Tony Abbott

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Anthony John "Tony" Abbott (b. 4 November 1957) is a conservative Australian politician, who is the current Prime Minister of Australia and parliamentary leader of the center-right Liberal Party of Australia[1]. He has represented a seat in parliament for the state of New South Wales since 1994. He had risen to prominence under the John Howard Government as Minister for Health and Ageing from 2003 - 2007 where he was outspoken in issues such as Abortion saying several times that it is as 'a national tragedy' [2]. In terms of public perception, Abbott is generally seen as a devout Catholic and has the nickname 'Mad Monk' as he wanted to be a priest.

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Early Life & Education

He was born in London on November 4, 1957 to Australian parents and in 1960 they moved back to take up residence in Sydney. He attended 2 private Catholic, boys schools in Sydney.

He completed a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Law at the University of Sydney where he was an active student politician and boxer. He then attended Queen's College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and gained a Master of Arts. When he came back he entered the St Patrick's Seminary in Manly where he studied to become a Catholic Priest but left before completion to take up a role as a journalist for the Bulletin (a now discontinued weekly political and cultural magazine) and The Australian (a Monday to Saturday conservative newspaper).

He is married to Margaret Abbott and they have 3 daughters.

Politics

He was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1994 and has had various portfolios including Minister for Employment Services, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Health and Ageing. As Minister for Health and Ageing he was known for speaking out against Abortion and the use of Embryonic stem cell research. He was always against the drug RU486 which is used for non-surgical abortions and only by a conscience vote in 2005 was the ban lifted from 1996. [3] [4]. Like most conservatives in Australia he supporters the constitutional monarchy in Australia. As of recent with the Climate change debate in Australia he has stated that it is 'absolute crap' but later he said it wasn't his 'considered position' on the subject. [5].

On 1 December 2009 after more than 15 years in the Liberal Party of Australia he became leader due to much hate over then leader Malcolm Turnbull and his acceptance of the Australian Cap and trade equivalent called ETS (emission trading scheme) which has been called 'the single worst piece of legislation to be foisted on the Australian public' by respected environmental scientist Professor Bob Carter who has been as an expert witness on climate change before the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works, the Australian and N.Z. parliamentary Select Committees into emissions trading and in a meeting in parliament house, Stockholm. He was also a primary science witness in the U.K. High Court case of Dimmock v. H.M.'s Secretary of State for Education, the 2007 judgement from which identified nine major scientific errors in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth. [6] [7] [8]. The bill was later rejected by the Australian Senate and only 2 Liberal Party senators voted for the bill while even the Greens voted against it. [9] [10]

Popular culture & Polling

In the Australian public he is known for his being socially conservative, his obsession with fitness [11] ,pro-Christian policies and his colorful language. [12] [13] Due to Abbott's arguably populist image he has struck a chord with many conservative suburban voters who previously supported John Howard and has closed the gap in the polls with the Coalition overtaking Labor on primary votes for the first time since 24-26 November 2006 and his climate change policy has also won the opinions of moderates who previously thought that the Coalition had no credential with 45% of those polled preferred Mr Abbott's plan compared to 39% who supported Kevin Rudd's ETS. [14] [15]

References

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