Rudd has so effectively wedged the Libs on virtually every issue of importance over the last year that they simply might as well not even bother turning up to the House, and I don’t think that’s a good thing for our system of government at all. I wish we actually had a more effective Federal Opposition (one here in NSW would be good as well), because I’m a firm believer that those holding the reins of government ought to be scrutinised and challenged effectively on a regular basis.
But the current Liberal Party of Australia? They’re not it, and Turnbull isn’t the man to make them it, despite surviving the leadership challenge that never was.
Normally with such spill motion numbers one could probably expect another go-around in a few weeks, with a credible contender instead of risible stalking-horse Kevin Andrews, but as Mark Bahnisch points out, Parliament rises on Friday and doesn’t return until February, so he’s pretty safe from further leadership challenges (which require a vote of the Parliamentary party) until then. If he can manage to muzzle and marginalise dinosaurs like Wilson Tuckey, Kevin Andrews, Alby Schultz, Nick Minchin et al over the next few months, Turnbull might stand some sort of chance of stabilising his leadership for next year’s Parliamentary sittings. I’d love to see Tony Abbott and Andrew Robb kicked to the kerb, but given Abbott’s support of Turnbull against the spill motion and Robb’s current troubles with depression making him sympathetic electorally, neither is likely to get their just deserts.
And what does all this mean for the Emissions Trading Scheme Bill? Tepid and polluter-friendly as it is? It’s a blow of sorts against the AGW denialists in the Libs, but they haven’t had their fangs pulled yet. I’d love to agree with Wilson Tuckey’s assessment that if the Libs support the ETS bill then they will be whittled down to only 10-12 seats in the next election, but I do think he’s barking bonkers on that (and everything else, of course). Still, a tree-hugging feminist harpy can dream.