It was bad enough that the spill was actually happening, but even worse that Turnbull succeeded. Now Liberal’s are saying, OK, that’s done and dusted, we have to get on with supporting the party and making sure Bill Shorten doesn’t get elected. Funny in a way, as such a statement betrays their real insecurity about what they have done. The real point though is that it is not that simple.
Immediate polls show an expected bounce for the Liberal Party. Malcolm Turnbull 70% cf. 24% Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with 6% of electors indicating either someone else, neither candidate or they couldn’t say according to a special Snap SMS Morgan Poll conducted yesterday afternoon with 1,204 Australian electors.
However betrayal of Tony Abbot has created a massive schism in Australian politics that will have consequences for years to come.
It wasn’t just a change of leader. It was a despicable cowardly betrayal, and more on that below. It was unprecedented in the Liberal Party, which in its long history has never before replaced an elected PM in his first term. Most of all though, it was a complete change of direction. Whereas politicians like to describe the ALP as “broad church” it was operating under Conservative leadership and its policies reflected this.
Suddenly it has been converted to a Progressive organisation. And there is the rub. Such a reversal is almost ideologically impossible, and if most grass roots supporters can understand that, why can’t the party hierarchy get it?
The party has been incredibly weakened in the house. Turnbull’s agreement to support Abbott’s policies is a farcical compromise that has no hope of working out. On issues such as refugees, AGW and SSM, Turnbull believes what he does and Abbott believes the opposite. So not only will Turnbull have to constantly defend ideas he does not support in the house, an impossible task, so will the whole party have to defend themselves against what is in actuality a complete denial of principled government.
The Labor party have been handed a massive advantage.
One day the Liberals “believed’ one way was right and true, next day they believe the opposite is right and true. Just ridiculous and a situation the Labor party will make hay from, and rightly so.
Then there is Malcolm Turnbull, who has constantly shown himself to be a wet progressive. He probably holds Conservatives in contempt. In his formative years he was a left winger and progressive, and he is on record as applying to join the Labor party in the nineties.
Video- Graeme Richardson tells story of Turnbull’s request to join Labor Party.
Sure, we have the example of Ronald Reagan, who moved from being a Democrat to one of the best Republican Presidents ever, but Turnbull’s development does not demonstrate the kind of ideological and philosophical shifts that occurred with Reagan.
He was a wet progressive back then, and he’s still one today. His spiritual home is the Labor party he once wanted to join. He cannot lead the Liberal Party and be true to his beliefs without taking them far left/ progressive. This is a journey that will bring division and strife that will quite probably destroy any perceived advantage resulting from Turnbull’s perceived electoral appeal.
The Liberals have to admit they made a massive error. After a suitable period of time, they have to dump Turnbull and install Scott Morrison as leader. This will go some way to restoring the damage. However, the party will be forever scarred by the treachery and unprincipled compromise that underpinned Turnbull’s takeover.
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