Election, or A Right to Lead a Country

Australia’s election campaign is in full swing, and all the politicians are out there, trying to win as many votes as they can. Or at least to stop their competitors from winning extra votes. I think that was the main reason behind the statement made by Palmer with regards to experience (or a lack of) of current cabinet members of the Labor Party.

Australian Parliament

Australian Parliament

Palmer said something along the lines that all the Labor politicians combined only have about 15 years of real life work experience. His criteria were – any Union or Government related job wasn’t counted as experience, and neither anything in legal profession.

It sounded too far-fetched to me, so I’ve decided to check it out myself. Here’s the result of my investigation….

The break-down of Labor Cabinet:

Anthony Albanese            Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Deputy Leader of                                                     the Labor Party. He is also the Minister for Infrastructure and                                                   Transport, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and                                                     the Digital Economy and the Leader of the House of                                                                     Representatives.

Years of prior experience:    2 years  Commonwealth Bank

Kevin Rudd                        Prime Minister of Australia

Years of prior experience:   0 years

Kim Carr                              Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and                                                     Minister for Higher Education

Years of prior experience:  9 years secondary school teacher

Brendan O’Connor             Minister for Employment and the Minister for Skills and                                                             Training

Years of prior experience:  0 year

Richard Marles                  Minister for Trade

Years of prior experience: 4 years Slater and Gordon

Julie Collins                         Minister for Community Services, the Minister for Indigenous                                                   Employment and Economic Development, and the Minister for                                                   the Status of Women

Years of prior  experience:  Not clear, but no more than 5 years customer service and                                                           business support roles in real estate and energy environments.

Tanya Plibersek                 Minister for Health and Medical Research

Years of prior experience:  0 years

Joel Fitzgibbon                  Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Years of prior experience: Up to 5 years automotive electrician, electorate officer, part                                                      time technical education lecturer and small business operator

Gary Gray                           Minister for Resources and Energy, the Minister for Tourism,                                                     and the Minister for Small Business

Years of prior experience:  2 years BHP steelworks, and then at the Savings Bank of South                                                  Australia.

Mark Dreyfus                     Attorney-General of Australia,

Years of prior experience:  17 years lawyer

Mark Butler                        Minister for Climate Change and Minister for the Environment,                                                 Heritage and Water

Years of prior experience:  0 years

Bill Shorten                         Minister for Education and Minister for Employment and                                                            Workplace Relations.

Years of prior experience:  1.5 years lawyer

Catherine King                  Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and                                                               Territories

Years of prior experience: Possible 2-3 years? social worker, research officer and public                                                       servant. social welfare sector in Ballarat

Tony Burke                        Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship

Years of prior experience:  7 years posible work

Bob Carr                             Minister for Foreign Affairs

Years of prior experience:  2 years ABC radio

Jenny Macklin                    Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous                                                        Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform

Years of prior experience: 2 years researcher at the Australian National University

Stephen Smith                   Minister for Defence.

Years of prior experience: 4 years lawyer

Chris Bowen                      Treasurer of Australia

Years of prior experience:  2 years maybe in something related to economics?

Jacinta Collins                   Minister for Ageing and Mental Health

Years of prior experience: 0 years outside of Unions

Penny Wong                      Commonwealth Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Years of prior experience: 0 years

Australian Government

Politics is a funny business.

So here is the verdict:

Total of 65 years of work experience outside of politics spread between the 20 Members of Parliament (and I’ve been VERY generous). This is just over 3 years of experience per politician before we let these people to run the country.

Now, I’m not a whinger, BUT….Is it any wonder that our country’s economy and domestic and foreign policies are up the proverbial creek?

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4 thoughts on “Election, or A Right to Lead a Country

  1. So therefore by your reckoning no one should be elected to the office of Prime Minister unless they’ve had prior experience in the job. What about John Howard, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Menzies etc…none of whom had any experience in the post before being elected. Your argument is seriously flawed.

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    • Hey Edward,
      first of all-thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
      second – perhaps I didn’t make my point clear in a post. I am not saying that a Prime Minister should have an experience as a PM before he or she can become a PM. What I’m saying is that they should have a Real Life experience running businesses, managing companies. I want my Ministers, or Prime Minister to know what it means to budget your own company, or maybe just be able to use advanced options of MYOB, or build a bridge, or run a farm…..
      And just make it clear, my comments are not limited to just Labor. It is the same for every party, for every candidate. If you want to run the country, prove that you can run a business first.
      cheers,

      Like

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