Let's Have A Bit Of Leadership Please!


1. Which two of these current party leaders have on their CV a period in prison?

(a) Labor leader, Kevin Rudd
(b) Liberal leader, Tony Abbott
(c) Greens leader, Christine Milne
(d) Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce
(e) Wikileaks Party leader, Julian Assange
(f) Palmer United Party leader, Clive Palmer

2. Who among these leaders of Australia’s political parties has appeared in an episode of The Simpsons?

(a) Labor leader, Kevin Rudd
(b) Liberal leader, Tony Abbott
(c) Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce
(d) Greens leader, Christine Milne
(e) Wikileaks Party leader, Julian Assange
(f) Palmer United leader, Clive Palmer

3. One of these assertions about Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd is false. Which one?

(a) He is a descendant of convict Mary Ann Wade who was transported to New South Wales in 1789 at the age of 11 with the second fleet.
(b) He is only the second Australian prime minister from Queensland.
(c) He is the first former prime minister to return for a second shot at the job since Robert Menzies in 1949, and only the second Labor prime minister to do so.
(d) He is the first Australian prime minister to publicly support same-sex marriage.
(e) His second Cabinet, sworn in on 22 June, contains 11 women, a record for any Australian state or federal government.

4. Two questions above posited Barnaby Joyce as the federal leader of the National Party. This was a joke. The real leader is:

(a) Mark Vaille
(b) John Anderson
(c) Warren Truss
(d) George Brandis
(e) Bob Katter

5. One of these assertions about Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott is false. Which one?

(a) He was born in England in 1957 to a British father and an Australian mother.
(b) His large, misshapen ears are the result of boxing mishaps at university.
(c) Before entering Parliament he was director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, a group supporting continuation of the British monarchy.
(d) Having been Opposition Indigenous affairs spokesman and a volunteer worker on Aboriginal communities, he supported Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2008 national apology to the stolen generations.
(e) When not working as a parliamentarian, he spends almost all his time and energy away from his family – running or cycling, or being a lifesaver, or fighting fires, or visiting remote Aboriginal communities, or travelling on book promotional tours, or seeking photo opportunities, or flying overseas.

6. How many of these pollies won their current seat at their first attempt at a political career?

(a) Labor leader, Kevin Rudd
(b) Liberal leader, Tony Abbott
(c) Former Labor leader, Julia Gillard
(d) Former Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull
(e) Greens leader Christine Milne
(f) Nationals leader, Warren Truss

7. One of these assertions about Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer is false. Which one?

(a) He studied journalism, wrote political stories for the Queensland Uni newspaper and worked as media manager for Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland National Party.
(b) In 2010 he was appointed adjunct professor of economics at the University of Queensland.
(c) In April 2012, he signed an agreement with CSC Jinling Shipyard in China to build an exact replica of the Titanic. The ship is scheduled to set sail in late 2016.
(d) Last Christmas Day, he hosted a buffet lunch for 650 disadvantaged families with children.
(e) He used to list “litigation” as a hobby in Who’s Who. He boasts he has a 68-0 success rate in court cases.

8. Most current Australian federal political party leaders are fairly new in the current job. The average time as leader is less than two years.

Who of these six has served the longest?

(a) Labor leader, Kevin Rudd
(b) Liberal leader, Tony Abbott
(c) Greens leader Christine Milne
(d) Nationals leader, Warren Truss
(e) Wikileaks leader, Julian Assange
(f) Palmer United leader, Clive Palmer

9. One of these assertions about Greens leader Christine Milne is false. Which one?

(a) She grew up on a Tasmanian farm where she milked cows, worked with horses and hunted rabbits.
(b) In the late 1980s she convinced the Hawke Government to stop the Wesley Vale pulp mill. In his memoir, then environment minister Graham Richardson described the young activist as "one tough lady".
(c) She was the first woman Greens MP elected to an Australian parliament.
(d) In the late 1990s the Milne-led Greens held the balance of power in a Labor minority government in Tasmania, producing a period of unprecedented social and economic reform: gun laws, gay law reform, a formal apology to the stolen generations, a vote for an Australian republic and profound environmental advances.
(e) Roman Catholic bishops asked her to join a committee to advise them on starting Catholic Earth Care Australia.

10. One of these five assertions about National Party leader Warren Truss is false. Which one?

(a) In 1988 he was shoe-horned into the safe National Party seat of Barambah in Queensland at the by-election following the retirement of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. He won the seat easily.
(b) He shifted to federal Parliament in 1990 winning the seat of Wide Bay.
(c) He joined John Howard’s first ministry in 1997 as Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs and was one of a small number of Howard’s first ministers not sacked for incompetence or corruption.
(d) He became Minister for Trade in 2006 after National Party leader Mark Vaille was forced to relinquish the portfolio after admitting that the Howard Government had secretly paid $300 million in bribes to Saddam Hussein in the AWB oil for food scandal.
(e) He is “genial company over a beer, continuing the long Nationals tradition of being good blokes whatever you might think of their politics”.

11. Malcolm Fraser, Tony Windsor, Paul Keating, Laurie Oakes and David Marr have all made observations regarding Liberal leader Tony Abbott. Match them up!

(a) He walks as though he has to will each leg forward. It’s curious in a man who is so obviously fit. His face is skin and bone. He smiles but his eyes are hooded. The overall effect is faintly menacing, as if he’s about to climb into the ring.
(b) This man, the Leader of the Opposition, was quite prepared to [implement a carbon tax]if he'd been given the nod on that particular day. He made the point not only to me but to others in that negotiating period: “I would do anything to get that job. The only thing I wouldn't do is sell my arse – but I'd have to give serious thought to it”.
(c) If Tony Abbott ends up the prime minister of Australia, you’ve got to say, God help us. Truly an intellectual nobody. And no policy ambition.
(d) Tony Abbott is a dangerous politician, perhaps one of the most dangerous in Australian history.
(e) Let’s not beat about the bush. To my mind, Tony Abbott tells lies. So what? Is there anything surprising about that? After all, he's a politician. But it needs to be pointed out because the central message from Abbott supporters is that the Prime Minister is the liar – Ju-liar, in fact, according to the likes of Alan Jones.

12. One of these assertions about Wikileaks Party leader Julian Assange is false. Which one?

(a) The name Assange is an anglicisation of Ah Sang, Cantonese for Mr Sang. Julian describes his Chinese ancestor who migrated to Thursday Island as a Taiwanese pirate.
(b) In 1987, aged 16, Julian began hacking under the name Mendax – taken from a phrase of Horace "splendide mendax", or "nobly untruthful".
(c) In 1993, Julian helped police in Victoria’s Child Exploitation Unit with expert advice on the Internet and assisted in securing prosecutions.
(d) He is currently accepting political asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London after being pursued for sex offences in Sweden – he is yet to be charged.
(e) In 2009 he received Amnesty International UK’s media award for New Media and was runner-up for the Nobel Peace Prize for exposing extrajudicial assassinations in Kenya.


1. (c) and (e). Christine Milne was jailed for three days after blockading the Franklin River in 1983. Julian Assange spent 10 days in a UK jail in December 2010, before being bailed to a friend’s home in Suffolk.
2. (e) Julian Assange on the historic 500th episode.
3. (b) He is the fourth prime minister from Queensland.
4. (c) Whatsisname.
5. (d) Tony Abbott called then-Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson's widely-criticised Apology reply "magnificent". Nelson said Indigenous Australians were "living lives of existential aimlessness", one of many phrases that prompted those present to turn their backs.
6. Only one. (b) Liberal leader, Tony Abbott was elected on his first go. Rudd, Gillard, Turnbull and Truss all sought preselection or election earlier unsuccessfully. Milne served previously in the Tasmanian Parliament.
7. (b) Palmer took an adjunct professorship at Bond University in 2008.
8. (d) Warren Truss became leader in December 2007, so has served five years and seven months. The average is just over 22 months. The good bloke quote is from Crikey.
9. (d) The Greens were in coalition in Tassie at that time – from 1996 to 1998 – and they did achieve those remarkable things. But it was a coalition with the Liberals, not Labor.
10. (a) Truss lost Bjelke-Petersen’s safe National Party seat of Barambah in an upset to the Citizens Electoral Council candidate Trevor Perrett.
11. (a) Marr, (b) Windsor, (c) Keating, (d) Fraser, (e) Oakes.
12. (e) Assange did, in fact, receive the 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award for New Media. He was not runner-up for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Disputes welcome and correspondence will be entered into.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.