I started writing this piece before the counting began on Saturday’s federal election. Now, a few days later, it still may be premature to complete it, but something has to be said, even if it is still early days yet as to finally learning the actual outcome.
It may not be just a matter of days but even weeks before we learn who wins this election. And the longer things drag on, the worse it is looking for the Coalition. It may be a hung parliament at best, but a Labor win is still possible.
A minority government seems to be on the cards, with another unwieldy Senate. And the short answer to all this chaos and lack of a clear winner and a stable government is of course Malcolm Turnbull. His stabbing in the back of sitting leader Tony Abbott has come back to bite him – big time, as heaps of us had predicted.
Had he and his traitorous supporters not dumped Abbott, I believe a returned Coalition government would now be the outcome, even with perhaps a reduced majority. But now we are in limbo land once again, and Turnbull must take full responsibility for this.
I had stated various times before the July 2 election that a good outcome would be something like this: the Coalition gets back in, Turncoat Turnbull loses his seat, and a new genuine conservative leader and PM is eventually brought in. Well, Wentworth of course has always been a safe Liberal seat, so regrettably Turnbull has retained it.
But he still may lose his position as PM because of the election, and his position as Liberal leader by another party revolt. The very thing we hated and mocked in Labor is now becoming a reality with the Libs. All because of the ego and idiocy of the long-time leftist Turnbull.
So here we go again: many more months and maybe years of political instability, leadership challenges and a hostile Senate which will stymie most bits of legislative change. Just what Australia needs – and all because of Turnbull. As one wit put it: “The election summed up: minority government in the Reps and the Bar Scene from Star Wars in the Senate.”
If the Coalition just manages to scrape back in, the heat will still be on Shorten. An Albanese challenge has already been mooted, and Shorten should have romped this one in. And other fallout is still likely: the hyper leftist running Victoria, Dan Andrews, may also be given the flick, since his idiotic moves just prior to the election, including the CFA debacle, cost Labor dearly there.
So he may soon be history, which would be a bit of good news out of this fiasco of an election. The few other bits of good news include the fact that the so-called conservative independents who last time sided with Labor have lost in their attempts to get back in. So long and good riddance Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.
And in my eyes, more good news is this: many of those who plotted against Abbott have now lost their seats! Good. As one news report puts it:
The Coalition has “paid the price” in western Sydney and regional Queensland for dumping Tony Abbott in favour of Malcolm Turnbull, while the current Prime Minister’s chief leadership plotters have felt the force of voter revenge. The 4.2 per cent swing against Mr Turnbull in his home state of NSW was stronger than the national average of 3.7 per cent, as “Tony’s Tradies” turned against the man who ousted Mr Abbott as prime minister.
Seven Liberal MPs lost their seats and former NSW ALP state secretary, senator Sam Dastyari, said the Coalition had “paid the price” for underestimating how “loved and incredibly popular” Mr Abbott was in west and southwest Sydney. “His conservative social values, his personality traits: those same characteristics that were ridiculed and mocked by elements of the Sydney establishment elite were exactly the qualities that endeared him to many people in west and southwest Sydney.”
Thus some of the major plotters against Abbott such as Peter Hendy, Wyatt Roy and Luke Simpkins are now history. Hmm, what goes around comes around. While we still do not know how all this will turn out, we already have desperate leaders calling the independents and those from smaller parties, hoping to get their support.
Both Turnbull and Shorten need their help to form any kind of half-way stable government. Except for Katter, it may be anyone’s guess how the others align themselves. With the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage Xenophon, we cannot expect any real help from his new team.
But the real story here, as already suggested, is simply this: Abbott should never have been knifed by Turnbull. Sure, we can talk about Labor lies on Medicare, etc, but the real villain here is Turnbull. He claimed that this act of treachery would improve Coalition chances at the next poll. He has been proven to be dead wrong.
The twenty-plus seat lead from the last election has been obliterated, and we still face the prospect of a Labor government getting into power. Let me just finish with some conservative voices on the state of play thus far. Commentator Andrew Bolt was absolutely livid on Sky news Saturday night (as he should well have been), tearing into Turnbull. As he later wrote:
Malcolm, you assassinated a Liberal Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who’d won an election by a huge margin. You promised to do even better than him. You then treated the Liberal base like dirt, smashing it with a huge super tax, refusing to speak to conservative journalists, repeatedly humiliating Abbott.
You referred to the colonial settlement of Australia as an “invasion” and even held an end-of-Ramadan meal with known Muslim bigots. You called an early double dissolution election on the excuse of needing new laws to tackle rogue unions with a building and construction commission, but with the true aim of getting rid of crossbench oppositionists in the Senate. You went to the election with basically only one policy to sell – a pathetic 10-year promise to cut company tax. And now look. Almost everything turned to ruin.
Larry Pickering put it this way:
Abbott must have slept last night with a wry smile on his face. He had killed off the Rudd/Gillard nightmare and despite the Senate he had stopped the boats and destroyed Labor’s damaging mining and carbon taxes. Abbott was on the way to a comfortable 2016 win. Turnbull has taken all of Abbott’s record 2013 landslide and trashed it… nothing left, good people gone forever, just to satisfy Turnbull’s unhealthy, lustful, egocentric craving for The Lodge… a craving he has nursed for decades.
Steve Kates over at Catallaxy put it this way:
Do those political morons who led the coup really believe that the result we have actually had is better than the one we would have had if Tony had still been leader? And listening to the campaign speech delivered six hours after the polls had closed made me appreciate just what a guilty mind Malcolm obviously now has. Other than the brute fact of his steel-plated ego protector, he would have fallen on his sword tonight, instead of telling us what a genius he’d been in destroying a party structure and policy position that had been carefully crafted over those many years of opposition and then in the first year and a half of government. He has also created a Senate eminently workable for a Labor Government but one in which the Coalition will be hard pressed to get a single issue of substance legislated.
Rita Panahi was equally scathing:
How do you a turn a record primary vote and massive majority into a possible hung parliament and demoralising loss? You elect Malcolm Turnbull as your leader. Duplicitous, arrogant and out of touch, the Prime Minister ran a terrible campaign that appalled conservatives, underwhelmed the Centre and amused the Left.
Put simply, Turnbull is a dud; there has never been a politician whose abilities have been more over-estimated, nor a man who better personifies style over substance. How much longer will conservatives allow a perfidious impostor to devastate the party of Menzies and Howard? He not only made Bill Shorten look prime ministerial but also, in a huge error of judgment, refused to attack Labor’s weak points such as border security and the reintroduction of a carbon tax via an ETS. Indeed if it wasn’t for Premier Dan Andrews’s attacks on the CFA in Victoria, Shorten would today be preparing for the Lodge instead of fighting off Anthony Albanese for the Labor leadership.
Today Bolt said this:
Malcolm Turnbull is complaining that Labor’s Mediscare lies cost him the victory he wanted. An ”extraordinary act of dishonesty,” he raged. True, those lies were outrageous and possibly even criminal. But Turnbull essentially lost this election (to the extent he has lost it) before the election campaign even started.
Remember: the Coalition actually went into this election from behind, and that is entirely due to Turnbull’s seven wasted months of waffling and dithering and musing about great big new taxes. Stabbing Abbott didn’t help, either. Those seven months is where the real solutions to this catastrophe lie, and whingeing about Mediscare is just the sound of people refusing to face reality – that Malcolm Turnbull is a disastrous leader.
This humiliation is not the result of a scare in the last fortnight of the campaign. The seeds for this Liberal disaster were sown last year, and the die was cast with the Budget. Now the Liberals – and everyone else – must deal with the consequences.
The solution is to get Turnbull out and Abbott back in. As Terry McCrann wrote:
Malcolm Turnbull has to go. Immediately. If he won’t resign, he has to be sacked by his party, or by the National Party refusing to form a coalition — in government or in opposition — under his leadership. Turnbull’s departure — not just from the Lodge but from parliament — is in the interests of the Coalition and of the country. We simply cannot afford, we simply cannot risk, a government that continues to be led by someone as monumentally inept, in political and policy terms, as Turnbull.
It is irrelevant whether the government manages to scrape back with a razor-thin majority or we are taken back to a 2010 future with a minority government. Even with a (slim) majority government, he would be completely unable to function with the Senate mess that he has single-handedly created.
Or as Bolt puts it:
Tony Abbott must return as leader of the shattered Liberals after Saturday’s election disaster. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull out, Abbott in — even if journalists still sneer. True, Abbott ideally needs months more to repair the image that a smart-arse media tore to shreds, feeding off his sometimes dumb mistakes. But who else but Abbott could hope to fix what Turnbull has just smashed?
This election result has been a near-total catastrophe for the Liberals, who have been left without a mandate, platform, unity, honour or real power after letting Turnbull hijack their party last year. Turnbull, a man of the ABC Left, then ditched the Liberals’ base, Liberal principles and even the Liberals’ party colours to campaign on virtually nothing but a fantasy tax cut for business.
We still do not know the final count. And we may not know for quite some time, incredibly. But what we do know for sure is Turnbull is a lefty fraud who has damaged not just the conservative brand but has ruined the Liberal party big time. The only hope now for the Libs is to dump Turnbull and get back to its conservative base and principles. Labor-lite just does not cut it.