Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says that the Coalition “deserves” to win the next election.
It’s a remarkable observation for someone who had to flee the country to the comparatively less hostile environment of Afghanistan earlier this week.
Despite maintaining a veneer of self-assured confidence, there is no denying that Malcolm Turnbull has suffered a monumentous blow to his credibility and position as Leader of The Opposition.
The trip to Afghanistan was a pointless exercise in itself and a complete waste of tax-payers money, however Malcolm, obviously buoyed with same false sense of bravado and military confidence that comes hand-in-hand with donning a bullet-proof vest and “roughing it” with the soldiers has declared that he can win the next election.
“We will turn it around on election day, that’s our commitment”
“We can win this next election and we should win the next election” he said.
It’s an interesting choice of words. “Should win the next election” infers that the Liberal party has done something to “deserve” to be in an election-winning position.
Of course the reality is a vastly different situation altogether.
Can anyone recall, in recent months, anything that the Liberal party has announced as legitimate and alternative strategies and initiatives that it would do differently from the Federal Labor Government in terms of responding to the GFC, housing affordability, unemployment or nation building?
Despite murmurings to the contrary, Liberal party members are maintaining that Turnbull continues to receive their support as the party leader. He is after all, perhaps the most moderate senior figure.
However one can’t help but feel that the Liberal party is suffering from a severe identity crisis.
They are a party torn between the far right conservatism of the Howard years represented today in personalities like Tony Abbott, who for all intents and purposes, shouldn’t be let loose anywhere near a microphone or journalist, and the more moderate Turnbull who represents the affluent, forward thinking and contemporary mindset of the seat of Wentworth.
The elephant in the room (quite literally) is Joe Hockey. Clearly he sees himself as leadership potential, and despite my own personal opinion of the man, is actually perceived by some as quite likeable, or “avuncular” so we are told.
However, one thing is clear, if Turnbull’s ratings are not resurrected in the polls in the next few months then his position and the relevance of the Liberal party overall, will become increasingly tenuous.
The question is, in the context of a Government that has been universally praised by economists from around the world for its response to the GFC, does the Liberal Opposition really have anything left to offer?
By all accounts, their hugely unnsuccessful attack on the Prime Minister over the entire ute-gate affair would suggest that perhaps the answer is “no.”