Tony Abbott

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Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement that having knights and dames was ‘not appropriate’ in Australia’s modern honours system. AAP/Rob Blakers

Turnbull ends Abbott’s knights and dames

The Turnbull government has scrapped Tony Abbott's controversial knights and dames awards.
Harmony Day is part of efforts in Australia to promote social cohesion, which showed a marked improvement in 2015, according to the Scanlon Foundation survey. Wikimedia Commons/DIAC Images

Social cohesion survey puts Abbott’s final months as PM in a new light

Despite perceptions of a divided and troubled nation, social cohesion in Australia actually improved on most measures in 2015, the latest Scanlon Foundation survey finds.
Tony Abbott’s speech to conservatives in London overlooks the differences between Australia and Europe in the numbers of refugees. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott tells Europe: do things my way

Tony Abbott's initial post-prime ministerial public foray on the policy front has been narrow cast and hard line.
Justin Trudeau displaced Stephen Harper, an avowed friend of the fossil fuel industry, as Canada’s prime minister. Chris Wattie/Reuters

Is lagging on climate change a political liability?

Two politicians known to oppose action on climate change – Canada's Stephen Harper and Australia's Tony Abbott – have been displaced. What does this say about climate as a voter issue?
Malcolm Turnbull is convening a summit this week to discuss Australia’s approach to countering violent extremism. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Narrow focus on radicalisation won’t stop terrorists

Counter-radicalisation is only one part of nearly 20 very distinct areas of policy to combat terrorism. It is probably not the most effective by a long shot.
Brian Loughnane has been campaign director for the federal Coalition in four elections. Alan Porritt/AAP

Loughnane bows out from Liberal director post

Tony Nutt, former close advisor to John Howard, is set to become the new federal director of the Liberal Party after Brian Loughnane confirmed on Thursday that he will soon leave the job.
A change in minister needs to mean a change in tack with regard to higher education. Sam Mooy/AAP

Four things the new minister should do on higher education

Higher education policy development should involve learning from the Abbott government's mistakes and other counties where university reform has been successfully achieved.
Tony Abbott’s anger and distress at losing the prime ministership is clear through a calm veneer. Sam Mooy/AAP

Abbott’s post-coup stress on display

The pain in politics is not pretty. Most leaders relish imposing it on adversaries. But then, when they come to bad ends, as they often do, they bleed and vent. Tony Abbott’s anger and distress is clear…
While Julie Bishop stays on as foreign minister, domestic political calculations might be less of a factor in policy if the government can put dire opinion polls behind it. AAP/Lukas Coch

Can foreign policy be freed from populist politicking?

Australia will benefit if a Turnbull government pursues a foreign policy agenda attuned more to regional and global goals and developments, and less to domestic political challenges.
Malcolm Turnbull’s relaxed and natural demeanour comes as a relief after Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard, except they were once like that too. AAP/David Moir

Can the ‘real Malcolm’ survive being PM?

Australians have seen their recent prime ministers lose the very qualities as communicators that took them to the top. Malcolm Turnbull's challenge is to avoid succumbing to the same fate.
Malcolm Turnbull is promising a change in leadership style from Tony Abbott, but that alone won’t be enough to qualify as government for the 21st century. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Turnbull must break with past attempts to keep the future at bay

The Abbott government resisted the disruptive changes of the 21st century. To succeed, the Turnbull government will need to shed this reactionary mindset and embrace inevitable change.
Scott Morrison, through glass in a radio booth, during his interview with Ray Hadley. Lukas Coch/AAP

Ray Hadley mauls Scott Morrison – but no hard feelings

Shock jock Ray Hadley and minister Scott Morrison enjoy a mutually useful, cosy relationship. Their regular on-air chats beam to a large audience; Morrison gets his message out via a sympathetic presenter…
In 2010 Malcolm Turnbull threatened to cross the floor to vote for emissions trading. Polls suggest the public would back him now, even if his party won’t. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

If he wants to win an election, Turnbull should go back to his old self on climate

In backing Abbott's existing climate policy, Malcolm Turnbull looks like appeasing his party. But his prospects would be better served by appealing to voters who are anxious for strong climate action.

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