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Wikipedia Summary for John Hewson

John Robert Hewson AM (born 28 October 1946) is a former Australian politician who served as leader of the Liberal Party from 1990 to 1994. He led the Liberal-National Coalition to defeat at the 1993 Australian federal election.

Hewson was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and earned a PhD in Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He has also attained degrees from the University of Sydney and the University of Regina. Before entering politics, Hewson worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank of Australia, an economic advisor to the Fraser Government, a business journalist, and a director of Macquarie Bank.

In 1987, Hewson was elected to the House of Representatives. He was appointed to the shadow cabinet in 1988, serving under John Howard and Andrew Peacock. After Peacock lost the 1990 election, Hewson was elected leader of the Liberal Party in his place, thus becoming Leader of the Opposition. In 1991, he launched the Fightback! policy manifesto, which proposed a series of major economic reforms with a goods and services tax (GST) as its centrepiece.

Political platforms in the 1993 federal election focused mainly on economic policy, especially on how Australia should respond to the early 1990s recession. The Labor Party – led by Paul Keating – had been in power for 10 years at that point, but many polls suggested a Coalition victory. However, Labor was able to mount a successful countercampaign, with the party's net increase in seats allowing Keating to remain prime minister. Hewson continued on as Liberal leader for another year, losing a leadership spill to Alexander Downer in 1994. He left parliament the following year. Since then, Hewson has continued to be a public expert in business and political commentary. He resigned his Liberal Party membership in 2019, having been a critic of its policy direction for a number of years, particularly on climate change.

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--John Hewson
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