Malcolm Turnbull has won the 2016 Australian Election. He got there by the skin of his teeth, but no one can dispute that he is entitled to form a government.

Now, he has to make it all work for the good of Australia and for the sake of his own political future.

What a hell of a task both jobs will prove to be as he has three Opposition leaders – Abbott, Shorten and Joyce, in that order.

We should look first of all at his chances of staying in power as he will have to spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring that this happens.

Tony Abbott will never again become Prime Minister, but he does have the power to lead a significant right wing revolt against Turnbull and replace him at an appropriate time with someone from the moderate right such as Christian Porter or Josh Frydenberg, even though neither will openly campaign for the job. Abbott won’t rest until his revenge is complete, particularly as he has a lot of mates on the extreme right who will gladly help him.

Bill Shorten performed better in the election than most people expected and will do even better in the future if he concentrates on presenting himself as an alternative Prime Minister, not an Opposition Leader. This is an important issue as I have not met a single soul anywhere who has told me that we must have Bill Shorten as our Prime Minister. He prospered in the 2016 election because he was not Turnbull. He now has to improve on that and do so quickly.

Barnaby Joyce has never been a status quo man, nor will he ever be. He will rock the boat mightily in Cabinet to ensure that his expanded band of Nationals have influence beyond their entitlement. In addition, right wing Liberals will encourage him to keep hauling Malcolm Turnbull back towards the right. He has a mandate to do this as he won New England because voters in the bush almost totally rejected Turnbull and wanted Barnaby there to keep a tight rein on him. Besides which, it is time the Nationals concentrated on developing regional Australia instead of just seeking to share political power with the Liberals.

Then there are the voters.

Only about a third of them actually voted directly for Turnbull, so he has very little political capital left out there in voter land. He cannot afford to have the polls turn against him or his political enemies will have a field day, causing his demise in months, not years.

All of this raises the question of whether or not he has a political mandate and whether that mandate is good for Australia.

He says that he has, but the cold hard facts are that he does not. But for less than a few thousand votes spread over ten seats, he would have been tossed unceremoniously out of power.

There is not one single policy that he put to the voters that was applauded universally during the campaign, certainly not his plans for middle class welfare such as tax cuts and negative gearing that have been discredited by all sane economists for many decades.

If Turnbull has a mandate, then Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon must certainly have one too.

What Turnbull and Shorten don’t seem to realise is that they have a glorious opportunity to come to bipartisan agreement on many major policies, such as Superannuation reform as their policies on this issue are not far apart and recognise the eternal truth that Superannuation was never ever meant to be a tax haven for anyone.

They can render the cross bench powerless by working together to create quality reforms such as curbing the excesses of both the Trade Union Movement and the pampered realm of Corporate Australia, neither of which are serving Australia at all well.

Australia will applaud them if they become statesmen who work together.

There can be no doubt that Australia’s fragile Parliament is the result of a vote by a disgusted nation similar to what happened with the Brexit decision in Britain and will be repeated with Donald Trump in USA.

This revolt will grow daily while political leaders ignore the fact that voters have had an absolute gutful of the political establishment. Sadly, Turnbull gives the appearance of continuing to do right now.

I fear that the Coalition has the potential to tear itself apart to the extent that Australia will face another divisive election early next year which will create yet another dysfunctional Parliament.

The evidence of growing anarchy lies clearly before us. Voters rightly revolted against the arrogant Senate Reforms that Turnbull called Parliament back to especially pass, creating the most stupid Senate voting paper I have ever seen.

It will be a national joke for the rest of the century.

Australia deserves better.

I am ready to cheer Turnbull if he can radically change his inept political ways.

Yours at Large,

Everald Compton

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6 thoughts on “THE PURSUIT OF POWER

  1. Carlo Bongarzoni

    Everald – I totally agree with you on all counts! But like you I fear we are destined to degrade ourselves further before we get our own sort of Brexit which by the way I was 100% for – for all the reasons and more put by Lord Griffiths so aptly in the weekend Australian. Unfortunately too although an optimist all my life I see ominous signs in geopolitics that are very reminiscent of circumstances leading up to WW 2. The West is disarming; allowing too much rope to Putin and China and now Erdokan. We are allowing a vacuum that they are only too eager to fill and the longer we continue to appease and find excuses for inaction the more likely we’ll stumble into conflict. Australia’s own non –action is deplorable Regards carlo

    Carlo Bongarzoni

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  2. Gabrielle Drinkwater

    As always Everald, Yours seems to be the TOO RARE VOICE of REASON..Thank You…Now what besides twiddle our thumbs do we do? To me it feels like a day before Gladatorial Events begin! But THE STADIUM is now CLOSED ! OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY .is in CONFUSION and OUR ELECTED FIXIT PEOPLE are TAKING a HOLIDAY!, JOKE!

  3. Thanks again, Everald, for your incisive and wide-ranging comments on the recent election.
    They were a tonic for my soul.
    You present a true, statesmanlke summary of the vagaries of our present polity—how I wish you
    would contribute to a wider media outlet, such as “The Conversation” !
    For the long period allowed for protracted postal voting, and the mail-out of how-to vote cards, appears to a seasoned canvasser to be a ploy to maintain the ‘status quo’, with the minimum amount of deep thought.

  4. Thanks again, Everald, for your incisive and wide-ranging comments on the recent election.
    They were a tonic for my soul.
    You present a true, statesmanlke summary of the vagaries of our present polity—how I wish you would contribute to a wider media outlet, such as “The Conversation” !
    For the long period allowed for protracted postal voting, and the mail-out of how-to vote cards, appears to a seasonedcanvasser

  5. Rod Foster

    I also would hope that Turnbull can cahange his ways. I have been great admirer of Turnbull over the years yet he seems to have a Tin Ear when it comes to Leading. Of course as it’s been pointed out by various commentators both Howard and Menzies had a “near death” experience and both made the approriate changes and became our best PM’s – Hawke also until Keating rolled him. I want to see Turnbull succeed and he can if he lets go of his ego and says and does the things that a Leader does.
    As to the campaign this was absolutely disastrous and I blame not only Turnbull and Morrison but the Federal Liberal Party which just “Lost It”. I thought the Bill Leak Cartoon where he depicts a shop full of huge artillery shells for sale labelled with ways to clean up Shorten & Co and one shop assistant says to the other, “Well what did he buy?” The reply is “A lettuce sandwich.” Shorten and Labor would have been a disaster. And the Mediscare lie was the best thing Turnbull had to kill Shorten but he simply rolled over and whinged – Abbott would have not done that. And by the way I don’t want to see Abbott back and why doesn’t he go and play in someone else’s back yard?
    I think that Hanson and Xenophon could both make a contribution and it’s interesting how the voters went this way instead of giving their vote to Labor. In fact the population has a lot of sympathy with the Hanson ideas. I doubt that a Royal Commission into Islam would acheive anything if it is at all proper but the Left has a lot to answer for by giving Islam so much sympathy.

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