You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Don't be afraid, Abbott says on Trump win

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016

A bemused Tony Abbott is urging people not to be frightened by democracy in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.

The former prime minister accepted the US presidential campaign was a wild ride, long and at times concerning, but says the president-elect won fair and square.

"One of the things that I found a little bemusing over the last few days is all the people who say 'sure we love democracy but only when it produces the right result'. They don't like the result therefore they've lost faith in the process," Mr Abbott told ABC radio on Friday.

Mr Abbott reminded people leaders grow in the job and noted Americans saw Mr Trump "warts and all" over the last year and a half.

"It's true that he said some very gross things about 10 years ago and you've got to hope that they were out of character," he said.

The American people think this is someone who is strong and will address their real concerns.

"In the end people are not voting for a saint or even for a role model - they're voting for a leader," the now-backbencher said.

"When people's concerns are dismissed as just the sorts of worries of a bunch of deplorables you can understand why they get very, very unhappy."

Mr Abbott agreed there are a lot people who feel disenfranchised, including in the July federal election.

"Something like 40 per cent of the Australian population refused to support either of the two parties which have governed our country since federation.

"So we have a problem."

The former prime minister said Brexit and the Trump election also prove parties shouldn't be ruled by polls.

Mr Abbott noted his successor Malcolm Turnbull is now talking a lot less about innovation and agility - and more about national security and the cost of living.

"What you've seen from Malcolm Turnbull post-election is a much more orthodox centre-right leader."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon