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Dump Abbott

The pragmatic obvious strong case for dumping Tony Abbott from the leadership of the Liberal Party and replacing him with Malcolm Turnbull is the fact, that with 60% voter support, Turnbull enjoys twice the popular support of Abbott.  Moreover while it is true that much of Turnbull’s support is among Labor voters a majority of Liberal voters now support him as well. The prospects for a Coalition win at the next Federal election are much improved with Abbott gone.  The less pragmatic, but more important, case for replacing Abbott is that he displays none of the principled intelligence that Turnbull does.  Turnbull is an intelligent, articulate man with sensible views on climate change, the national broadband network and he displays a clear abhorrence for the disgusting shock-jock bigots of this world that Abbott is loathe to express.  Turnbull is an egoist who has no doubts about his abilities but he will cogently argue a case based on principles not on opportunistic populism.

The Labor Party does not deserve to be reelected with Turnbull at the helm of the Liberal Party – Labor’s performance has been too weak. This would remain true even if Kevin Rudd – the community’s preferred candidate on Labor’s side – were restored to the Labor Party helm.  But with Abbott at the helm Labor should be returned.  It is not only that Abbott’s “direct action” policies on climate will inevitably fail and that his anti-tax mantras will continue to cripple our tertiary education sector and our ability to provide the infrastructure necessary to get Australia on a more sustainable development time path.  Abbott’s election would mean a further cheapening of the Australian political dialogue in the direction of Tea Party stupidity.

Australians face an appalling lack of practical political alternatives at the next election.  Dumping Abbott in favour of Malcolm Turnbull would change this.  The position of the Liberal Party would be enhanced and so too would Australia’s future prospects.

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25 comments to Dump Abbott

  • derrida derider

    I still think the Libs are the more likely to win the next election, but its no longer a certainty. If they put Turnbull at the top then I think it would be a near certainty.

    But it aint gonna happen, even if the Mad Monk blows up. Turnbull is not liked personally in the parliamentary party (he’s unable to hide his contempt – well justified – for some of his colleagues) and on policy is not conservative enough for the know-nothing wing of the party, especially on social issues.

    Should Abbott get in serious trouble I think they’d prefer Hockey – an inoffensive lightweight (sic). And in those circusmtances I think Gillard would eat him alive on the hustings.

  • Warning: Preemptive Gloat

    Just checking in to remind everyone that back in Nov 2008 I stated that Obama would win two terms. mainly due to the voters wanting someone to stick around long enough to clean up the colossal Bush mess, a task I described as “janitorial” rather than “messianic”.

    I followed up in Apr 2010 when I predicted that the Tea Party would  ”burn out” and Obama would win the 2012 election “comfortably”. I also argued that Obama needed to focus on winning a bigger share of the “white working class” vote.

    Its still possible for an upset Romney victory to spoil my winning streak. Especially if base turnout favours the REPs. But It looks like the auto bailout has swung the white working class vote in Ohio into the DEM column.

    Everyone goes on about Ray Fair, Doug Hibbs and Nate Silver in the US and Possum Polytics, Poll Bludger and Mumbles in AUS. They are all great quants but I am now sitting on a 6 on 6 winning streak picking US/AUS federal elections through the naughties. With a good chance of making it 7 on 7 with Obama.

    If the poll goes as I predicted then I would be interested to see if any other psephs can top that. Either I am very lucky or as Jack Nicklaus once remarked, “the more I practice the luckier I get”.

  • hc

    Too close to call Jack but I hope you are right about Obama. You have a 50% chance of being right. And a 100% chance of being right when your qualification that you may be wrong is accounted for.

  • Jim Rose

    despite many predictions of Obama by a nose, there too many discussions of what happens in the case of a tie? this is possible given the number of votes in the toss-up states.

    It is all down to turnout in close U.S. elections. apparently. democratic turnout is down in the early voting while republicans are up

  • Jim Rose

    what have you done for me lately? abbott unseated a first-term sitting PM and denied a first term government being returned as a majority government. were any opposition leaders more successful than this against a first term government?

    the ALP hates Abbott because he is successful.

  • JB Cairns

    Jim,

    It was ALP faction leaders that got rid of Rudd not Abbott.

    And the basis was a pointedly rogue internal poll which was at completev odds to all public polls.

  • Jim Rose

    JB, abbott’s great big new tax slogan had nothing to do with it?

    why was Rudd down in the polls so quickly? was it because he was spotted as a phony by the voters because he backed down on the great moral issue of his time. PMs must have spine.

    a populist leader would never have embarked on emissions trading in advance of other countries. A Machiavellian leader would have manoeuvred his legislation to defeat in the Senate at the joint hands of the Greens and the Libs.

    HT: John McTernan at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/24/julia-gillard-can-turn-things-around

  • JB Cairns

    he wasn’t down in the polls he was cruising towards an easy victory.

    Rudd was gotten rid of by faction leaders because Rudd was going to make them irrelevant

  • Jim Rose

    Rudd’s fall from grace was the result of a series of controversial decisions – most off all the shelving of “the greatest moral challenge of our lifetime” which made the public wonder about his political courage.

    In a matter of weeks, the approval rating of Mr 70% disintegrated to 39 per cent – the fastest fall for any leader in Australian history.

  • JB Cairns

    now I would have said if he had gumption he should have held a double dissolution but that is neither here noe there.
    Rudd was headed for an easy second term win.

  • Jim Rose

    Jb, you show the same flaw that Rudd had – an inability to face facts, adapt to them and learn to better.

  • JB Cairns

    Jim,
    what facts?

    Rudd was heading toward a comfortable victory as both Mumble and Possum showed at the time.

    You have catallaxy disease

  • Jim Rose

    JB, The Galaxy Poll and Newspoll on 17 May 2010 showed the major parties ‘deadlocked at 50-50 on the two-party preferred vote’, with growing support for Julia Gillard, and Rudd’s approval under 50 per cent for first time. By the end of May 2010, Rudd had lost 61 points on his net approval rating since September 2009.

    On 7 June 2010, a Nielsen Poll showed ‘the Coalition ahead of Labor for the first time in more than four years. The poll shows the Coalition leading Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 53 per cent to 47 per cent, an increase of 3 percentage points to the Coalition in a month.

    On 23 June 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that ‘the Prime Minister’s most trusted lieutenant, his chief of staff, Alister Jordan, has been talking privately to almost half the caucus to gauge whether Mr Rudd has the support of his party’. On 24 June 2010, Julia Gillard was elected unopposed to the Labor leadership

    from http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1112/12rp08#_Toc318798312

  • JB Cairns

    the newspoll on the monday beofre the ‘dethroning’ was 52-48 for the ALP.

    Possum showed the support for the government was still strong across all comparable polls.

    you are clutching at straws.

  • Fran Barlow

    With the benefit of hindsight JB it seems the most plausible explanation for Rudd being rolled is that hardly any of the people in his cabinet, and by extension, the factions that stood behind them, could stand his management style. Apparently this was the case too in his prior role working for Goss in the QPS.

    It seems astonishing that nobody went to him in Deecember of 2009 and presented him with an ultimatum — play nice or be rolled — and the responsibility for this lies squarely with the faction heads — but it’s hard to imagine he’d not have pulled his head in if they’d made it plain.

    It seems as if the confluence of running as Liberal lite in 2007 — “my cabinet, my rules” — and the GFC super cabinet — mapped onto the pre-existing malignant narcissism that Rudd brought to the job from his prior life. When the GFC emergency ended, he was simpy unable to let go.

    It’s also clear that he was politically inept. As intelligent as he was/is, he failed to make use of the strong position he had in mid-2009 to press on with carbon pricing. Instead, with 70% approval he got greedy and tried to wedge both the Greens and the Libs by trying to cut a deal with the Libs that the Greens would reject and which would force the consevatives to split on — leaving the ALP as the only possible winner. This was one of those too clever by half ideas because it overlooked the possibility that the Libs would roll their leader and unify behind a RW populist alternative. The almost brilliant cunning plan’s fatal flaw resulted in what chess players would call a complex game in which white lost a tempo and had to give up all advantage. By March, the ALP was defending and in something like Chess-players’ Zugzwang — they had to move because their position was declining but all moves weakened them. Deferring carbon pricing and then propsing RSPT as cover was disastrous, and nearly cost both policies, and opened the door to the factions to finally roll him.

  • Jim Rose

    Fran, the carbon tax was dumped because it was a great big new tax. Rudd lacked the political skills to either push it through or heroically fail to do so at the hands of the Senate.

    Instead, Rudd showed he lacked spine – a fatal weakness for any PM in the eyes of voters. This sent Rudd into a free fall in the opinion polls.

    Rudd also showed he lacked the political skills to fight back when he was behind.

    Howard, by contrast, was Lazarus with a triple-bypass even before he became PM. He was able to make unpopular policy choices because he could sell them to the voters. The voters knew Howard would make and keep making unpopular choices when he thought they were right for Australia.

  • Fran Barlow

    Jim

    You either don’t know the history of this matter, have radically misunderstood it or are misrepresenting it for purposes that remain unclear.

    That’s pretty sad.

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    No political party “deserves” to be re-elected. There is no moral component in electioneering. Just like no company in the market “deserves” for its share price to rise. In fact, the converse is the case in my experience in both cases. Ask yourself this, does Joe Hockey deserve to be treasurer? This is what I have always found so appealing about you H. your touching, childlike naivete.

  • hc

    Sir Henry, Pleasant to hear from you. Your attempt to be distinctive when you don’t have a point is charming. I assume its an ethnic “hullo”. There is a moral component in selecting one party over another and it relates to policies they offer and skills they possess – that rationalises a “deserves” and that’s this post. Its got nothing to do with “electioneering” but with who will run things. Congrats on NewsCorp exit. I look forward to seafood and white wine at Collaroy – I’ll pay. Soon. Hockey will make a mediocre Treasurer but an excellent Shrek lookalike.

  • Fran Barlow

    Your source doesn’t support your points Jim. FTR, Paul Kelly has nothing of value to say — at least to anyone seeking insight– and any source that quotes him uncritically is by definition, of dubious value.

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Oooh, damning with faint ad hominem. You don’t now “deserve” any mercy, Harry, despite the attempted bribe with cheap chardonnay.

    You are conflating two notions of “deserve”: an outcome emerging out of a moral judgement and a straight mechanistic appraisal – v. often post-facto – of a causal nexus, stating the obvious but claiming kudos for acumen.

    Sometimes these “deservings” crash into each other. For example, in the recent US presidential elections, the Republican party felt that it deserved to win – many among them feeling they were backed in this conviction by the Almighty. But from a mechanistic point of view, and therefore via cause and effect, the Democrats “deserved to win because they put in the hard yards on the ground and were better organised, took advantage of the changing demographics, etc, etc.

    However, both constructs are bunkum. The “moral component” you speak of is an illusion because it rests on some a priori adjudication by someone who decides on a subjective criteria that are continually moving feast and obviously can’t serve as a bedrock for a moral judgement. On the other hand, the mechanistic is causality dressed up as judgement.

    Your claim falls to the ground when we look at the first election that Dubya won over Gore. Did Dubya deserve to win? In that case the judgement of “deserving” of a win actually predated the actual election. Such was the moral conviction of the Republicans that they “deserved” to win that Dubya’s brother Jeb, as governor, fixed the Florida state results to conform with the preordained “deserving” and even maybe God’s will.

    “Deserving” is not only bullshit, it is dangerous to take it seriously because it leads to all manner of atrocities. Think about it.

    Elections are not won by those who deserve to win but whose organisation is better at manipulating public opinion. Assuming they are fair, that is, otherwise those who cheat better are the more deserving.

  • Hamish Maccormick

    I agree that Malcolm Turnbull would/will be a shoo-in against Rudd, and fully expect Tony to get rolled in the next few weeks. Is it unkind to say, that seeing the mad monk foaming at the mouth as he is dragged screaming and kicking, from the oppositions party room after being dumped by, say, 1 vote, would be an intensly enjoyable experience for me.

  • Jim Rose

    Abbott has seen off two PMs now. Witlam was the last to do that

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