leader.  Overshadowed by Barnaby Joyce.

Nick Minchin Rating 5 Difficulty 6
Leader of the Liberals in the Senate and high profile, experienced, articulate and well informed in his broadband and telecommunications area, but carries baggage in this regard.

Greg Hunt Rating 5 Difficulty 5
Earnest, but always looks and sounds immature.  Tries hard in his shadow climate change post, but is relatively ineffectual.

Barnaby Joyce Rating 5 Difficulty 5
As leader of the Nationals in the Senate he is quasi leader of the Nationals.  Outspoken, a media tart, and extravagant and colourful in his language, he commands more media attention than any other National.

Tony Smith Rating 5 Difficulty 4
Performs better than many other young Liberals in his assistant shadow treasurer role, but is overshadowed by Joe Hockey.

Christopher Pyne Rating 4 Difficulty 5
As leader of Opposition business he is often on his feet in QT irritatingly putting countless petty points of order.  He is antagonistic to Julia Gillard.  He seeks more responsibility but may not have the talent for it.

Peter Dutton Rating 4 Difficulty 5
An inadequate shadow health minister who always finds fault and looks constantly offended.  He will need to lift his game to gain respect.

Sharman Stone Rating 4 Difficulty 4
As shadow minister for immigration she made a lot of noise about asylum seekers earlier this year, but little else has been heard from her until yesterday when she was prompted to ask a question in QT.

Michael Keenan Rating 3 Difficulty 5
No match for Julia Gillard in workplace relations.  Quiet in parliament, asks few questions, and is ineffectual.

Peter Costello Rating 6 Difficulty 2
Has a strong record of financial management, is a good parliamentary performer and off-the-cuff speaker.  Many Coalition supporters would have wished he had stayed on as leader after hearing his farewell to Brendan Nelson on Wednesday – warm, humorous and articulate, in contrast to Malcolm Turnbull’s stilted thanks.  But because he puts party unison ahead of personal ambition, has never attained leadership.  Some put this down to lack of the necessary courage.

Helen Coonan Rating 4 Difficulty 3
Relatively ineffectual as shadow finance minister.

Steven Ciobo  Rating 3 Difficulty 4
As shadow minister for small business has very little to say and asks very few questions in QT.  Not up to his task.

Joe Hockey Rating 2 Difficulty 6
Shadow Treasurer is an important and responsible post, but Hockey, after showing promise as a potential leader earlier in the year, has performed poorly recently, arguing the Coalition line that the GFC was not as big a problem as represented, that less stimulus was needed, that the stimulus used was ineffective, that interest rates are more important than jobs, that the most important reason the country has survived a recession is the state in which the Howard Government left the economy, that the debt and deficit incurred will be a burden for years, and that the G20 is a centre-left cabal.  Originally considered jovial, he has become angry, bellicose and loud-mouthed in parliament.

Andrew Southcott Rating 3 Difficulty 3
He doesn’t seem to do much in his role in employment participation.

Eric Abetz Rating 3 Difficulty 3
His reputation was tarnished with the Godwin Grech affair, but at least he apologized afterwards.

Ron Boswell Rating 3 Difficulty 3
Is noisy and ineffectual, an opponent of an ETS.

Wilson Tuckey Rating 4 Difficulty 2
Makes himself very visible, is probably more of a nuisance to his party than a benefit, but at least is consistent in his ideas no matter how antediluvian they are.

Malcolm Turnbull Rating 1 Difficulty 9
Arguably the worst party and Opposition leader in living memory.  He seems to have a poorly defined political philosophy, he lacks political nous, makes elementary mistakes repeatedly, is too arrogant and self-absorbed to listen to advice, and is disingenuous in most of his attacks on the Government.  He is an ineffectual leader who has lost control of his party.  Since becoming leader of the Opposition a year ago, he has not improved on Brendan Nelson’s ratings, and the TPP is the same.  He is there only because there is no alternative.

Kevin Andrews Rating 3 Difficulty 2
Was a poor performer in the Howard Government, low profile now.  In charge of policy review, but no outcome is yet available.

Philip Ruddock Rating 1 Difficulty 2
He carries a lot of baggage and is almost totally non-contributory.  He is of no value to the Coalition.

Julie Bishop Rating 0 Difficulty 5
Although occupying the important deputy leader’s position and shadow foreign affairs spokesman, there is nothing I can recall that warrants a positive rating.  She outsourced to a staffer her chapter in Liberals and Power amid charges of plagiarism, she was an ineffective shadow Treasurer and was forced to retire from this, she was in charge of policy development but produced nothing, and in her shadow foreign affairs post she behaved inadvisably by stirring up diplomatic difficulties in the Stern Hu affair.  She behaves angrily in QT.  She is a liability to the Coalition.

These are my assessments, and subject to any bias I harbour. 

What do you think?  Please add your own views.

 

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Sir Ian Crisp

18/09/2009When Alphonse Capone wrote his memoirs ‘My Life as a Used Furniture Dealer’ he lamented the fact that he didn’t register his empire as a political party. Knowing that he was in extremis he did break omerta and tell us that he admired the Australian political parties the most. He especially loved the “I made an honest mistake” excuse that was always trotted out by Australian politicians whenever they were caught out.

Rationalist

18/09/2009Alright, sounds like fun. I will use your method of ratings for continuity. Kevin Rudd - Rating 8, Difficulty 9 In broad terms I agree with your sentiment however I feel that Rudd has yet to face any policy predicaments which are truly decisive in the electorate (such as the GST). Depending on how the budget and ETS turns out, this could change. Julia Gillard - Rating 7, Difficulty 9 Good performer, competent, tough job with her mega-portfolio. Some minor cracks are showing, especially of late however this is no more than expected from such an ambitious agenda. Lindsay Tanner - Rating 10, Difficulty 6 Fantastic in interviews, magnificently competent, a man I would like to see in bigger and better things in the future but due to various reasons I feel he will not get there (factions). Tanner is left of Rudd meaning he is further ideologically from myself however all of the criticism of Rudd with respect to spin, I would say Tanner is the inverse. Wayne Swan - Rating 7, Difficulty 9 Smith - Rating 8, Difficulty 6 Penny Wong - Rating 6, Difficulty 6 Roxon - Rating 8, Difficulty 6 Pliberseck - Rating 8, Difficulty 6 Garrett - Rating 6, Difficulty 5 Now, in the opposition: Turnbull - Rating 6, Difficulty 9 Since this is a political as well as policy and governance metric, I judge Mal's job as one of the hardest in the parliament. He is doing OK given the circumstances, although the jury is out until the next election. Robb - Rating 7, Difficulty 6 Abbott - Rating 7, Difficulty 6 Joyce - Rating 9, Difficulty 5 Hockey - Rating 5, Difficulty 6

janice

19/09/2009I am comfortable with your ratings of Government politicians Ad astra. However, I do think you might be a little too generous rating some on the other side. Barnaby Joyce - rating 3, difficulty 5 An attention-seeker who relies on bluster and noise to get it. Incapable of thinking laterally. Tony Abbott - rating 4, difficulty 5 Struggles to maintain a compatibility with his own religious convictions and the need for tolerance and balance in politics. He is capable and always willing to put his views forward but is not very successful at controlling his mean streak and head-kicking tendencies. Christopher Pyne - rating 3, difficulty 5 Sadly lacking in talent. Helen Coonan - rating 2, difficulty 3 Her performance in the Howard Government was less than average and she has been almost invisible in opposition. Kevin Andrews - rating 0, difficulty 2 Wasn't worth feeding in the Howard Government and remains useless in opposition.

fred

19/09/2009I'll skip the 3 comments above me until later. General comment re ALP, and I'm a Green/ALP type, I think you have them about right but I would vary from your scores as follows: I would score Albanese higher both in difficulty and performance. Close to flawless. Wong would get a lower rating and a higher difficulty. Should be doing better. Harry Jenkins has my sympathy and he is saving both parties, well one anyway, from looking worse than in days gone by. Push his score up a bit. Peter Garret scores 1 less in each respect. McClelland is performing less than a 7. Disappointing. Conroy, somewhere between a 3 [censorship] and an 8 [NBN]. Jenny Macklin, lower the difficulty a lot because it would have been so easy to achieve more than has been, so her rating is down by at least 2 to a 4 or 5. The rest seem about right [IMO of course] maybe Plibersek a little higher. Now for the other mob. I think you have been very generous, perhaps falling over backwards to seem as unbiased as possible? Costello has been a major negative for his party. A rank of 1 or 2 seems right. Pyne has earned no respect for his party, drop his rank by a couple. Ditto Barnaby, somebody please tell him this is the 21st century. Robb does nothing so he can stay where he is but share the general drop of a point or two. Really the only one who doesn't suffer that loss is Julie Bishop cos I presume no negative scores allowed. Sharman Stone goes down a couple due to creating negative media for the party. Kevin Andrews should go down a couple, put him on a par with Ruddock. I nearly forgot Tuckey. 0-0 Remember with the Murdoch mob and the ABC in their hip pocket, or handbags wahtever, this mob should be performing, or at least appear to be performing, a lot better than they are.

Ad astra reply

19/09/2009First, I heard on ABC radio this morning that Andrew Robb is suffering from a form of depression called diurnal variation whereby he feels anxious and depressed mostly in the morning. This explains his demeanour; I remember his last appearance on [i]Insiders[/i] when he looked very down. He’s taking three months leave, which will leave the Opposition without one of its serious thinkers on climate change just when it needs to be firing on all cylinders. I wonder who will take over his role – perhaps Greg Hunt. Sir Ian Your view of political parties as mafia may have some credence, especially when one hears of the factional fighting and branch stacking, but I still hold to the view that most federal politicians on both sides are trying to make a difference to our lives and our society. It would be too depressing to believe otherwise. Rationalist I see we’re much in agreement except for the likes of Turnbull and Hockey whom you feel I’ve underrated. I know Turnbull has a very difficult job, but his lack of political intelligence makes it so much harder for him to make any headway. His strategy for attacking the Government has yet to make any discernable impact on the Government. Yesterday’s Morgan Face to Face had the TPP at a ridiculously high 62/38 and when asked ‘who do think will win’ the next election over 70% said Labor and only 17% said the Coalition. There’s an old rule – if what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. Turnbull seems to have so much confidence in his own judgement that he seems unable to do something else. I had Hockey high on my list as potential leader, but his recent behaviour leads me to believe I was wrong. He’s very disappointing, perhaps because he’s being forced to follow the Turnbull line. janice I take your points – I may have been too generous to the Coalition members you mention. I was trying to accentuate what positive aspects I could be discern. fred I can see you too feel I’ve been too generous to some, and not generous enough to others. Thanks to all of you for your detailed responses. When there are more responses I may try to create a composite score.

Lyn

19/09/2009Hi Ad astra Another interesting column to Make MY DAY and some fun to be had rating the pollies. Anthony Albanese 9, I think he is excellent in his port folio and as Leader of the house. You have been very generous with the Coalition, Eric Abetz definately needs a zero, did you see him question Godwin Grech in the Senate? Christopher Pyne 1,thick as a brick and ridiculous points of order. Tony (potty mouth) Abbott 2, he is disgusting the way he carries on in question time and then has the gall to go on radio and say it's Kevin Rudd's fault. George Brandis 2, he is insufferable. Malcolm Turnbull 0, he is the worst performer I have ever watched in Parliament over the past 6 years. He says "Kevin Rudd won't talk to me", I wonder why! all the nasty names he calls Kevin Rudd. Actually I think Kevin Rudd handles Turnbull very well,he knows just how to annoy Turnbull and Turnbull takes the bait every time. Helen Coonan 1, wasted space Joe Hockey 1, he acts like a big sook and makes way too many gaffes,(it is more important to lower interest rates than have a job) Oh please.

fred

19/09/2009Lyn is obviously a very astute judge.

Ebenezer

19/09/2009I agree with fred on Lyn's ratings. I personally cant stand any of the Lib's so my ratings on them would be useless. [quote]Maxine McKew Rating 6 Difficulty 6 Not very visible, but when she is, speaks well and assertively. Hard to know how well she’s doing in her backroom job. [/quote] Actually I think see is under utilised, she is one of the best performers Labor have when seen (eg QandA). I assume after the next election she will have a more prominent roll in government. :cool:

Lyn

19/09/2009Hi Ad I had to come back, just found another nasty name Malcolm Turnbull has called Kevin Rudd Australia politics gets personal: http://www.mnn.com/ Turnbull this month called Rudd "breathtakingly dishonest. Political legacy speech by Rudd was dismissed by Turnbull as the most "graceless and ungracious" talk he had witnessed. (Then says "Kevin Rudd will not talk to me"). Imagine Turnbull as Prime Minister, nice person isn't he.

Lyn

19/09/2009Sorry everyone this is a better link: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/politics/stories/australia-politics-gets-personal

Ad astra reply

19/09/2009Lyn I can see that you have little time for some key Coalition members. Maybe I’ve been too generous. fred and Ebenezer go along with your assessment. Turnbull seems to have almost no insight into his own behaviour and the effect it has on others. He feels entitled on the one hand to try to take down the PM and Treasurer over the OzCar affair, yet still expects them to ‘talk to him’. He thinks he can insult Rudd today and Rudd will be happy to talk to him tomorrow. Incredible. He will never achieve a good relationship with Rudd, because Rudd has no time for him and never will. Thanks for the mnn link.

pedant

19/09/2009Re Mr Turnbull's predicament: what is it that makes people want to follow a leader? Here are some thoughts for starters: they will have to like him, or respect him, or agree with him, or fear him, or look to him for patronage, or think he is going to win. Mr Turnbull's problem is that for many of his colleagues, he can't deliver under any of those headings (and short of pulling out his chequebook to engage in some privately funded patronage, it's not clear to me that there's much that he can do about it, given his "narcissistic personality disorder".) The other problem the Opposition is suffering from at the moment is a good old-fashioned, mean-spirited ugliness. Tony Abbott is a good example: there's bitterness coming out of every pore, and the snake-eyes look that he gets during interviews doesn't help. Given that Kevin Rudd is obviously overwhelmingly popular at the moment, how dumb do they have to be not to be able to figure out that bagging him all the time is not a good strategy? At the end of the day, people will vote against the Opposition not just because they are bitter, but because they are dumb.

Acerbic Conehead

19/09/2009AA, Kev’s ute is going to the knacker’s yard, but before it does, its parts are being stripped and awarded to the Federal Opposition in recognition of their sterling service. Spare tyre – Joe Hockey, in case he loses weight and wants to keep up appearances Tyre lever – Wilson Tuckey, as a back-up in case he mislays his iron bar Wipers – Andrew Robb, so he can keep his specs clean when Julia is giving him a spray Tray – Peter Costello, so he can go for a snooze after a tiring QT session Horn – Phil Ruddock, so he can sound it regularly to let people know he’s still alive Seat belts – Christopher Pyne, so maybe he will learn to belt up once in a while Jack – Malcolm Turnbull, so he can try to raise his poll numbers Ash-tray – Tony Abbott, so that he has a receptacle for all the potty-talk that comes out of his mouth Gear-stick (honorary award) – John Howard (reverse is the only one that works since 2007) Ejector-seat – Sharman Stone, so she can get rid of all the undesirables Rear-view mirror- Bronny Bishop, so she can check out the state of the lippy and beehive First-aid kit – Kevin Andrews, ironically donated by Dr Haneef so that Kevin could treat his self-inflicted wounds Owner’s manual – Julie Bishop, only photocopied edition available unfortunately, as the original has been lost.

Acerbic Conehead

19/09/2009PS I hope Andrew Robb has a speedy convalescence and we get to see those window-wipers in action soon. But seriously, Andrew, I'm sure you read all the quality political blogs, so look after yourself and take care.

Ad astra reply

20/09/2009pedant You’re right. Malcolm Turnbull’s predicament is that he has almost no political nous, and a marked absence of the attributes of a good leader. He is accustomed to being in charge and having people carry out orders without question, but many Coalition members no longer accept his authority, or value his leadership, so they do as they please. The Nationals and Liberals such as Wilson Tuckey feel entitled to take a different approach to the ETS no matter what Turnbull wants, which is to negotiate with the Government. I hear Christopher Pyne angrily discarding their views (they can do as the want) thereby setting up a showdown over the ETS. I wonder who will win? The Coalition’s mean-spiritedness is a real phenomenon. Tony Abbott is the leading proponent. He still believes the ‘good’ Howard Government did not deserve to be thrown out, that sooner or later the sleep-walking electorate will awaken and realise they have elected an incompetent and fiscally reckless fraud, Kevin Rudd’s popularity will plummet and he will be thrown out by a disillusioned public. Abbott’s been waiting now for well over two years (like Glenn Milne) for the Rudd honeymoon to end, but even up to last Friday’s Morgan (TPP 62/38) that hasn’t happened. Of course it may end some day, but until then Abbott will go on being angry and venomous. That same contagion has afflicted Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton and Sharman Stone. Turnbull seems more bewildered than angry; he just doesn’t know what to do to retrieve his abysmal situation. He was probably hoping for sharply rising unemployment and a deteriorating economy which he could attribute to the Rudd Government, but deprived of that, he’s now hoping for interest rate rises for which he will blame the Government. In the meantime he nit-picks around the periphery of the schools program. Acerbic Conehead What a clever ute-wrecker’s disposal sale you’ve proposed. Every disposal you’ve awarded is to just the right person. I’m sure all reasonable people would wish Andrew Robb a full recovery from this debilitating affliction. He is one of the Coalition’s few gentlemen.

Bushfire Bill

21/09/2009When Rudd said once that a "shitstorm" had erupted he was lambasted for being a phoney, using rude words that were out of character, trying to impress "dinki-di Aussies" that he was one of the blokes. Now he is supposed to be a serial swearer, unable to communicate without the f-word. Will the real Kevin Rudd please stand up? And will the real Glenn Milne please go away?

ozymandias

21/09/2009Your mathematical ratings are very astute, AA, and I agree with most. Like Lyn, above, I would give Albanese a 9 for his work. I would also bump Peter Garret up a couple of points. He handles the conflicts with his past lives as rock star and environmentalist with aplomb. Penny Wong has one of the toughest jobs going, and is doing OK. Unlike other left-leaning posters, I think you have undervalued the difficulty ratings of Opposition members, although your ratings of their effectiveness are pretty well spot on. It's a political cliche that Opposition is a tough job, without the huge resources available to the government to analyse issues and develop policy responses. The current mob is doing this tough job spectacularly badly. As a Western Australian, I have always felt mortally embarassed that part of my home state's population is represented by Wilson Tuckey. I would not have given him a rating.

dog fence

22/10/2009Rudd has so far promised everything and delivered little and it seems like mainstream journalists will always remain to be political cheerleaders.
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