The Journey of #Libspill

by Rohit Manik | February 8, 2015 2:02 am

It would be a mere understatement to say the last 2 weeks for the Liberal Party have been troubling, as a leadership spill looms on the horizon and everyone making their political bets, things seem awfully dire for the Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbot. The situation eerily harkens back to the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd political assassinations, and as much as Tony wants to say that they are not the Labour Party, the truth seems far from it, though unlike in the case of the Labour political assassinations where the discontent came from the cabinet and front bench this time it seems the defiance is coming from backbenchers, this of course speaks volumes about the situation.

Unlike most front bench MP’s it could be argued that the back bench generally owe their livelihood as representatives to the seats which they represent, in short they out of all politicians are at the whims of their electoral seats. It seems that the issue isn’t more from personal discontent from backbenchers but from the response that federal level policy decisions have had on their standing as seat holders. From a first glance the media frenzy seems to put most of the blame on Tony’s “Captains Calls” such as the knighthood in which the captain of Australia himself so tactfully chose the Queens husband Prince Phillip to be Australia’s ever so impressive knight, though in this writers opinion this is just all circus for what is the real underlying discontentment for the Australian people, a discontentment which is obviously making backbench MP’s worry about the seats they currently hold.

It seems fairly obvious now that the Australian people are extremely resistant to austerity measures that are poorly or sometimes completely unexplained, which of course at a first glance to many make no sense. The new taxes, the proposed lifting of the GST and the heavily criticized medicare co-payments that itself heavily attacked by most doctors organisations in Australia, Tony seems to create a doomsday situation with the budget deficit but fails to explain or connect with the Australian public on the correct measures in fixing such a deficit which according to the Liberal Party is all a Labour created mess, a tragedy indeed but a solution that seems to be solely aimed at the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable within our communities.

Of course without proper broadening and explanation the general public will be resistant to such measures, it is only reasonable to assume that the public will only take on such a harsh reduction in living standards without it being conceived as a fair and needed loss of money out of their wallets every month. Though alas it seems that despite the harsh calls by the Government to cut spending and raise more revenue, that Tony himself as softened a bit, apparently realising it was all too fast for the Australian public, but not ever directly admitting any of it was a mistake, as he tactfully covered points of concern and at the same time really failed to make any meaningful assurance at the National Press Club event on Monday.

Infact Tony failed to mention the fates of many issues pressing hard on the minds of the Australian people, this included the fate of Medicare something that obviously sent the doctors of australia into what this writer would call a justifiable rage, the issue of University fees something that set a large number of Australian students to protest and to protest in places even as far as the ABC QnA set. Which is of course ironic as Tony Abbots own Treasury Minister Joe Hockey was quite the free education activist back in the day. The knighthood incident that had seemingly sparked all of this also seemed to be off Tony’s radar until a quite active question and answer session afterwards where it seemed Tony quite reluctantly shed light on the proposed council who would be the board of all knightings and dames, which may have come as a depressive thought to many including myself as this means no more knighthoods from King Tony himself sadly. To add to the vagueness of this apparent answer to the Australian people Tony also kept us quite in the dark about his championed Payed Parental Leave scheme that he had apparently by now all but abandoned saying that in replacement “there will be a better childcare policy” and will “consult widely” hardly reassuring it seems.

Though Tony did seem to quite enthusiastically state that there would be a crackdown on extremist activity within Australia and that would mean further legislation “we will bring it on” he says somewhat proudly. In all not only did Tony Abbot in his last ditch attempt to the salvage the situation reveal nothing at all except more fuel for near xenophobic levels of essentially islamaphobic fear mongering legislation but it also held true to the same old mantra of fixing the dire budget crisis and above all fixing that damn mess the Labour Party and only the Labour Party made, a mantra that obviously seems to be getting old on the Australian public.

With no more assurance from Tony than before backbench MP’s all seem to be huddling around the concept that maybe Malcolm Turnbull can be the new leader of Australia, it seems to have come down to a point where the own ideological interests of MP’s has simply been outweighed by the urge to survive in parliament even if it means to bring in someone who is a lot more centre right than the deep rooted far right attitudes of most of the Liberal Party, the Australian people overwhelmingly have shown the Austerity and far right views on the economy are not to their palettes and the backbench is sweating desperate it seems for a leader closer to the middle ground that Australians seemingly seek.

Though heading into the what now seems unavoidable spill on Tuesday, Tony Abbott seemingly shows unwavering support from his front bench cabinet, repeating the now new found mantra of “we are not the Labour Party” witty, who would of guessed. This however like most political spills is never an assured matter, it will after all be a secret ballot vote meaning that under the protection of anonymous voting the tide could go against Tony Abbott very fast.

It seems regardless of the leadership spill on Tuesday, most Australians say that they themselves would ultimately like to decide in the next federal election of 2017, as Tony himself said at the National Press Club Event, the people hire and the people should ultimately fire.

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