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July 07th 2013 print

James Allan

The ‘Fool Me Twice’ Australian civics test

Sharpen your pencils, men and women of Australia and all those in-between. Here's your chance to test your knowledge of the land where truth in politics (and on the ABC) is cheap and carbon credits are gold-plated opportunities for moral preening


With Kevin Rudd rising and falling and rising again more often than Michael Douglas before one of his regular sex cures, it’s time to take the ‘Fool Me Twice’ multiple choice Australian civics test.

Top prize wins you the equivalent of 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide abatement, or some $23,000 in Australia, less than $4,000 in the EU, and falling, almost to nothing in the US or Canada, and absolute zero in China. (Hint: We at Quadrant Online are not dumb enough to pay you the world-highest Australian rate.)

So give this a go.


1.  The best pop music lyric (poetic license included) to describe the two rural, socialist ‘independent’ MPs is:

a) ‘I would do anything for you, and I would even do that’

b) ‘Why don’t we do it in the road?’

c) ‘She loves you, ya, ya, ya’

d) ‘And she’s buying a stairway to heaven’

e) All of the above.


2.  The most implausible speaker of this quote, ‘I take comfort in the great job I’ve done and in my many accomplishments’ is:

a) Bernie Madoff

b) Lance Armstrong

c)  Benedict Arnold

d)  Peter Slipper

e)  Rob Oakeshott

 

3.  The best illustration of courage and moral character amongst the following is:

a)  Screaming at an airline stewardess for bringing the wrong meal when you’re the Prime Minister

b) Selling out all your constituents by pretending to be an independent and then propping up the worst government in Australian history and then with the polls showing you can’t win, refusing to run at the next election – but making sure that you cry a lot

c) Dumping the leader you swore you would never dump, after dumping the leader before that you swore you would never dump, in order to bring back the first dumped leader, in the hope of saving a dozen or two seats in Parliament

d)  Saying there won’t be a carbon tax to win an election and then, as soon as you win, ramming one through Parliament

e)  None of the above


4.  Pick the false and untrue (in the normal sense of ‘untrue’, not the Julia Gillard sense) statement from the following possibilities:

a) Leader A of the Australian Labor Party won the 2007 election but was dumped by Leader B before the 2010 election before, in turn, dumping Leader B before the 2013 election

b)  The Kevin Rudd initiated 2020 Summit (remember that?) was the most self-satisfied, skin-crawling, gaseous, platitude-laden, nauseous collection of sycophantic, like-minded, non-representatives of the Australian public people ever assembled under one roof

c)  Julia Gillard deceived the voters over the carbon tax, over her oft-repeated promise to run a surplus, over the mining tax, the boats, the details of how she knifed Kevin Rudd, etc etc etc

d) Bill Shorten and Wayne Swan are honourable men (Careful – I mean ‘honourable’ here in the Shakespearean sense, as articulated by Mark Antony in Julius Caesar)

e) None of the above is false


5.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the ABC, can best be described as:

a) An incredibly one-sided, left-leaning, Coalition-despising collection of Green- and Labor-voting propagandists masquerading as journalists

b) An organisation that takes over a billion dollars of taxpayer money and then, when it comes to its political coverage, is obviously and notably one that takes left of centre positions on the carbon tax, on illegal immigrants (and I use that phrase because its accurate and whatever some puffed up pseudo bureaucrat thinks), on the mining tax, on the Keynesian stimulus debate, on the merits of running (or rather not running) a surplus, on … well, everything

c) One that cannot point to a single conservative hosting any of its flagship political television shows. Not a single one. Not ever

d) Has a director, Mark Scott, whose grasp of what counts as bias is wholly deluded

e) All of the above are correct. It is impossible to choose which is the best description 

Okay, so that’s it. Now for the results.

If you picked e) for all five questions then congratulate yourself. You’re a winner. And that means you get what in Canada and the US and China amounts to nothing. Zero.

But that’s okay isn’t it because, really, instead of money and efficient industries and jobs and low costs, you prefer to be a moral exemplar showing the world the way to go even if you know that no one out there could care less. It’s all about how you feel about yourself.

Welcome to the world of bumper-sticker moralising and the core tenets of the Greens. 

This civics test was brought to you by James Allan, Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, currently on sabbatical in North America