Do you remember how we Aussies used to sneer at the political situations in South American countries?
All those unstable democracies with tin-pot leaders lurching from crisis to crisis?
Well, guess what?
The rest of the world now looks at Australia in the same light.
In fact, if Labor wins government next year, Australia will have had more leaders in the past 10 years than Italy, another country widely derided for its political instability.
We are now the coup capital of the world.
And it’s not just others laughing.
An old school friend of mine (they all are, these days) has sent me a message saying: “Another Australian Prime Minister, time to change the batteries in the smoke alarms!”
It would be a lot funnier if it wasn’t so true.
The country is enjoying its 27th consecutive year of economic growth, the economy is going well, jobs growth is strong, and the ruling party tosses out a popular PM for no substantial reason.
Does that make sense to you?
It’s becoming not so much an issue of IF Labor wins next election, but WHEN.
The latest Newspoll taken after the Canberra upheaval showed a 5.5% swing to Labor which would have given them 90 seats to the Coalition’s 55.
That would be a massive landslide!
The pity of it is that the schemers are probably in relatively safe seats which they will retain: it will be the younger more progressive Liberals who will pay the price as the party moves into irrelevancy.
Could it be that the Nationals might become the major partner in time?
Just as interestingly, the poll for better PM gave Shorten the lead for the first time ever at 39% to Morrison’s 33%.
No honeymoon there for the new PM.
Shorten couldn’t get near Turnbull, all of which makes you wonder about the Liberal brains trust which engineered his fall.
The second biggest loser was of course Dutton who failed to organize a successful coup.
Never-the-less he has been reinstated to his previous ministry (less Immigration) but may not be quite as powerful as he once was.
However it is starting to look like someone has it in for him as damaging details about his ministerial interventions come to light.
So far the stories are about a couple of au pairs but there may be more to come.
Critics believe he has acquiesced to one sponsor because he was a big donor to the Liberals, while the other was a previous workmate.
Not a good look for fairness and accountability, but great for Karma.
The biggest criticism of his actions comes from the wording of his justifications, where he asserts the need for “humanitarian,” “humane” and “generous” acts.
This from the man who refused temporary entry to sick and dying refugees, including several young children.
Much like the white South African farmers he recently sympathised with, it seems that young female housemaids with the right connections are a different class.
There are a few others in the mix who were not the main players but deserve a mention anyway.
Kevin Hogan is the National Party Member for Page on the NSW North Coast.
He came across as a sincere man of principle when he publicly objected to the Liberals’ behaviour and threatened to sit on the cross benches if they persisted.
He has since maintained he will do exactly that, creating a hung parliament, although he will support the government on motions of confidence and supply.
He seems to have broad support in his electorate.
We need more people with his qualities in the house, whatever party they belong to.
Another National who spoke out strongly was Darren Chester, the Victorian Member for Gippsland.
Chester spoke candidly and impressively when he stated that all options were on the table if the PM were rolled, implying he might follow Hogan’s lead.
However he seems to have been mollified by Morrison’s win and has since withdrawn his threat.
Local Member for Riverina Michael McCormack kept his head down all week but no doubt was active behind the scenes.
Still with a low profile as Deputy Prime Minister, he seems to be growing into the role of leader of the Nationals.
Of some concern to him might be the actions of his previous leader who managed to have a few cameras focussed on him during the shenanigans.
The Liberals have got Abbott: it is not a huge leap of the imagination for the Nationals to have Joyce stirring up trouble as he tries to reset his career.
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is a NSW senator from Wollongong, not up for re-election until 2022.
She was the first of Turnbull’s ministers to make her letter of resignation public, ensuring she received plenty of publicity in the process.
Her efforts to justify her decision were excruciating to watch as she painfully struggled to explain the inexplicable.
Her previous career was as a legal officer: had she been in court instead of before a camera, the judge may well have found her an unreliable witness.
Julia Banks was a successful lawyer before entering politics by winning the seat of Chisholm in Victoria in 2016.
She was the only Liberal to take a seat from Labor that year and should have been a star recruit, but it seems she was not fully welcomed into the fold.
Regrettably, she has announced she will not recontest her seat next year because of the bullying she received from the Dutton camp.
The party’s right-wingers claim to be concerned about losing voters to One Nation but are perfectly happy to sacrifice a non-aligned sitting member to their zealotry.
This week’s dedication has to go again to all the schemers and plotters in Canberra, and is James Blunt’s 2010 song titled “Best Laid Plans.”
One can say no more.
Feather Duster No 3
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