Turnbull experiment is over - are the Libs over too?
THE so-called “Turnbull experiment”, which many Liberals entered into only reluctantly when Brendan Nelson imploded, is over.
The party that briefly departed from the divisive politics of John Howard, now looks to be lurching back to the right. This is a classic sucker move induced by the success of the centrist Kevin Rudd phenomenon.
There, on the right, it will find ideological purity but little or no scope for electoral success. The federal Liberal Party has just adopted a recipe for failure so popular in numerous state-based Liberal oppositions who are similarly unelectable.
Kevin Rudd is the big winner. This is ironic because it was the fact that Mr Turnbull supported Mr Rudd’s emissions trading scheme that has been used as the dagger to the Liberal leader’s heart.
The scars of this coup will linger.
Malcolm Turnbull, undoubtedly the current party’s most substantial figure, has been knifed in an orchestrated act of treachery the likes of which have rarely been seen in such scale.
While vowing to fight on, his best hope now is to survive long enough to save the emissions trading scheme as his political legacy from those committed to destroy it.
Hardliners arraigned against him protested that their staged rebellion was driven by policy considerations alone. Nonsense. Voters will find that both unconvincing and frankly, offensive because it assumes they are stupid.
Only a fool could argue that a leader losing a large swathe of his frontbench remains viable.
The architects of last night’s act of political terrorism have not merely ended the leadership of a gifted and presentable moderate, but probably condemned their own party to a lengthy period in the wilderness of opposition.
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