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Who is Scott Morrison? Meet Australia’s sixth Prime Minister in 11 years

Who is Scott Morrison? Meet Australia’s sixth Prime Minister in 11 years

Scott Morrison is Australia's new Prime Minister

Australia just got its sixth Prime Minister in 11 years, Scott Morrison.

After a nail-biting week of speculation and challenges for the leadership, the Liberal Party’s (which is actually the conservative-leaning party in Australia) Scott Morrison is now the Prime Minister, with Josh Frydenberg as the Deputy Leader.

It comes about after years of political instability on both sides of the two-party system.

Let’s try to break it down

It all started in 2010 when Labor’s Julia Gillard overthrew Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Then in 2013, Rudd overthrew Gillard to reclaim the Prime Ministership back.

This back-and-forth caused the Australian public to vote out the Labor party at the 2013 Federal election and vote in Liberal party leader Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott was Prime Minister for all of two years, before the Liberal party voted to overthrow him and vote in Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull then won the 2016 election.

He served as PM for three years, until today (24 August), when the Liberal Party ousted him and then voted in Scott Morrison.

This effectively means that no sitting Prime Minister since 2007 has completed a full term in office.

Scott Morrison: Everything you need to know

Scott Morrison is a Pentecostal Christian.

For this reason, he voted against same-sex marriage during the country’s recent debate. He also advocated for religious institutions to be able to discriminate against LGBTI people.

He was against the ‘Safe Schools’ program, which aimed to teach kids in Australian schools about gender and sexual minorities. The program was shut down last year.

Scott Morrison
Photo: Scott Morrison MP – ScoMo / Facebook

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) threw their support behind Scott Morrison today after the news broke.

The ACL were the leading campaigners against same-sex marriage at the end of last year.

ACL’s managing director Martyn Iles said in a statement on Twitter: ‘ACL congratulates Prime Minister elect Morrison.’

The statement continued: ‘We look forward to continuing our constructive conversation with the government on religious freedom. Religious freedom must be a priory (sic) for the Morrison ministry in light of increasing numbers of Australians who are getting in trouble with the law for living out their faith.’

When footballer Israel Folau came under fire earlier this year for saying ‘hell’ is God’s plan for gay people, Scott Morrison defended him.

Morrison said at the time: ‘Good for him for standing up for his faith.

‘I think he wouldn’t have wanted to intend to have offended or hurt anyone, because that’s very much against the faith that he feels so passionately about, but he’s shown I think a lot of strength of character in just standing up for what he believes in, and I think that’s what this country’s all about,’ he said.

Marriage equality postal vote survey

Liberal Party minister Peter Dutton came up with the idea of the plebiscite and non-binding postal survey.

Many LGBTI Australians believed the glorified public opinion poll would have a negative affect on the mental health of LGBTI Australians.

Studies have shown this was indeed the case.

The postal survey was also a known stalling tactic and hugely expensive. It cost the Government $122 million (£69 million €77 million US$89 million).

The postal survey took a huge toll on Malcolm Turnbull’s public approval rating – who personally supported same-sex marriage but couldn’t convince his fellow Liberal Party MPs.

But guess how Scott Morrison voted? He voted in favor of a plebiscite and then abstained from voting in Parliament.

Morrison’s hardline immigration stance

For a short time, Scott Morrison was the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

In this role, he tried to deport a gay Pakistani man out of Australia even though he was living with his Australian partner.

It caused a huge furore because it’s illegal to be gay in Pakistan.

Scott Morrison MP
Photo: Scott Morrison MP – ScoMo / Facebook

Scott Morrison also willingly resettled LGBTI asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea – a country where it’s also illegal to be gay.

Morrison’s hardline stance on immigration caused his public approval to plummet.

So in an effort to soften his image, some commentators noticed Morrison consciously started wearing more lavender-colored clothes. No, seriously – he did.

He also started reading to school kids more.

Scott Morrison also previously blamed young people for Australia’s economic problems, as well as said getting a job is ‘a prescription‘ for young people with mental health problems.