There is a question Tony Abbott has never answered. Perhaps he has never been asked. I cannot find any record of an answer.
It goes back to the aftermath of the 2010 election. You might consider that ancient history, not worth going into now, but it goes to the nature of the man — and this is relevant to his turbulent federal government.
The 2010 election was brought on early after the sudden replacement of Labor leader Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard. The election was a tie so Abbott and Gillard had to negotiate with three Independents in an attempt to form a minority government.
Abbott lost those negotiations, despite or possibly because of some outrageous promises or offers he made to the Independents. Asked about his failure, he said he felt some of the people he was negotiating with had already made up their minds.
Gillard was able to form a minority government (one that depends on the continued support of Independents). From that moment, Abbott referred to her government as “illegitimate” because it needed this Independent support to govern. This ignores the fact that his Liberal party could not govern without the support of the National party, which in Opposition and in government forms the Liberal National Party coalition.
Now, the unanswered question is: Why would your government not be illegitimate if you had won the support of Independents and depended on their continued support to govern?
Why would Abbott’s position be any different to Gillard’s? To my knowledge, no one has asked him.
That raises another question: Why has no one asked?
The situation highlights Abbott’s remarkable hypocrisy and goes to his attitude and therefore his nature.
In the years that followed the September 2010 election Abbott fought tooth and nail to bring down the Labor government. He described the Labor government as illegitimate and he twisted what Gillard said about her determination to price carbon pollution by referring to the carbon price as the “toxic carbon tax”.
Because Abbott lost the negotiations with the Independents, negotiations with minorities became anathema to him. He swore if he formed a future government there would be no negotiations with minorities to get legislation through the parliament.
The links provided above, and the daily news reports, show that the government Abbott formed in September 2013, with a large majority, has experienced constant difficulty in getting its legislation through both houses of parliament — despite, and sometimes only with, negotiations with Independents and minority parties.