Leslie, Tim, et al: Prime Ministers’ careers graphically presented

Leslie, Tim, Louis Stowasser, Ben Spraggon & Matthew Liddy

From Menzies to Malcolm: the careers of Australia’s prime ministers visualised‘, ABC News, 25 September 2015

Handy graphic version on one screen of the careers of 18 prime ministers, showing periods as minister, shadow minister, PM and Opposition Leader, plus significant events. No new information but mousing over presents plenty of data in easy form. Brief summary thoughts beneath under the heading pinched from Abbott, ‘A game of snakes and ladders’.(Will Malcolm Turnbull be remembered as a Menzies or a Fadden? Who was the second guy again? Look him up on the chart.)

Shades of red for Labor, blue for Liberals, Green for (then) Country Party. Seeing it this way emphasises the dominance of Menzies, Howard and Hawke, the longevity of various Liberals in subordinate positions waiting for the departure of Menzies Mark II, and the instability of recent years (shorter lines).

Frank Forde, a solitary week in the big office in 1945, looks even sadder in this format, which looks unnervingly like sausages hanging on strings. But then Bismarck did say something about law-making and the manufacture of snags.

All in all, well done, ABC. As for PMs leaving office, there is something coming soon from the authority in that field, Norman Abjorensen. (A taste here.)

David Stephens

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