Abbott anti-rape mantra not on: Greens

Posted on August 3, 2010


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s bid to win female votes may have just taken a hit after what the Greens describe as an “inappropriate” anti-rape mantra levelled at his counterpart.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has thrown down the debate gauntlet to Mr Abbott after initially rejecting his call for three debates.

The pair held what was meant to be their one and only debate at the end of the first week of the election campaign.

On Monday, Ms Gillard changed her mind, publicly challenging Mr Abbott to a second debate on the economy.

Mr Abbott has rejected her offer saying it clashes with his campaigning schedule.

“Labor had the chance to have three debates at the start of the campaign, they repeatedly refused and frankly, things have moved on, the time for changing the rules has passed,” he told reporters in Brisbane.

“She said no repeatedly, and when she said no, I thought she meant no.”

This is a term commonly used to describe a women’s right to say no to sex.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told reporters there should be three debates that should include Greens Leader Bob Brown.

“In relation to Tony Abbott’s comments, I do think they’re inappropriate,” Senator Hanson-Young told reporters in Brisbane.

“Like his colleague Barnaby Joyce, perhaps he is suffering from a bit of foot-in-mouth disease.”

Senator Joyce commented on ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night that asylum seekers could bring foot and mouth disease into the country.