Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Science | By

Bob Hawke: Former Australian prime minister dies aged 89

Bob Hawke: Former Australian prime minister dies aged 89

Shorten announced he would not contest the next Labor leadership ballot after the election.

As Australia mourns the loss of one of our most beloved leaders - former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who died last night at the age of 89 - former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered his own deeply shitty statement.

I watched him weep as he spoke after the massacre in Tiananmen Square, when he said to "crush the spirit and body of youth is to crush the very future of China itself" and offered visa extensions to thousands of Chinese students studying in Australia, a decision we discovered he made without consulting his cabinet when the papers were released some decades on.

So imagine what voters will do to Labor once they feel the real pain of what's coming - higher taxes and rising power prices, with the economy already slowing.

"Bob Hawke in 1983 gave me and my wife the first home-buyer's grant", Edwards told Shorten in televised remarks. "I don't want to let his memory down", Shorten told Channel Nine.

Current PM Scott Morrison described Hawke as a "great Australian".

"He was beyond politics".

"Bob Hawke had a remarkable ability to reach across party lines", Mr Abbott said. "That I think was his great charm and his great strength and that enabled him to take the country with him on quite a number of important things".

"Australian political life is poorer today without Bob Hawke, but Australians are richer for his bold economic and social reforms". I've always said this election is going to be close. But the difference is within market researcher Ipsos Australia's 2.3 percentage-point margin of error.

The poll was based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,42 voters this week from Sunday to Wednesday.

A final opinion poll by News poll for The Weekend Australian newspaper on Friday showed Labor's lead over the coalition at 51.5% to 48.5% on a two-party preferred basis, under which votes for unsuccessful candidates are redistributed until a victor is declared. "It's Time" was also the campaign slogan.

The results upended pre-election polls which predicted a Labor victory, though it is unclear whether the Scott Morrison-led coalition can govern with an outright majority or will need to negotiate support from independents.

The Labor Party has promised more free health care, greater spending on education and tax cuts for the middle and working classes. But he is also remembered for financial mismanagement that led to his Government being fired in 1975 by the Australian Governor-General. He went on to win three more elections, serving as prime minister until 1991. Failure to vote without an acceptable excuse attracts a 20 Australian dollar ($14) fine.

The ruling conservative Liberal Party was founded in 1944 while its opponent, the center-left Labor Party, is Australia's oldest. Labor was formed by striking sheep shearers meeting under an Outback tree in 1891.

Abbott, who previously called on Australia to abandon its pledge to reduce greenhouse emissions, is widely seen as instrumental in the ousting of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull past year.

Opinion polls show climate change is a major concern for Australian voters.

Shorten has pledged to reduce emissions by 45 percent from 2005 levels and have 50 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 while the LNP has not made any climate commitments beyond Australia's worldwide emissions reduction obligations. The coalition government has committed to reduce emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030 and warns that Labor's more ambitious target would wreck the economy.

The two leaders will campaign until 6pm on Saturday before the polls close. Labor had a similar record during its previous six years in office. Should Labor win, Australia will likely get a vote on becoming a republic and, as Shorten put it, returning a head of state that the country has borrowed from the other side of the world for more than two centuries. The parties have changed their rules to make the process of lawmakers replacing a prime minister more hard.

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