Dec 19, 2011

The 2011 Crikeys: our best and worst politicians

Who are our best and worst political performers for the year? The award goes to ...

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Well, here we are again. The end of year rolls around quicker than ever, and those annual reviews and awards seem to blur into one another. But the annual public policy shutdown that starts about now and holds until late January is the perfect opportunity to assess how our politicians fared during the year, particularly given that, despite all the predictions of instability, 2011 was the first year since 2004 that we finished with the same prime minister and opposition leader that we commenced it with.

So let’s do the annual prize-giving …

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50 thoughts on “The 2011 Crikeys: our best and worst politicians

  1. Mack the Knife

    ‘Wayne Swan has been an excellent Treasurer, in economic management terms, but has failed in the key role of communicating the government’s economic reform achievements.’

    The truth is that the Murdoch press and ABC have made up falsehoods and repeated the negative mantras to deliberately bury Labor’s achievements.

    Conversely the conviction and fining of the 4th largest accountancy firm over the deceit of the $11 billion dollar black hole went almost completely unreported

  2. drmick

    “But Abbott is able to evade scrutiny on these weaknesses”. By Whom? Obviously by the fan that wrote this for a start.
    Lets put the same amount of scrutiny on him and see where your “political genius” rates.

  3. ernmalleyscat

    As shallow as a ‘year in review’ piece should be.
    Worst one this year.

  4. Khupert the Runt

    The role of “Our best politician” needs careful qualification.

    If it is the degree to which a politician can swing public opinion his or her way at any cost, then I agree with you that Tony Abbott deserves that title.

    I would have thought that a better definition would have been someone who is able to motivate the nation to move forward in reform , and narrow the wealth and happiness divides. To be someone who one instinctly sees as a stateman (or woman).

    In that regard it’s certainly not Tony, though I’d struggle to pick a real winner well ahead of the rest of the pack – just maybe Bob Brown if he wasn’t so dour.

    It saddens me that we think of our politicians as being those that persuade, regardless of whether their persuasiveness is for the common good. The race to the bottom so ably achieved by Tony Abbott was well described by Mike Carlton in Saturday’s Herald as whinger of the year. Not so much because he actually whinged, but because in that race to the bottom he made us all more precious, more selfish, more reactionary, more mean, and more self focussed.

    In short he has damaged our nation by appealing to our basest instincts and values. This is not a left right political divide question… many politicians of both stripes have demonstrated that they can inspire us to greatness.

    That he has had the support of the Murdoch press is neither surprising nor strengthening of his position, he has conveniently swum with the current to the great detriment of our nation. Much harder to try and swim upstream against popular opinion but with genuine aspirations and objectives.

    Tony Abbott -“Our best politician”? no way!

    Your comments about Malcolm Turnbull are right – he is one of the few politicians that doesn’t treat us like idiots – for that alone Tony should be disqualified!

    That we can consider the quality of politicians in this way troubles me. To me it shows how far down the moral landslide we have slipped, and how compleltely oblivious we have become to it.

  5. Lord Barry Bonkton

    B.K , 2/10 Still trying to get a job at Ltd News ? Agree with all above , except for S.B , who will come before posting . The media look the other way with Abbott and teams bullshite and continue to ” Make shit UP ” with Labor ?

  6. Mark from Melbourne

    Might have been nice to have someone without the bias of BK do these. It’s just a wrap up of his view of Canberra as expressed through his articles this year which are all pretty much written to reinforce a preordained position.

    And surely a politician has to actually achieve something tangible, and dare I say it, even positive to be declared politician of the year? Abbott hasn’t actually done anything more than get ahead in the polls and if we follow your own argument BK this has really been the government’s own incompetence and level-bestedness at own foot shooting. Even a rubbish award in Crikey should be avoided if we aspire to a better world.

  7. [email protected]

    I always thought Bernard Keane was an ‘In-the-Closet’ Conservative fanboy. At last he is ‘Out’. He has guaranteed ‘King Tony’ will pat little Bernard lap dog on the head now, when Australia gets it’s Benevolent Dictatorship, er, ‘Guided Democracy’ under Mr Abbott.

  8. klewso

    Do you reckon Turnbull looks better because he’s standing on the mud flats at this low tide?

  9. david

    BK I am having great difficulty recalling items written by you or any of the so called political jurnos here at Crikey, that have gone to any lengths, to bring the Opposition to account on their complete negative approach to anything the Govt has brought forward in legislation.
    Your summary of Ministers is stupid, appears to have been slapped together. Yes the tosser Dutton was an utter failure, so were many of his front bench collegues. (what no mention of the gold digging Mirabella).

    Pyne did more than any other MP to reduce the House to a sideshow, Jenkins was equally at fault by his failure to discipline him. You say Pyne did his job well, really? it was pathetic, childish and abuse of the procedures of the House.

    I wont even bother commenting on your Abbott, I don’t intend that murderer of Asylum Seekers to intrude into my Christmas week

    You say…”Then there was the reshuffle, as badly-thought-through and clumsy a reallocation of portfolios from a government as we’ve seen in many years.”…
    Utter untreated C–p

  10. spudandbeanie

    Good grief. This is enough to make me want to cancel my subscription.

    Tony Abbott HAS been given a free pass by the media. He’s got nothing but negativity, he has no policies, no economic skills or knowledge. He’s just a stuntman, nothing more, nothing less. If the media did their job and held him to account and told the truth to the Australian people about how hollow he is , his polling would be in negative figures by now.

    So, my nomination for abysmal failure of 2011 is the Australian media and all who sail in her.

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