It is barely a year since the last federal election, but already the political heat is building to discard Malcolm Turnbull as Leader of the ruling Coalition Party.
Turnbull is charged with departing from the core conservative values of the Liberal Party, to embrace the policies of the left, such as needs-based education funding, the national disability scheme, and now seeking consensus with the opposition on the future of energy planning in relation to climate change. Furthermore there is scare-mongering that the next target will be the legalization of gay marriage!
It is not that long ago (2007) that Kevin Rudd similarly had an over-whelming win over a jaded John Howard. Yet he was deposed by Julia Gillard in the lead-up to the 2010 election. She did manage to scrape back in for Labor by forming a minority government, but eventually, three years later, Kevin Rudd had his revenge and was re-instated to the leadership. Not-surprisingly, he lost the subsequent election.
Will political history be repeated by the Liberal Party? Whatever the outcome in the next 6-12 months, the in-fighting is likely to be damaging for their chances of winning another term. A Labor win would almost certainly ensure the passage of gay marriage legislation.
I dislike repetitive sloganeering, such as Abbott’s labeling of carbon trading charges as a “carbon tax”, and Shorten’s oft repeated assertion that the Coalition would dismantle Medicare. But it is the unbalanced reporting of news events, and at times ridicule of political opponents, by powerful biased media figures, that I find most distasteful.
Alan Jones September 2012, trying to be funny, suggested on air that Julia Gillard should be “put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea”. In the height of bad taste he also suggested that Julia Gillard’s recently deceased father died of shame thinking he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament.
Politicians are duty bound to represent the interests of their supporter base, but also have an obligation to all Australians. The public is more likely to support moderates who respect the national interest than those with extreme or narrow views.
Arguably Tony Abbott lost office because he gave the perception that he was more concerned with preserving privilege for conservative supporters, than in promoting private enterprise and the upwards mobility of the less fortunate.