This question time dealt mostly with the matters of interest rates, the budget and industrial relations. We begin with the opposition leader Kevin Rudd asking John Howard why he has refused to acknowledge that he and his party made a promise to the Australian people at the last election to keep interest rates at record lows and why is this promise still on the Liberal party’s website today? This question was met with plenty of murmurs and jeers from the House of Reps.
The PM responded by saying the promise he made was that the interest rates would always be lower under a coalition government rather than a Labor government and that that is supported by the experience of the last few years, indeed of the last 25-30 years because even after the latest interest rate increase the housing interest rates will still be 4% lower than what they were under the last Labor government. John Howard continues by saying the promise he made has been validated by the experience of the last 2.5 years and is validated by the comparison to the Government in the opposition.
Michael Ferguson of Liberal Tasmania, the member for Bass asked the Prime Minister if there were any threats to this 33 yr low in unemployment. The PM responded to this question confidently by saying “unemployment remains at 4.3%, the lowest unemployment rate this country has had for 33 years.”
The thing that I observed the most from this question time was that John Howard likes to repeat his statements to make sure what he is saying can be understood by the opposition. Howard also likes to point out when the opposition has lied.
Another thing I have noted about question time is that the speakers are much more formal than during committee hearings and address each other more seriously. Yet, in my opinion I feel that this formality is just that and there is no sincerity behind the respects that the opposition shows toward each other.
I like to listen to John Howard during question time as I find he is quite comical in the way he addresses the House of Representatives and I find it amusing how he likes to point out the opposition’s faults as this receives much amusement and cheers from the sitting party and order needs to be called several times.
I think it is quite obvious that John Howard in this question time has the upper hand and is very succinct with the answers to his questions and always reinstates how powerful his Government and leadership has been.