Turnbull: “I Will Win the Next Election”

Despite taking a hammering over his handling over the ute-gate affair, and murmurings amongst senior Liberal Party ranks, the Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is convinced that the coalition will win the next election.

Mr Turnbull is obviously buoyed by a new Newspoll survey that suggests he has clawed back six percentage points to see his overall approval rating rise to 31 per cent.

Relishing the opportunity to appear before an audience of the nation’s powerbrokers, Mr Turnbull today visited a self-funded retiree forum at a retirement village in Sydney’s south and fielded questions about the economic crisis and income tax.

According to reports, one woman in the audience asked:

“Are we going to live long enough for you to get back into government?”

“The answer is assuredly yes,” Mr Turnbull said.

“You’ve only got to wait until the next election.”

“As I said, we’ll be back in power at the next election with their support,” he said.

“And I wish everybody in that room a long and healthy life as I do to everybody of course, all Australians.”

The Monk’s Tales

Clearly poor old Tony Abbott has a lot of time on his hands with the revelation that he is about to release a new – bound to be bestselling book – called “Battlelines.”

According to this report, Mr Abbott is sick and tired of the namby-pamby “feel-good” forward-thinking culture that is emerging in Australia and wants to see a return to what he calls “conservative traditional values.”

Mr Abbott suggested the Liberal Party should place the concept of strengthening traditional family values high on its policy agenda.

“Conservatism was the doctrine that dare not speak its name,” Mr Abbott said. “Now I think it is important that conservatism be acknowledged as a critically important component of the strands of thinking within the Liberal Party.

Aah, the return of the “old slient majority!”

“I think conservatism has a potential appeal which may well be much broader than the appeal of political philosophies which have historically been more acceptable in Australia, such as liberalism and socialism” he said.

An interesting display of “Abbott logic.” According to Mr Abbott, a philosophy which has been traditionally less-appealing in Australia, should be more appealing simply because he says so? Fascinating stuff. A bit like Jean Luc Picard saying “Make it so.”

Furthermore, despite the majority of Australians now of the opinion that the option of marriage should be available to same sex couples, Mr Abbott has the whole gay marriage issue clearly in his sights and wants to perpetuate discrimination by further elevating the superiority of “traditional marriage!”

“The point I make in the book is that a society that is moving towards some kind of recognition of gay unions, for instance, is surely capable of providing additional recognition to what might be thought of as traditional marriage,” he said.

I can see his point. We simply can’t have a society that has the same equality and recognition for same sex couples and opposite sex couples.
Mr Abbott’s concept must be something akin to a budget “no frills” concept of marriage for same sex couples as opposed to a “premium members club” type marriage for opposite sex couples.

“Something akin to Matrimonial Causes Act marriage ought to be an option for people who would like it,” Mr Abbott said. “Even though [marriage] is probably the most important commitment that any human being can make, in fact there are many, many contracts which are harder to enter and harder to get out of than this one.”

I know what he means. I tried to return a mobile phone once. It was a bloody nightmare.

The Matrimonial Causes Act, abandoned in 1975 in exchange for a “no-fault” system, provided 14 grounds for divorce, including adultery, desertion, cruelty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment and insanity, or separation for more than five years

And his point is? (Completely lost on me.)

Or is he suggesting that same sex “marriages” are almost definitely going to involve adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and insanity, unlike those good god-fearing opposite sex marriages?

Mr Abbott confessed that he had finally come to terms with the 2007 election loss through a process akin to “grieving” and was prepared to stay in politics over the long term.

“Like everybody else I am subject to the electors, the preselectors and circumstance.”

Well yes. And the fact that nobody likes you.

He said writing the book had been therapeutic, admitting to feeling “a little sorry for myself” after the election defeat, which he said particularly hurt because “I think we lost to an unworthy opponent”.

“A little sorry for himself?” “Gutted” would perhaps be a more appropriate description. It seems as though Tony just can’t get over the fact, that the majority of Australians rejected everything that the Liberal party and people like Tony Abbott stood for at the last election.

Of course, if Mr Abbott thinks he is on to “a winner” by motivating the Liberal party to navigate back towards traditional, conservative right-wing values, I’m sure the sentiment will appeal to someone.

Born to rule, as always.

The Resurrection of Tony Abbott

Hot on the heels of the spectacular implosion of Malcolm Turnbull in the polls, there is a growing concern inside the Liberal party that Malcolm’s dramatic fall from grace is beyond redemption.

If these reports are anything to go by, Malcolm has until Christmas to redeem himself, or face a leadership standoff that could see Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey jockeying for the top job.

The Liberals, in their infinite wisdom, believe that Tony Abbott could hold the key to their salvation.

Tony Abbott, one of the last remaining members of the Howardesque rat pack, has been praised within Liberal ranks over his performance in recent weeks in pursuing the Rudd government over the “ute-gate” affair.

Of course, there’s nothing new about Abbott’s tactics, they hark back to the days of the Howard government when the modus operandi of the day was to keep repeating the party’s mantra in the hope that constant repitition would help make some proposerous unbelievable rhetoric somehow plausible.

It didn’t work then – think WorkChoices and the so called “fairness test” – and it won’t work now.

The only thing commendable about Abbott’s performance was that it wasn’t as abysmally catastrophic as Malcolm Turnbull’s. Apparantly that’s sufficient reason for Liberal party insiders to consider handing over the reigns to Tony Abbott.

The Liberal party is suffering from a severe identity crisis. If they are to become a relevant force they need to reinvent themselves and clearly state what they stand for. At the moment they are a spent force floundering in a sea of irrelevance.

If they believe that the future lies with Tony Abbott at the helm then they are seriously deluded and more or less conceding defeat.

The Liberal Party deserves to win the Next Election

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.”

Pow! Whack! Wollop! – and they are not even in a union!

It seems that this morning there was a “regrettable incident” in the Liberal party ranks this morning.

Liberal party sources say there was a “regrettable incident in the party room” on Tuesday morning when NSW Liberal backbencher Alby Schultz became angry and shirt-fronted Victorian MP Chris Pearce.

The altercation allegedly followed a dispute over three-cornered contests – when Nationals and Liberal MPs contest the same seat in an election.

Imagine the outcry if they were in a union?

Maybe Galaxy needs to push-poll with a question on whether Liberal MP’s will “turn nasty” if they don’t get their own way.

Rudd’s Honeymoon Over.

The Liberals must be rejoicing with the results of the latest AC Nielson Survey! The honeymoon is finally over.

The poll, taken after the Federal Budget last week and published in The Australian, states that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s approval rating has slumped by 10 points.

The Nielsen poll, published in Fairfax newspapers on Monday, shows Mr Rudd’s approval rating at 64 per cent – 10 percentage points lower than the previous poll, in late March.

Mr Rudd’s disapproval rating is up 10 points to 32 per cent.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull’s approval and disapproval ratings remain steady at 43 and 47 per cent respectively.

Mr Rudd’s rating as preferred prime minister is down five points to 64 per cent while Mr Turnbull’s has risen four points to 28 per cent.

The poll shows the coalition’s primary vote has increased six points since March, while Labor’s has fallen by three points.

That result puts Labor only one point ahead of the coalition on primaries, 44 per cent to 43, the best result for the coalition in the Nielsen poll since the 2007 federal election.

Labor’s two-party-preferred vote is down five points, leaving it ahead of the coalition by 53 per cent to 47.

The national poll of 1,400 people was taken from Thursday to Saturday.

It also found 38 per cent of respondents said they will be worse off because of the budget, eight points more than for last year’s budget, while 23 per cent said they would be better off (down eight points on last year).

The Budget was seen as fair by 56 per cent, down one point on last year’s result. Sixty-two per cent were satisfied with it (down four points on last year).

Turnbull told to “Bring out Your Dead”

It looks like Malcolm Turnbull has a major internal battle on his hands with revelations today that a number of leading business figures and supporters of the Liberal party have threatened to withdraw their financial support unless a number of “Howard era” MPs get the boot.

On the basis of anonymity, the leading Sydney business figure says Mr Turnbull and the Liberal party must be prepared to go through with “a full-scale public bloodletting” if those named on the list refused to budge from their seats.

According to The Australian, the list of 14 MPs includes Philip Ruddock, Bronwyn Bishop, Kevin Andrews and Bill Heffernan.

However, other sources suggest the list also includes: Wilson Tuckey, Andrew Laming, Alby Schultz, Joanna Gash, Margaret May, Bruce Scott, Michael Johnson, Alex Somlyay, Judi Moylan and John Forrest.

The list of names is being circulated within the Liberal Party accompanied by a commentary which says in part:

“The emerging issue federally for both the current leader and any other potential leader is team composition.

“And it is an issue. And finance donors from key players expect an upgrade.”

The screed from business says it is Mr Turnbull himself who must drive the renewal process, rather than “the slow moribund party organisational leadership”.

The author makes it clear the hit list was drawn up in consultation with like-minded business figures and says, ominously, that it is not exhaustive.

In response, senior Liberals yesterday described the call for renewal as “justified”, confirming that fundraising for the party had become much more difficult in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Perhaps what they really mean is “in the wake of a catacylsmic election defeat.”

However, in other reports, Mr Turnbull has denied that he has received any such list.

“Nobody sent that list to me,” he said.

“We have a strong team, a mixture of youth and experience, a mixture of people who have been in Parliament for a long time, people that have had long careers in other areas and have been in Parliament for a shorter time.”

It Mr Turnbull hasn’t seen the list, could it be because his name’s on it? An unlikely, but novel idea, given that he could represent a new, more youthful and more moderate persona in comparison to his Howard era counterparts.

Either way, it looks like the Liberal party are in for yet another rollercoaster week of internal bickering played out in the public domain.

The last Newspoll had the Coalition on 42 per cent behind Labor at 58 per cent and Mr Turnbull has sits at just 19 per cent compared to Kevin Rudd’s 67 per cent as preferred prime minister.

I imagine there will be a lot of frantic phone calls going on right now…