The great Leader of the Opposition yawnfest

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.

Categories: environment, media, parties and factions

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15 replies

  1. I was thinking that this was a great opportunity for Malcolm to get some talented women off the back benches and into the thick of things, but I suspect it is only wishful thinking. Dinosaurs is right. Alby is the local member here and he seems to dev0te a lot of media time to worrying about whether the state Nationals person is going to run for his seat when he retires. She probably will, she holds her state seat very comfortably, because she does a bloody good job. Although by nature a labor voter, I’d be very tempted to vote for her. I think Alby should have better things to worry about than who is going to be in his seat after him. He will have only one vote then.

  2. My state, Victoria, is in much the same boat. We have a Labor government and a pretty much non existant Liberal opposition. The leader is a total non entity and there is no way in hell he is going to lead the Liberals to victory in next year’s state election. I am not all that impressed with much of the Brumby Labor govt’s leadership and/or direction. John Brumby was not elected to the position by the people of Victoria, he became Premier when Steve Bracks stood down. Brumby has none of the charisma Bracksy had and has done little to maintain the support his party gets from traditional Labor voters in this state. I don’t want to vote for either party to be honest. Where I am (country area) is always but always won by a National Party member so it isn’t like my vote would count for much anyway but the point is that traditional National voters are not going to be overwhelmed with enthusiasm about voting any differently than they always have and new voters might as well write ‘WTF????’ on their ballot paper for all the ‘real’ choices there are.
    I have a soft spot for Kevvie, I think cos I hated Little Johnny so much. I cannot stand Abbott, Andrews or Turnbull. And Tuckey? Let’s not even GO there…

  3. I’m actually starting to enjoy this. Now that the Kevin Andrews fiasco is over, it’s starting to get interesting with Abbott and possibly Minchin preparing to resign. I want a bowl of popcorn stat!

  4. The Mad Monk has resigned! No popcorn yet, but still exciting.

  5. Re the Mad Monk, from the SMH article [warning: video at link, but there’s a text story below it]:

    Asked if he was going to challenge for the leadership, Mr Abbott replied: ‘‘I am not going to talk about discussions I might have had with colleagues. …”

    In other words: “I’ve spoken to people about it and I don’t have enough support at the moment.” ???

  6. I really didn’t think they’d go for another tilt at the spill before this session of Parliament closes. I thought they’d regroup to analyse yesterday’s vote. Abbott, Mirabella, Abetz and Tony Smith all resigned now, and the liberal whips have asked the parliamentarians to not leave the House. It’s On.

  7. Ha – just saw on the Twitter #spill hashtag this thought: how many journalists are actually going to turn up for the Walkley Awards ceremony tonight with all this going on?

  8. Turnbull about to give a press conference – ABC is streaming it live

  9. Ha from @clembastow on twitpic:

    Come to the Dark Side, Talc – you know you want to!

  10. Abbot’s going to challenge then. Favourite outcome: Minchin, Abbot and Abetz split off and form some gawdawful ultraconservative party, leaving the liberals to rebuild Liberal party. Likelihood of that outcome: probably minuscule. Really bad for democracy to have no effective opposition though so I really don’t want the Liberals to get any more pathetic than they already are.

  11. It would be nice if the liberal party were divested of the worst of the godbags. “Liberal” doesn’t actually mean “socially conservative” and “god bothering” but the party has really become that in the last couple of decades. It would be much better if the worst of ‘em were quarantined in their only little extremist party. And that would split the Liberal vote too, heh heh.
    I was so happy when I saw the news that Abbot had resigned. But does that not necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of him?

    • I was so happy when I saw the news that Abbot had resigned. But does that not necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of him?

      He hasn’t resigned from Parliament, he’s only resigned from the Shadow Cabinet i.e. gone to the back bench.
      All it takes to return to the front bench is a leader who wants him there, and he’s obviously hoping that he can win the votes to be that leader himself.

  12. One wonders whether Nelson and/or Costello are wishing they’d stuck around for this! (Probably not Nelson. Costello, maybe.)

  13. A split might be all fun and games until they get the balance of power. Brrrr, is it cold in here?

    • I definitely got a shiver there, L. I doubt that they will actually split though, the rightwingers know that they’ve got too much to lose.
      Looks like any vote won’t happen until Tuesday now. There’s still quite a bit of double-dealing and back-stabbing that can happen over the next few days, so who knows where the main players will be by then? Hockey seems to be trying very hard to not be handed the poison chalice – he wants someone else to lose the next election so he can then have his time in the sun seems to be the consensus.

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