What Do You Know About Australian Politics?


1. One of these is NOT a currently registered political party in Australia. Which one?

(a) Australian Christians
(b) Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
(c) Bullet Train For Australia
(d) Natural Medicine Party
(e) No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics
(f) Rise Up Australia Party
(g) Secular Party of Australia
(h) Stop CSG Party

Bonus question: how many political parties will contest this federal election?
14, 24, 34, 44 or 54?

2. Economic growth figures for the second quarter of 2013 have just been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. They confirm Australia is now the best-managed economy in the world.

But how well-managed?

How many of these 25 prosperous, developed economies now have annual GDP growth higher than 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product – Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, the USA?

(a) all 25
(b) 12 – only about half
(c) five
(d) two
(e) just the one

3. The Akamai group publishes a quarterly State of the Internet report which tracks global connection speeds, internet penetration, broadband adoption and mobile usage over time.

Where does Australia currently rank in the world by average internet connection speed?

(a) 10th, beaten only by the Asian tigers
(b) 20th, about average for the developed world
(c) 30th, but at least we’re ahead of New Zealand
(d) not in the top 40

4. The Australian Labour Party changed its name to the Australian Labor Party when and why?

(a) in 1907 as an act of spite after a blazing row over the role of the proletariat in party decision-making between Australian Labour Party Prime Minister, Chris Watson, and leader of the British Labour Party, Lord Arthur Ponsonby.
(b) in 1908 after discovering campaign brochures for the November election had accidentally misspelt the name. It was easier and cheaper to convene the executive and change the name than reprint the brochures.
(c) in 1912 after American-born evangelical preacher and insurance salesman King O'Malley became ALP Member for Darwin and persuaded the caucus to modernise — by which he meant Americanise.
(d) in 1915 when the Party wanted to nominate Clarence Bottomley “Clarrie” Tudor — brother of Party leader Francis Gwynne "Frank" Tudor — for president of the International Congress of Labor Parties.

5. The National Country Party changed its name to the National Party of Australia in 1982.


(a) after the Country Party in Queensland was revealed by a Royal Commission to be institutionally corrupt and was regarded by the federal Liberal Party as an electoral liability to the Coalition.
(b) to distinguish itself from state splinter parties – the Country National Party, the Australian Country Party, the Country Party of Australia, the National Country Party of Australia and the National Australian Party.
(c) after party president Cedric Tudball was forewarned by a clairvoyant at the 1982 Queanbeyan Agricultural Show that the leader of the National Country Party would turn into a vampire bunyip at midnight on the first full moon after the Summer solstice.
(d) to emphasise its anti-Communist stance by dog-whistling a connection with kindred souls abroad – the National Alliance, the National Front and the National Socialists.
(e) to broaden its electoral appeal beyond farmers and graziers after being almost wiped out by city-slickers in state elections.

Note: More than one answer may be correct.

6. Since Federation, six Australian prime ministers have left that position as a result of party-room coups. One before 1965 and five since. Billy Hughes was removed in 1923 by his Nationalist Party colleagues.

How many of the five since 1965 can you name?

7. Which member of the Australian Parliament standing for re-election still has to appear before the Federal Court in Canberra, following an earlier hearing in a state Supreme Court?

(a) Peter Slipper
(b) Craig Thomson
(c) Tony Abbott
(d) Julia Gillard

8. Since 2004, more than one and a half million dollars has been paid to Australian political parties by the big tobacco companies to buy support.

The precise total, according to the Australian Electoral Commission, is $1,707,697. This is from British American Tobacco and Philip Morris.

How was this distributed?

(a) All of it to the Liberal/National Coalition.
(b) $300,000 each to the Liberals, the Nationals, One Nation, the Shooters Party and the Smokers Rights Party and the rest to independents and minor parties.
(c) $426,924 each to the Greens, to Labor, to the Liberals and to the Nationals.
(d) $400,000 to Labor, $500,000 to the Liberals, $400,000 to the Nationals, and the rest divided among selected minor parties.

9. According to Christopher Pyne, “Tony Abbott works in Indigenous communities at least a week or two a year … He has done that in Cape York.”

In August last year, Mr Abbott spent two nights in Aurukun.

The cost to the taxpayer for this “volunteering” for one full day, in addition to Mr Abbott’s parliamentary salary, was:

(a) $86.17
(b) $686.17
(c) $2,686.17
(d) $12,686.17

10. Who wrote this prophetic denunciation of Australia’s asylum seeker policy?

"Another great challenge of our age is asylum seekers. The biblical injunction to care for the stranger in our midst is clear. The parable of the Good Samaritan is but one of many which deal with the matter of how we should respond to a vulnerable stranger in our midst. That is why the government's proposal to excise the Australian mainland from the entire Australian migration zone and to rely almost exclusively on the so-called Pacific Solution should be the cause of great ethical concern to all the Christian churches.”

(a) The Reverend Tim Costello
(b) Cardinal George Pell
(c) Archbishop Peter Jensen
(d) Brother Kevin Rudd

11. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has asked repeatedly: ''Are we better off than we were six years ago?''

This question has been analysed in depth by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at Canberra University in Cost of living and standard of living indexes for Australia release in August.

Which of the following are findings in its latest report?

(a) The Gillard government oversaw the smallest rise in cost of living of any Australian government for at least 25 years despite the introduction of the carbon tax.
(b) Australian households have seen real incomes – disposable income minus cost of living increases – rise 15 per cent since just after Labor took office, giving the average household a $5324 a year boost, or $102 a week.
(c) Since Labor took power, the ''standard of living'' – the centre's term for rises in disposable income subtracted by cost of living increases – has risen 2.6 per cent a year, the same average annual increase as during the Howard government’s 11 years of mining boom.
(d) Over the past year, there was a strong jump in electricity and gas prices, housing due to rising council rates, health and education. These rises were offset by a sharp drop in mortgage repayments due to lower interest rates and a fall in audiovisual equipment.
(e) Other expenses – household goods and services, personal care, transport, clothing and food – all rose less than 1 per cent.

12. A recent edition of the ABC's Media Watch analysed the political coverage in Rupert Murdoch's Sydney newspaper the Daily Telegraph for the first week of the election campaign. The program evaluated 80 election news stories published in the popular daily.

Media Watch deemed half of the stories – about 40 – were negative to Labor.

How many did it find were negative to the Coalition?

(a) the other half – about 40
(b) 20
(c) only four
(d) none

13. In the second and third weeks of its election campaign coverage, according to Media Watch, The Daily Telegraph ran three pro-Labor stories and 19 pro-Coalition.

Four stories were anti-Coalition.

How many were anti-Labor?

(a) nine
(b) 19
(c) 39
(d) 59

14. Opposition leader Tony Abbott warned last year that "every time you buy an apple, buy a banana, you pay under Julia Gillard's carbon tax".

We now have inflation figures for the full year since the carbon tax was introduced. In that time the price of a kilo of apples or bananas has:

(a) risen by around one dollar and 65 cents.
(b) risen by around one dollar.
(c) risen by around 65 cents.
(d) risen by around one cent.
(e) stayed the same.

15. A recent Liberal Party E-News bulletin says:

“The Coalition will cut the company tax rate by 1.5 per cent from 1 July 2015. This tax cut will boost jobs and strengthen the economy.

“With unemployment already at the highest level in 14 years … cutting tax is crucial to strengthening the economy and creating the right environment for jobs.”

Question: if a teensy cut to this tax is so crucial, why wait until July 2015 – almost two years away?

(a) because by then everyone will have forgotten the promise was ever made.
(b) because business needs time to plan. If we gave companies extra money immediately, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.
(c) because the purpose of the announcement has everything to do with political advantage, nothing to do with strengthening the economy
(d) other. Please specify.


1. (d) Natural Medicine Party. This group has applied for registration, but too late for this election.
Bonus question: 54.
2. (e)  Just the one: Australia
3. (d) Currently 41st.
4. (c) The party yielded to the insistence of King O'Malley.
5. (e) is correct. But rumours persist regarding (c).
6. Removed mid-term by caucus were Robert Menzies, John Gorton, Bob Hawke, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
7. (c) Tony Abbott in the One Nation matter.
8. (a) All to the Liberal/National Coalition.
9. (d) At least $12,686.17. Reimbursements have not yet been claimed for all segments of the flights to and from Aurukun. It seems some claims have been deferred.
10. (d) Kevin Rudd in a 2006 article about Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
11. (a) through to (e) are all findings of the study.
12. (d) none.
13. (d) 59.
14. (d) risen by around one cent.
15. Open to suggestions.

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.