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Top 7 Australian Political Gaffes

Policy making is serious business, but sometimes we’re allowed a few laughs at our politicians. Here are 7 cringeworthy moments from Australia’s politicians that we just don’t want to forget.


Shhh! She Doesn’t Talk About Polls She Doesn’t Like

If ever there was a YouTube video to watch over again, it’s Labor MP, Emma Husar’s cringeworthy interview that turns into a lesson on how to use polls.



Buggering Up

In 1989, Prime Minister Bob Hawke was confronted by a 74 year-old voter in Whyalla, SA, who claimed the Prime Minister earnt more than the voter earnt in a week. In response, Hawke called the man a “silly old bugger”. Afterwards, Hawke apologised and despite claims he tried to stop TV networks from airing the footage, Bob would go on to win the 1990 election.





A Few Pointers Needed

Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz spoke a lot about ‘policy’ in the 2013 election but it was very clear he hadn’t read any, especially when it came to detailing a six-point plan of the Abbot Government to ‘stop the boats’.




Reds Coming Out From Under The Bed

In 1971, Labor Leader Gough Whitlam announced his plan to visit “Red China”, a country Australia did not recognise at the time. Prime Minister Billy McMahon called Whitlam “the running dog of Chairman Mao”, only to find out that US president Richard Nixon also had plans to visit China.





Ford vs. Holden

No political speech is touching without mention of a real-life story about an ordinary Australian. It truly is “a family tradition” when you have “an uncle and an aunt, two brothers in law here working at Ford”, claimed Rudd at a car manufacturing plant. Rudd quickly realised he was speaking to Holden workers.




Islam is a country?


Queensland One National Candidate Stephanie Banister must have missed her geography classes at school. During an interview with Channel 7 news in 2013, Banister claimed “I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia.” She later dropped out of the election.




Twitter Rant

We’re not entirely sure that this incident was a gaffe, however it deserves an honourable mention for its widespread media coverage. Senator Leyonhjelm and one Twitter user got into an exchange on free speech and everything was on the table, including a lot of colourful language. Note to self: do not engage in a Twitter war with Senator David Leyonhjelm.


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