On Saturday the Liberals discovered they were elected to govern and not born to rule.
Given the numbers I expect a hung Parliament (House of Representatives actually) and, given how the ‘independents’ will break, Bill Shorten should soon be the seventh PM in under ten years. This is entirely due to the Delcon dummy spit and will be a test of the James Allan hypothesis that a one term Labor government will allow the Liberals to rediscover their principles in opposition and return to office espousing the conservative values that Jim holds so dear.
But I digress.
Conservatives are out in force blaming Malcolm Turnbull for the election debacle. To be sure an early, winter, double dissolution, election wasn’t a smart move. Being first amongst equals means that Turnbull has to carry the ultimate responsibility.
Here is Rita Panihi:
“It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees,” said Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. It’s worse still to die on your knees which is the fate of the Coalition under Turnbull.
Here is Andrew Bolt:
TONY Abbott must return as leader of the shattered Liberals after Saturday’s election disaster.
Let’s not over-react. Malcolm Turnbull never lied to me.
The Liberals have a culture problem – not a Turnbull problem or even an Abbott problem. They have a ‘take our friends for granted’ problem. As I’ve suggested before they break their promises to their friends and keep their promises to their enemies. Liberal voters bear the brunt of Labor’s redistributive politics of envy and are then expected to make sacrifices in the ‘national interest’.
The Super ‘reforms’ are just the latest example of this; and people have woken up to it. Just last week Julie Bishop was offering to ‘explain’:
Asked about the backlash today, Ms Bishop said she planned to explain to Liberal members in Curtin that most would be unaffected by the moves.
“I will be sitting down with those branch members and advising them of the changes and that 96 per cent of superannuants will either be better off or not affected,” she said.
“And so I will be able to go through the particular circumstance with each branch member and I am sure that they will see that what we are seeking to do is maintain integrity in our superannuation system, make it fairer and ensure that it is fit for its intended purpose — that is for retirement income.
Instead of abandoning a policy that their voters hated, the Liberals were going to ‘explain’ the policy.
That is the problem. The Liberals have failed because they have become disconnected from their roots. Both Abbott and Turnbull are guilty – so blaming one or the other won’t improve Liberal prospects at the next election. There needs to be a change in culture, not just the leadership.