you're reading...
Australian Politics, Trish Corry

Scott Ludlam’s speech made me understand why so many voted for Abbott.

one percent

What day was it, when Australians jumped out of bed and said, “I no longer expect my Prime Minister to display any type of leadership and vision?”

What day was it, when we lowered our standards?

Today I watched Scott Ludlam’s speech to the Senate “Our Vision for Western Australia”  The first thing that struck me, was not the eloquence of his speech, nor the insightfulness of his speech, but the fact that I have never heard our Prime Minister Tony Abbott give a speech with such leadership, vision and clarity, than what I have just witnessed. This type of speech from Tony Abbott? Never. 

What day will it be, when Australians jump out of bed and say, “You know what? If I am going to vote for you, I deserve better than what you are giving. I deserve to hear something like this…”


From various political parties and leaders over the years, we have had some great leadership and vision and some great speeches. Whether we agree with their ideologies or policies, regardless of the Government of the Day, all former leaders were committed to their vision for our nation.  Some delivered great speeches with clarity and purpose, some with anger and frustration and some with the excitement of one’s own heart. Regardless of party affiliation, we as a people, historically have expected leadership and a great vision for our country. We wanted to know what changes were ahead of us. How would the Government improve the country, protect the people and most of all, would the Government’s decisions provide a fair go and equal opportunity for all?

A review of campaign speeches over the last twelve elections, commencing with Bob Hawke’s speech in 1983, shows all successfully elected Prime Ministers gave an election speech, that was in-depth, gave background to various concerns for Australia and their vision for the solution and why and how and often when. The average word length for these speeches was 5071 words long.  Mr. Abbott’s election campaign speech was just a mere 2834 words long and noticeably absent in the compare and contrast were any of the above inclusions.

The other noticeable difference in all the speeches over the last twelve elections is that if you view them, you will see ideas generated paragraph by paragraph. Even the shortest speech (John Howard’s of 2045 words in 1996) encapsulates his vision in paragraph form.

If you are a bored nerd like me, you can read all the speeches here – enjoy!


I have found it most alarming and most disturbing undertaking this research, to discover that voters were satisfied with Tony Abbott’s speech enough to vote for his party and hand him the Prime Ministership and his speech did not contain one paragraph; but was a series short sentences of one liners.  It was on the basis of a series of one liners, that voters chose to commit to him and trust this man to make decisions about our future.  I’ll say it again….A series of one liners is all it took.  

Voter Apathy in Australia was the highest at the last election, with the lowest percentage of the voting age population turning out to vote, since 1946.  This is consistent with voter disengagement and hence lack of political awareness. Making the pop-culture of sound bites and three word slogans easier to absorb (and vote for).

Voters didn’t ask for more, or require more; because they settled for a lesser standard.  

I now understand why so many voted for Abbott and why so many now are Marching in the streets. I’m also asking people to “Turn the Ship Around.” We need to engage more, expect more and demand a higher standard!  We need to demand more speeches like Scott Ludlam’s!

Yes, Abbott and Co, used the great marketing psychology of one liners and effective slogans to woo the voters on the day; but then again, so does the Demtel man and the Shamwow man; and although they are very convincing, we seriously don’t see them as Prime Minister material, but yet….

Considering the massive turn out at MarchInMarch, there are very large groups of people within our great country who are seriously unhappy with our current Government after such a short time. I hope all voters in the future demand to the minimum the standard of Speech Scott Ludlam has given to the people in his most recent speeches in the Senate. I ask each and every one of you to remember this great one liner, chalk it up to experience and to always think before you vote:

 experience is what you get, when you didn’t get what you wanted  (Randy Pausch)

Think Before you Vote.  Join a political party like the ALP or Greens or other left-wing/progressive parties. Make sure you know who preferences who. Get Active. Get Engaged. Discuss issues with family and friends. Share information on Social Media. Join Get Up! or MarchInMarch. Read a wide range of news media, including Independent Media. Work hard to prevent Conservative Governments like the Liberal-National Coalition destroying our great country, embarrassing us on the world stage and instilling great hardship on our loved ones, friends and neighbours and on our communities. You CAN make a difference! 

About trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.


16 thoughts on “Scott Ludlam’s speech made me understand why so many voted for Abbott.

  1. And interesting piece – Thank You. I am currently reading The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains By Nicholas Carr, an impulse purchase which I am totally absorbed in. Carr shows the reader how using the Internet has made many of us unable to read long pieces of writing, read more than a few pages of a book or an academic article. Users of computers, the internet and computer games are accessing information in shorter bursts, even though we may be spending a long time online. This theory can be applied to the Australian voters who were unable to focus upon a long exposition of the Liberal plan for Australia.

    Ironically, I am reading a chapter of Carr’s book at a time, so maybe I am not yet one of those who can only read in short bursts, and by extension, I paid attention to what the political leaders said and did not say in the lead up to the election. I recommend Carrs book, which can be found here at the trendy cafe/bookshop I stumbled upon this week, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Shallows-What-Internet-Doing-Brains/dp/0393339750/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395556445&sr=1-1&keywords=the+shallows

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by nadine | March 23, 2014, 4:45 pm
  2. Yes Trish, I really wonder about the intelligence of the average Australian voter or maybe it can be linked to apathy, attention spans……it certainly involves vested interests and who owns and controls the Australian mainstream media……there’s a really good reason why we are using this website.

    From your post:
    “Considering the massive turn out at MarchInMarch, there are very large groups of people within our great country who are seriously unhappy with our current Government after such a short time.”

    Personally I have been seriously unhappy with the LNP, Abbott and the Labor Party (to a lesser degree) years before the Abbott Govt. greased its way into power last year. Abbott and cohorts have taken to just about every aspect of the Australian environment in a vendetta to vandalise our natural assets and destroy all the relative small gains that had been made under previous Governments, and that even includes the former Howard Govt.

    I think a large proportion of those that attended the March in March events were people that have been politically aware for a long time, and not necessarily the part of society intent on promoting human greed, and what can the Government do for me if I vote for a particular party/politician.

    Both the LNP and Labor are totally in the pockets of the CSG and coal mining companies, which along with other corporations wield the real political power in Australia and indeed around our Planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by kgb16 | March 23, 2014, 5:25 pm
    • Well made pointsfrom both the OP and the responders.

      There is currently a school of tho9ught that has Scott Ludlam losing the senate race in his home state of WA. If that happens, the Westralians deserve what they get and I hope Mr Ludlam moves east, where there are a larger proportion of thinkers than are apparent in his home state.


      Posted by scotchmistery | March 25, 2014, 8:11 am
  3. I hope that Scott Ludlam goes a long way in politics. His two speeches have been inspiring, and important to hear, as I worry that our population is not really cognizant of what our future holds. Nor, I feel do they realise how important our natural environment is to our health and safety, and the health of our native flora and fauna. When I moved to Queensland nearly 30 years ago, Bjelke Petersen was in power, and it was through his dictatorship-like government, and environmental destruction that turned me into a ‘political being’. Maybe in the cities people are too occupied with getting to and fro their place of employment, watching sit-coms and commercial TV and then going to bed. I do think that most people were swayed by the constant repeating of slogans, even when Labor informed the electorate of the true state of affairs, they were drowned out by LNP mistruths, shock-jocks and the Murdoch press. I also think that the IPA is very influential with this government, and you only have to check the ‘list of actions the Abbott Government should take once in office’, that they published on their web-site around August last year, to see that it is being gradually worked through.

    Yes, I marched in a MarchinMarch rally, in Cairns, and for me it was most fulfilling to be amongst so many people who actually felt as I do. The speeches were made by articulate, intelligent, passionate people, who are equally appalled at the direction in which our Country is being driven, the loss of reputation internationally, and the blatant reversal of environmental protections, which were negotiated over a period of time, for the best outcome for each interest.

    Scott’s vision for a sustainable city of Perth and surrounds, his knowledge and commitment to introducing environmental solutions is enlightening, and I only hope that he can fulfil his vision.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Rhona | March 23, 2014, 6:53 pm
  4. I actually think people didn’t vote FOR the Abbott Government, they voted AGAINST the Gillard/Rudd/Greens government. What we have seen over the past two elections is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the major parties. Look at the number of independents and non ALP/LNP MPs in the house of reps now. Look at the Senate.

    Compare that to Howard’s victory over Latham, where the vote against the ALP really WAS voting FOR the LNP.

    People are fed up with the lot of them, but the ALP had had two chances and people were sick of their internal politics. They couldn’t keep a PM in place for a single term because they’re too busy playing politics rather than focusing on the issues, meanwhile they ran a very competent government despite that (Under Gillard anyway and despite Rudd), but all of that was overshadowed by the perceived instability of the party. The greens, by association took some of the brunt of this too, meaning the anti vote had nowhere to go but to the right.

    I think it’s important to note that this is not the government that people voted for, this is the government they didn’t vote against. It’s an important distinction I think. It also demonstrates the lack of vision of Abbott’s government though, they were so focused on their opportunity to WIN (it’s just about winning for them, they have no vision to implement after all) that they didn’t even really CONSIDER what happens AFTER they win- that they actually have to do things or they’ll lose the next election, so they’ve stayed in opposition mode. Everything is Labor’s fault. Ironic considering all the things that they say are Labor’s fault are things they say aren’t their responsibility.

    It’s funny, we have a government that refuses to govern.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by jameow | March 23, 2014, 7:51 pm
  5. Good thoughts and I totally agree, although I wonder how things would have gone without the Rudd destabilisation factor. With the mess the Labor party was in the LNP should have trounced them much more soundly.
    I would love to see vision and inspired leadership back in politics too. I was a bit disappointed with Julia Gillard’s term as well, on this count. Too many decisions that didn’t make sense, too much pandering for votes from an ideological void. Perhaps that might have been partly the Rudd factor too – he of the PNG solution. It did at times become difficult to distinguish the two parties’ policies, especially for people who don’t delve further than the soundbites.

    Well, it has scared me into action, for one!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by OpinionatedIntrovert | March 23, 2014, 8:51 pm
    • On that point something else occurred to me. In 2007 Rudd swept in on a wave of positivity, bringing policies, a vision, hopes for Australia’s future.

      In 2011, Gillard, battered and bruised, still offered us hope, positivity, vision and a future. After the election, people felt she did not deliver what she said, mostly due to unfounded rhetoric by the LNP and the pressure of maintaining a minority government.

      In 2013 we had Rudd, offering only fear and uncertainty, no clear policy, no vision, just “I’m very uncomfortable and uncertain about what Mr Abbott would offer the country”

      Abbott had a few positive words to say, but it wasn’t anything substantial after his prolonged negative campaign. Suddenly no one had and hope or vision to offer, only fear and uncertainty, and as people do when under stress, they go conservative.

      Meanwhile Palmer offered everyone the world and more, simultaneously holding all positions at once with no apparent unease. Thus, a swing to Palmer.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by jameow | March 23, 2014, 8:59 pm
  6. NIce information.
    Thanls a lot…


    Posted by Anil Dhawan | March 24, 2014, 4:41 pm
  7. I share your sentiments. I too am very unhappy and worried because of the direction the LNP is leading us to. I too feel let down, as a citizen, by both major parties (and I am a card-carrying Labor member) — but more worrying is the Abbott government’s seeming intent to impose harsh, Thatcherite policies that favour the already wealthy, and punish the poor and disadvantaged. Many of us among the rank and file of the ALP want the Opposition to be more forceful in challenging the harmful Abbott neoconservative agenda. But with a dominant right-wing press under Murdoch and Rinehart, and a hostile and biased Speaker in the House , sabotaging any proper debate, it is a tough battle. It is left to us, citizens, to keep a watchful eye, to be vigilant and guard against apathy, to demand accountabililty and explanation from the government in whatever means at our disposal.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    Posted by lulu2617 | March 25, 2014, 4:21 am
  8. http://www.aec.gov.au National Electoral Education Centre. Please get one very simple fact straight and stop perpetuating the myth that any more than 150 000 people have the option to vote for one person.

    The voting public do not elect the prime minister.



    Posted by Overheard Productions | March 25, 2014, 5:08 am
  9. All politicians have a hidden agendas
    and if we think any of them,even Scott Ludlum
    is a politician that is interested in the people
    We all need to think again,
    This is why we have ended up like we have in this country
    with an idiot of the highest order running the country Phony Tony


    Posted by Kathy | March 26, 2014, 7:03 am
  10. The voting public always get the government they deserve. For the people by the people. An idiot for the idiots.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Lopezjm2001@gmail.com | May 2, 2014, 11:31 pm


  1. Pingback: Scott Ludlam’s speech made me understand why so many voted for Abbott. | OzHouse - March 23, 2014

  2. Pingback: Scott Ludlam’s speech made me understand why so many voted for Abbott. | The Grovely Gazette - March 23, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trish Corry



I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. You will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

Personal Links

View Full Profile →

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,895 other subscribers

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: