After a year of discovering who really runs Australia, The Power Index is finally set to reveal the country's fifty most powerful people.
Throughout July, Paul Barry and The Power Index team will be counting down the most influential people in the nation from business, media, politics, sport and culture.
The Power 50 / 2012
Born in: North Sydney
Home Town: Sydney
Joe Hockey looks set to have the toughest job in Australian politics come September next year. That's when, if current polls bear out over the next 18 months, he'll become Treasurer.
It will be the moment of truth for a man whose stint as shadow Treasurer -- from February 2009, when he replaced the accident-prone Julie Bishop -- has been marked by struggles over fiscal credibility and ongoing battles with the economic irrationalist wing of the Coalition: the Nationals and economic interventionists.
With an easygoing demeanour and a Beazleyesque girth, Hockey's long battled perceptions that he's too nice for the hard stuff of politics. Many in the business community regard him as a lightweight -- "buffoon" is one of the harsher terms thrown around.
What Hockey definitely has is, for a politician, the dangerous quality of an open mind. Too open, say his critics -- he's the man who famously damaged his leadership prospects by asking his Twitter followers what they thought about climate action. Senior politicians are supposed to be men and women of conviction, certain in their beliefs and hellbent on implementing their agenda.
Still, business and economists will be hoping Hockey continues to strengthen into the party's economic disciplinarian who'll keep a big-government leader and the Nationals under control.