Is this Turnbull’s last dance?
I WOULDN’T be surprised if Malcolm Turnbull feels like a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
After revelations that his quickstep to the Utegate affair proved to be a step in the wrong direction, he is now trying to sidestep being voted off the Liberal Party dance floor and salvage his reputation.
As Parliament resumes this week, he will be hoping he can find a new routine to take attention off his previous faux pas and distance himself further from his now-disgraced former dance partner Godwin Grech.
But while the competition’s judges within the Liberal Party have not given their final score on Turnbull’s performance as leader, the public vote is clearly wavering if comments to online news sites are an indication.
DJ of Crystal Balls in a comment to news.com.au said: “The Australian public deserve better than this. Although we can’t expect honesty from politicians, Australians are smart enough to see through this charade and determine the truth for themselves. Turnbull must resign, if only to bring some credibility back to the Opposition.”
Craig Rowley of Melbourne questioned Turnbull’s wider political judgment and ethics, writing on the Herald Sun site: “Utes or emails, they’re not the issue. Malcolm Turnbull’s political judgment and ethics are the issue … It matters, very much matters, that Malcolm Turnbull decided to go the low road to attack the Prime Minister and Treasurer. It matters a great deal that he used and abused (by sacrifice) his ‘mole’ within Treasury. Young Australians, indeed all Australians, can rightly wonder whether Mr Turnbull will also sacrifice our future prospects on the altar of his political hubris.”
Charles of Sydney wrote on the Daily Telegraph site: “Turnbull says, ‘We were misled’. Who are this we? The Australian people were never misled. It was only Turnbull and Abetz, who in their thirst for power, who were not misled, but also involved and conspired to mislead the people. Have some ‘honour’ and resign.”
The problem for the Liberal Party is finding someone who can do a better job as leader. While Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott and Andrew Robb have been touted as possible replacements, there are no bonus points in this competition in just doing another Liberal Party shuffle.
Some have even resurrected hopes that Peter Costello will change his mind and seek the leadership.
Stu commented on news.com.au: “The only good thing Malcolm Turnbull has ever done is to keep digging the hole which must finally bury him. He is now dead. All we wait for now is the funeral … Wonder who will be the next Liberal leader. Abbott? No. Hockey? Maybe. Costello? Hope so. He is the only one who can drag the Libs back to some form of sanity. Without Pete we will have the Labor party in for years to come.”
Showerbucket of Brisbane (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) had another idea, writing on sbs.com.au: “Yes, Malcolm should be given the heave-ho. Politically, he is a dead man walking. It is no good the Opposition choosing a leader from the dregs of the Howard/Costello old guard suckers. A new radical direction is needed. Someone like Wilson Tuckey would be ideal as their ‘dear leader’.”
But not all commenters believe Turnbull has done anything wrong.
Beejaz Wolf of Devonport wrote on news.com.au: “Why should Malcolm go? His crime is in believing. That is something we all do. Most of us believe what we hear or see is true, unless we know from experience the source is flawed. Hang in there, Malcolm. We can’t afford too many more changes to party members.”
One of Turnbull’s biggest problems is internal disunity. He will need to demonstrate his ability to reunite the party this week when debate over climate change and the emissions trading scheme comes to a head.
If he fails to stage a credible performance on the parliamentary floor, he may have to hang up his tap dancing shoes and bow out of the competition himself or face being voted off.
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