Elected prime minister in September last year, Abbott is in many respects the left’s nightmare come true. For one thing, he’s a practicing Catholic, who, though he doesn’t draw attention to his faith, is generally associated in people’s minds with the Church’s conservative wing. Among other brickbats, that’s earned him (rather sectarian) epithets such as the “mad monk.”Tony Abbott, Christie/Boehner/McConnell. Compare and contrast.
At the same time, Abbott possesses — like his political mentor, Australia’s most successful modern conservative politician, John Howard — the common touch. In private and public, he comes across as rather normal and unpretentious. In Australian politics, that will take you a very, very long way. But Abbott is unique insofar as he combines an ability to communicate with ordinary people with being that rarity among conservative politicians: someone genuinely interested in ideas.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Who’s the leading conservative politician in the world today?
It’s difficult to argue with Samuel Gregg’s assertion that it’s Australia’s PM, Tony Abbott.