Okay, Mr Turnbull. What now?
As cleaners mop up the last of blood spilt last night from throughout the halls of Parliament House, it’s time to reflect and look at where the Prime Minister-Designate needs to put his attention.
While those on the left celebrate the trashing of another first-term prime minister, they’ll be less happy to realise that under the polish of The Silver Fox, little will change from a policy point of view.
Here are a couple of areas that could certainly do with a quick Turnbull makeover.
An honest discussion around the economy
Yet another nail in Tony Abbott’s coffin came via his 7.30 interview with Leigh Sales. When asked to defend his economic record, the former Prime Minister started with, “Well, we’ve stopped the boats…”
That’s simply not good enough. Neither was his answer to the consequences of a falling Shanghai Stock Exchange being to say that we have a great grocery store system. What we need is a clear path to avoid recession. Explain this clearly and succinctly to the Australian people and it's likely they'll fall into line.
Just some honesty
It’s pretty much accepted that politicians will break promises. However, at least try to dress it up a little. The Coalition’s first budget, coming off the back of the now infamous collection of promises delivered on SBS on the even of the election have hung like an albatross around the Abbott’s next since May 2013.
Turnbull’s promise to have a direct conversation with the electorate around reform is refreshing… but let’s see what he delivers.
Our international reputation
It’s not hard to see how badly had been trashed overseas. Even the New York Times has come in swinging. Don’t expect there to be any big changes in asylum seeker policy, however hopefully there will be more compassion. Responses such as, “"If you want to stop the deaths, if you want to stop the drownings you have got to stop the boats.”
Not only was this a massive misreading of public sentiment, it showed a certain small-country thinking that permeated through the government’s positions on climate change, national security and XXX.
As for climate change and marriage equality, don’t even pretend to dream that Malcolm Turnbull will be touching those items. Despite his traditional position being to act on both issues, he’s learned from being dumped as leader in 2009 and there is no way he will risk the ire of the far right by starting those fights again.
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