Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Updated February 27, 2015 07:03:27

Turnbull has in recent days pointedly contradicted his leader. Turnbull has in recent days pointedly contradicted his leader. Photo: Turnbull has in recent days pointedly contradicted his leader. (AAP: Lukas Coch)

The way ministers are now contradicting their Prime Minister indicates a more short term strategy for his removal. Can they really go on playing this game all the way through to July? Barrie Cassidy writes.

When the Prime Minister allowed his frustrations with the Human Rights Commission to career out of control this week, he got three ticks from his backbench ... tick, tick, tick.

Some of them, in conversations with journalists, started counting down his leadership, and suddenly they were musing about a pre-budget timetable.

The fact is that ever since the spill motion, Tony Abbott has made it too easy for his detractors: those on his own team as well as those in opposition.

That Abbott missed an opportunity to soberly and meticulously use the commission's report to embarrass Labor has been well documented on this site. By going in so hard against the commission president Gillian Triggs, he ended up embarrassing his own party.

Malcolm Turnbull then stepped into "the sensible centre" with a calm and reassuring message that the children in detention should not be forgotten in all of this. The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, ran a similar line on ABC's AM, saying that the stoush "certainly is a distraction from the issue at hand, which is the report on children in detention".

And when the Prime Minister followed the lead of the right-wing shock jocks and chastised Muslim leaders for not doing enough to condemn terrorists - indeed, questioning their sincerity even when they do - the Foreign Minister again delivered a different message.

She told AM that the Government was working very closely with the mosques around the country:

They (the Muslim leaders) are working hand in glove with the Australian Government to ensure that we can stop young people being radicalised and supporting terrorist organisations.

Turnbull has in recent days pointedly contradicted his leader on other issues.

Abbott described the leaked letter from the Liberal Party's honorary treasurer, Philip Higginson, as a "storm in a teacup". But Turnbull told reporters the central issue in that letter - the need to better manage the party's finances - was "absolutely critical".

"The more open and transparent you are, the better," he said.

"The best antidote to suspicion or anxiety, questions about propriety even, is sunlight. Just put the facts out there."

While Abbott thumbed his nose at the honorary treasurer, seemingly indifferent to his views, Turnbull said that Higginson was "a very experienced company director":

He is a corporate governance expert. He's regarded as an authority in that field, so I'm sure the federal executive will pay very careful attention to his proposals.

Turnbull spoke similarly of Gillian Triggs:

I've known Gillian Triggs for many years. She's a very distinguished international legal academic.

The contradictions with their leader are rolling off the ministers' tongues. These contributions don't have the feel to them of a six-month strategy. They seem more short-term than that.

Can they really go on playing this game all the way through to July? Can the Government really indulge Abbott and allow him to stumble on through yet another budget?

What if - as many of them expect will happen - they move against him soon afterwards? Wouldn't that simply be a vote of no confidence in a second budget, with just one left before the next election?

Can they really afford to have everything seen through the prism of a vulnerable grip on the leadership for months yet to come?

The latest Newspoll implied that brand Liberal is still in play even if the leader has lost the respect of the vast majority of voters. But can they go on until July exposing that brand to further ridicule?

These are tough questions for a party that innately wants to be above their more ruthless opponents when it comes to leadership; tough questions for a party that wants to give a man owed so much a fair go. The question is though, for how long can they postpone answering those tough questions?

If not next week, or the next sitting fortnight after that (March 16-26), then they are effectively locked in for many more months.

Barrie Cassidy is the presenter of the ABC program Insiders. He writes a weekly column for The Drum.

Topics: federal-government, abbott-tony

First posted February 27, 2015 06:39:52

Comments (560)

Comments for this story are closed.

  • the yank:

    27 Feb 2015 6:54:59am

    Abbott is always going to act like he has his entire life why would anyone think he has changed?

    It is past time for federal members of the LNP to act, the welfare of the country demands it. They were elected to run the government Abbott's antics are preventing that from happening in an adult manner.

    I may not like Turnbull but I trust the reigns of government in his hands rather then Abbott's. And if Turnbull doesn't hurry he may have Morrison to compete against.

    Can we now all join in and scream enough is enough?

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    • PGC:

      27 Feb 2015 8:35:01am

      I do not think our republican Turnbull will reign but he just might grab the reins of the horse before it bolts.

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      • the yank:

        27 Feb 2015 9:09:48am

        Oh Turnbull will reign when he gets the reins.

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        • The Skeleton Inside:

          27 Feb 2015 9:57:43am

          There are but two reasons that Turnbull is not yet reigning:

          Firstly: the fear of the Libs of being likened to Labor in the chaotic dumping of a First Term Prime Minister. They pork chopped so much about Gillard knifing Rudd when in opposition, they know they will pay a price if they do the same. The question is: will that price be worth it?

          Secondly: Turnbull himself, and his 'sensible centre' leanings. Too many in the Liberal party have drifted so far to the right that they see Turnbull as a lurch back towards Labor. Turnbull claims (and I believe quite rightly) that elections are won in that sensible centre, but ideology is entrenched in the right wing of the party; can they bear to pay the apparently necessary price in order to retain government?

          Old Father Time will let us into the secret eventually, but until then, those who enjoy the rough and tumble of political drama can sit back and enjoy the show.

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        • brian:

          27 Feb 2015 12:01:18pm

          I would say that Malcolm is making sure he has the numbers to select his own cabinet members without having to do deals with the looney right and the nationals.

          The whole front bench needs turfing for the libs to have any chance of re-election and Malcolm knows this.

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        • itstime:

          27 Feb 2015 1:14:35pm

          There is a third reason, cabinet members fear losing their positions, so many heads will roll with Abbott's!

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        • David Arthur:

          27 Feb 2015 1:53:42pm

          Libs need not worry about acting like Labor; it's not as if Toned Abs would leak inside info to ALP should he be deposed, is it?

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 3:19:26pm

          The Skeleton Inside:-I can understand your simplistic view and the way you may well treat it to nullify the reality of the situation at hand - yet! you close by saying "...those who enjoy the rough and tumble of political drama can sit back and enjoy the show."

          I find it quite remiss that anyone could condone this LNP circus as a show to be watched and dismissed.

          These LNP clowns are dangerous to our economy and deadly to all Australians and our way of life.

          The back bench, Turnbull if need be, who ever else in this lineup owe the electorate to do the right thing - rid us of Abbott - rid us of this circus once and for all

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        • MikePS:

          27 Feb 2015 5:52:28pm

          Yes! In all the commentary about just how bad Abbott really is, people have been forgetting that the hard-right ideologues in the LNP make it very difficult for a centrist person like Turnbull to lead the party.

          The hard-right in the Liberals are going to have to do some hard thinking very soon, before they consign themselves to irrelevancy in Australian politics.

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        • RayS:

          27 Feb 2015 10:34:18am

          Something needs to be done, even if the options are unattractive. Abbott and Hockey must be removed. The Australian economy is faltering and the policies of the coalition have exacerbated the external situation.

          Quite apart from the fractures in society caused by austerity, the widening deficit and collapsing domestic economy, combined with the plunging A$ and falling real wages, will inevitably send us into a depression.

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        • the yank:

          27 Feb 2015 11:07:14am

          Depression? Probably not that bad but a recession we didn't have to have maybe but I said this early on and was abused by the LNP faithful. Now they know even if they don't all admit it.

          Just do it Turnbull and get it over with. The stink of Abbott's rotting political corpse is getting too much to stand.

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        • maureen:

          27 Feb 2015 1:32:38pm

          seeing this problem has got this far I think it is only fair for Mr Malcolm Turnbull to settle who the people are going to have lead this government. This is more important than their own selfish ideals. It needs to be settled now as all of this uncertainty is unsettling for the people and we are not being governed the way we elected this parliament.

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        • Greig:

          27 Feb 2015 11:44:25am

          Ray S,

          The Australian economy is not faltering because of Abbott and Hockey. It is because the opposition, independents and most of the Australian population refuse to ackowledge that the economy has already fallen over, as a result of ALP overspending and subsequent failure to correct.

          It's an emergency, how many times does Hockey have to stand in front of the cameras and say it?

          Changing leadership to Turnbull, or Shorten at the next election, will not save us. They have no magic wand to wave to fix this up. Leadership speculation is a waste of time, shuffling the deckchairs, a distraction from the looming catastrophe.

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        • Middie:

          27 Feb 2015 12:29:24pm

          Not exactly what Joe said in question time yesterday in response to a Dorothy Dixer.

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        • RayS:

          27 Feb 2015 12:35:24pm

          No Greig. Everywhere in the world where austerity has been applied we see growth go negative and the deficit increases, although they gain office by promising to deliver surplus.

          Same as here, exactly the same.

          It's partly because of the simple mathematics - it has to happen. It's also partly because the austerity party policies are designed to damage the lower income groups and to prosper the higher income groups in business and especially their supporters.

          Same as here.

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        • Greig:

          27 Feb 2015 1:54:23pm

          Ray, the reason why austerity doesn't work elsewhere is that the economy it is being applied to has already fallen over the brink.

          We are not there yet, but we will be very soon.

          I will count you amongst those who do not acknowledge the problem, and think we can go on spending, and simply tax the rich to solve the problem.

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 3:48:23pm

          Greig:- You can count me also.

          Now I ask you - if we are in such dire straits then why is our PM and his circus so hell bent on spending money to make our PM the infrastructure PM?

          With homelessness at an all time high why is this government - this LNP circus of clowns making matters worse?

          With unemployment exceeding jobs growth why slash benefits to those unemployed?

          With disability and general health issues being addressed adequately by front line services - then why cut these services, why install a tax (co-payment) measures to make things worse?

          Why not rid ourselves of such a woeful circus of clowns asap?

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        • Petronious:

          27 Feb 2015 4:46:55pm

          At last you say it."Tax the rich". Thats why the exchequer is short. Simple to fix if you've got the guts.

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        • GRF:

          27 Feb 2015 2:09:10pm

          'Austerity' is a term fondly employed by economic illiterates to justify rampant spending. Unfortunately the hangover follows the binge and there is no quick or easy fix for the headache.

          Additional uncontrolled spending simply serves to delay the inevitable crash and makes it all that much worse when it does, and it always does, arrive.

          Neither the US nor Europe have succeeded in controlling out of control credit and Australia, with net external debt of more than 5 trillion the largest per capita in the world, is the worst offender. When the musical chairs stop it is the 'low income earners' you so preciously claim to champion that will get hit the hardest.

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 3:57:50pm

          GRF:- I fully agree with your comment as you state it - Your comment is only true under a conservative manifest of austerity - it can never happen under an alternative government - We already have the means of salvation in the short and long term with re-newables and austerity need not happen - however, this Abbott circus seems hell bent on creating such

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        • Gazza:

          27 Feb 2015 12:40:06pm

          It will no doubt be a great relief for you Greig when you are no longer worked so hard trying to maintain the fantasy.

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        • james g:

          27 Feb 2015 12:43:53pm

          Hi Greig

          welcome to Australia. I sincerely hope this wonderful country is what you imagine it to be.

          FYI, our government debt is very modest, still only 2.5% GDP five years post GFC. We do have a problem with our private debt though. $1.2tr, mostly held by banks in mortgage loans. Let's hope the housing bubble doesn't burst.

          What Australia does need is a government with gonads to increase taxes across the board based on income. Public and private.

          This single economic policy, or lack of, is the root of our treasuries financial predicament.

          Export income is through the floor, so the only logical step when balancing the budget is to increase internal revenue income.

          The party which includes taxation reform in their economic vision, left or right, has my vote.

          It's time Australia faced up to this and began the debate in earnest!

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        • GRF:

          27 Feb 2015 2:13:20pm

          James, you are behind the times. Net current Australian external debt is ~ 5.3 trillion dollars (source: Australian Debt Clock) whilst total government sector debt is in the vicinity of 700 billion - i.e. pushing on towards one trillion dollars. To suggest this debt position is sustainable is ludicrous. All that is required to wipe out our banking system with 5 trillion dollars in external debt (mostly in USD) is a crash in China.

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        • jimbob:

          27 Feb 2015 2:47:53pm

          More of the same coloured maths - government debt is running at about 350B; GDP is around $1.3T (give or take) which according to my very simplistic maths is around 26.9%. So, where did the dreamtime figure of 2.5% come from.

          Of course, the cost of government keeps going up while revenue is stagnant and "increasing taxes" will fix everything......on the proviso that people who pay taxes decide to pay more here rather than take their hard earned capital somewhere else.....a big "if" yet to be tested in reality. Or even if there are enough people working to pay more tax...

          I am absolutely convinced that the passion of hatred has blinded a fair majority of our countrymen. We can't think straight and hatred of a caricature the media presents to us has turned the whole nation into a mess of jelly.

          All that will happen is that the next supposed "saviour" in the queue will have the same hatred directed to them when they fail to deliver everything for nothing.

          Be careful what you ask for.......

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        • james g:

          27 Feb 2015 4:28:18pm

          jimbob

          firstly let me apologise for typo. I meant 12.5% of GDP.

          Have since found another figure from Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook > Part 3: Fiscal Outlook the projected level of net debt in 2016‑17 is $280.5 billion (15.7 per cent of GDP), which is $63.2 billion higher than at the 2013 PEFO.

          I still maintain that our level of debt will not be reduced whilst this head in the sand strategy of low taxes is maintained.

          There is not enough revenue going into treasury to maintain government services. It's either send our living standards through the floor or raise revenue through the only logical avenue available.

          Taxation.

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        • Old Dude:

          27 Feb 2015 4:22:18pm

          Yes you are correct.

          I have suggested for sometime there should be a single rate of tax and with no Tax Deductions. Say 15% to 20%. A Tax free threshold of $20,000.

          Then you will have revenue which you can bank on and a whole lot of unemployed, who have exploited the Tax System for no productive benefit to the Economy.

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        • Judy Bee:

          27 Feb 2015 12:45:28pm

          Hello Greig,

          You state "It's an emergency, how many times does HOckey have to stand in front of the cameras and say it"?

          Greig, I would suggest that Joe change the rhetoric and change it quickly. NO one is listening, no one believes it for a few very good reasons.

          Fact check - Joe doubled the deficit. Fact check - Joe removed a few revenue streams, including the carbon tax, the mining tax, and the tax-minimising scheme of novated car leases. Labor wanted to tighten the requirement to show that these arrangements had integrity. This measure would have increased revenue by stopping the tax rorting. Then we had the planned spending on $$$$PPL, we now have revenue going into Child Care, Subsidies to Mining industries, tax-minimising schemes linked to superannuation.

          While Joe refuses to address revenue, while Joe bows down to the GOD OF NO TAXES, the budget will not recover. And while he turns a blind eye, the voters will continue to close their ears.

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        • GRF:

          27 Feb 2015 2:14:30pm

          No point flogging a dead horse Judy.

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 5:11:41pm

          GRF:- Seems you mighty be right - Abbott could well be a dead horse?

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 5:06:25pm

          @Judy Bee: - I have struggled to evaluate what you have so easily stated - love your comment - and fully agree

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        • Jerry Attrick:

          27 Feb 2015 12:48:58pm

          Doesn't matter how often you repeat the Liberal mantra, Greig. The international figures that show we have the lowest national debt in the OECD and Australia's AAA credit rating tells a different story.

          You need a new song to sing, because Abbott and Hockey's lyrics no longer ring true for most of the electorate.

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        • GRF:

          27 Feb 2015 2:17:00pm

          Lowest national debt! 5.3 trillion dollars for 23 million people is $230,000 for every man woman and child. That is the biggest in the world, not the smallest.

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        • Margie Reen:

          27 Feb 2015 12:50:07pm

          When I read comments like Grieg's I do wonder which cemetery they were dug up from. So the staggering economy is Labor's fault? If Abbott and Hockey had put forward a fair budget then it would have been passed. Ever thought of that? Rudd spent to get us out of the GFC created by the right wing extremists you support, ever thought of that?

          At least you understand part of the problem, changing Abbott to Turnbull results in the same poor policy being pushed on the Australian voter. Change leader all you like, the LNP is doomed based on its own ideology.

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        • Non-Partisan Pragmatist:

          27 Feb 2015 1:35:31pm

          Hi Greig,

          You're right to a point, but you lump all the blame on one party. Unfortunately, the Howard Government did little to capture the economic potential during the mining boom too. Instead of ensuring some of the profites from Australia's sovergien resources were redirected back into the public purse to provide funding for the diversification of the economy, the Howard Government cut taxes and introduced middle class welfare in the form of things like the baby bonus.

          So yes, the situation we face is not solely the responsibility of the current government, but also at least the last two dating back to and including Howard.

          So who is reallly to blame? The electorate.

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        • Prime Lemur:

          27 Feb 2015 2:06:20pm

          My friend. Shouting "Debt and Deficit Emergency" may have been a clever ploy to dump nearly everyone promise they made before the election. How much of an emergency is it when the situation has radically and rapidly deteriorated since the Abbott and Hockey circus was elected?

          All we're talking about now is whether the Coalition cede outright control of the Senate to Labor or not at the next election.

          *You*might love his politics, most ordinary Australians eagerly await the end of this idiot's wrecking ball policies. And when he goes, so will the other blowhards: Hockey, Pyne, Brandis, Cormann and the rest of the sycophants.

          Then we can get down to the business a conservative government is elected for ... fixing the budget. Remember?

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        • bruce V:

          27 Feb 2015 2:44:28pm

          Joe Hockey said yesterday sunshine in the economy is breaking out ....but then Grieg I would agree with you that is not correct and just another lie from the treasure who has lied more than any other....

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        • TheJohno:

          27 Feb 2015 3:29:27pm

          Greg,

          You are wrong. Australias economy is OK at the moment and to suggest otherwise is plainly ignorant.

          Joe was telling the New Zealanders that we are in great shape economically so who is he telling porkies to Greg, them or us?

          To help you answer that question, most economists, business leaders and our credit rating agencies are telling us we are in good shape but do need to fix some structural problems if we want to stay that way going into the long term!

          But hey, because Joe says it, it must be true right? Because joe repeats it even makes it so?

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        • Greig:

          27 Feb 2015 4:01:11pm

          Wow Johno, you are in denial.

          Australia's debt is unsustainable, we need major reform in multiple areas to resolve it. Every independent economist acknowledges this.

          And yet you say all is OK, and Joe is engaging in alarmism.

          Australia is in deep trouble if this is what the electorate really thinks.

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        • Petronious:

          27 Feb 2015 4:52:31pm

          "If a lie is repeated enough, eventually it becomes accepted as an established truth" Josef Goebels. "This is true in any country in the World."

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        • tomtoot:

          27 Feb 2015 3:32:42pm

          Greig:- You are a worry?

          The scrapping of the mining tax was to benefit Australia to the tune of $13+billion - it didn't - Australia lost out - who made that silly decision?

          The scrapping of the Carbon tax was going to improve Australian households income by $550.00 it didn't - who made that silly decision?

          You state "....The Australian economy is not faltering because of Abbott and Hockey. It is because the opposition, independents and most of the Australian population refuse to ackowledge that the economy has already fallen over,....."

          Abbott the circus leader and senior clown Hockey are not to blame ....Hahahahahahhahahhahhaha

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        • Petronious:

          27 Feb 2015 4:44:34pm

          Thee old "labor mess" lie. How much longer before this myth is finally laid to rest. The parrots are still repeating what they have benn told.

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        • Andrew English:

          27 Feb 2015 5:42:23pm

          Greig, your point on changing leadership being nothing but a shuffling of the deckchairs seems to indicate hopelessness from your perspective. Either we change leadership or we don't, either with a change of LNP leader NOW or a change of party at the next poll. Not changing leadership means more years of the same which, to me, is just not an option. At least a change of leadership will offer some new blood and get this stagnant creek running again. For me, giving Malcolm T an opportunity to do something productive from the LNP side of politics makes sense. If he fails, then at the next poll the Australian people can voice their concern with their vote and give the ALP a chance. Change is good and right now essential if we are to start seeing some highlights on the horizon.

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        • Zany:

          27 Feb 2015 5:42:47pm

          The trouble Ray is that the economy is faltering because Hockey really doesn't know much about economics. He's trying to use 1970 style fixes on a 21st century economy. It can't be done and Hockey should really step down.

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        • Kevin:

          27 Feb 2015 7:11:33pm

          I guess you will go on believing that regardless what the facts actually say, Greig. The problem with the economy now can be traced to the last budget. Confidence dropped off a cliff, investment dried up, and the 'debt and deficit disaster' became a bigger (though still manageable) problem. The problem with the economy now is down to the dreadful decisions taken by this government, plus a downturn in commodity prices that started in 2011. Your rhetoric is overblown I'm afraid.

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        • Gazza:

          27 Feb 2015 12:37:53pm

          Agreed Ray.

          I was quite content to sit back and watch the circus for some time yet.

          But it's starting to get expensive, people are hurting, and it's also starting to get just a little bit dangerous in my view.

          Time for the buffoon and his entourage to disappear.

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        • GRF:

          27 Feb 2015 1:59:36pm

          The 'Australian Economy', if it indeed justifies such a lofty description, is a one-trick pony. Dig it up and sell it. The rest of the so-called 'economy' parisitises primary production income. It is faltering because of a drop in prices for iron ore.

          As for the Abbott Government, their sensible attempts to impose some fiscal rectitude on recalcitrant feral Australians is being blocked by an equally recalcitrant feral senate.

          The rest, as they say, is history.

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        • Prime Lemur:

          27 Feb 2015 4:13:34pm

          This is what I love about the ultra-conservatives. Its *always* someone else's fault. Ha!

          So far, we've heard its the fault of the Senate, and the selfish Australian people. Of course, the source of all the ills was Labor (or the Labor/Greens/ABC/Trade Union/Liberal Media conspriacy).

          The fact is, its not kitchen table economics. And these days, the average Aussie isn't an economic illiterate.

          Do you know which countries on Earth consistently operate with less than 20% debt to GDP ratios? They're the OPEC countries. Not all OPEC countries have less than 20% debt to GDP, but nearly all countries with less than 20% are in OPEC.

          Now, if an Australian government goes to an election promising it will pay down public debt, and it is elected, then that's fine. That's what the people want. However, Australians are generally not stupid, not selfish, and not economically illiterate. They expect any program to pay down public debt will include a mix of measures, spending and revenue raising, and that such a program will take a bit from across the entire spectrum of economic activity, so that no single group is shouldering the whole burden.

          What we've seen from Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, and Joe Hockey, Treasurer, is an attempt to push the whole burden on to the working poor, wage earners with families and pensioners, you know, those who can probably least afford it.

          Now, the Senate is one of our checks and balances. It may surprise you to know, I vote very differently in the House of Reps and the Senate. As far as I'm concerned, the Senate is my safety net. It'll stop stupid laws and unjust budgets getting through.

          It is precisely because Aussies have a pretty good sense of what is just and unjust that the Abbott/Hockey budget crashed and burned. Some people, it saddens me to say, are only ever motivated by selfish self-interest. But for the rest of us, I reckon we're happy to do our fair share, as long as we can see everyone is chipping in.

          So, when a budget is proposed that hits all the hard working working wage earners, while the real leeches on the economy: the rent-seekers, the landlords, the big end of town, the hundred-billion dollar mining companies and the fat-cat equity speculators all get a free pass, well, thank God for the Senate. Have all of you forgotten about "Howard's Battlers"? Where's Abbott's Battlers. They're lying bruised and bloodied in the gutter.

          Absolutely everything that has happened to this government and its agenda has been entirely, wholly and completely its own fault. Don't come here blaming everyone else.

          The trouble is, they're now such abject failures, we're about to hand government back to Labor. I don't think Labor have had enough time to think about what it is they stand for. Well, right now, people are starting to think, at least they're not Abbott and Hockey.

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        • Judy Bee:

          27 Feb 2015 4:45:40pm

          Hello GRF,

          Bit of dead horse flogging there - 'fiscal rectitude on reclcitrant feral Australians'. That manner of thinking about the electorate is exactly why the Abbott Government is getting flogged. Dead horses indeed.

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        • Jerry Attrick:

          27 Feb 2015 12:53:54pm

          The concern I have, yank, is that Turnbull will not be allowed to "be himself" if he is elected leader of the Liberal party. He has demonstrated in the recent past that he is prepared to support socially discriminatory legislation, which means that pressure from the big guns behind him could make him a quite different sort of leader from the one we think he wants to be.

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        • the yank:

          27 Feb 2015 2:12:16pm

          I am not sure Jerry that I want Turnbull to completely be himself. I've seen a side of him that isn't too pretty.

          At the end of the day he will fall or succeed on how well he deals with a range of people. I doubt he will make too many deals he is not the sort of guy that suffers what he considers fools.

          He will have to wait and see what transpires but surely it can't be worse then what we have at present.

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        • Jerry Attrick:

          27 Feb 2015 6:00:36pm

          Agreed, Yank. Tony doesn't seem to have thought through the business of being PM. In the 50 years that I've been in Australia I haven't seen such obvious ineptitude on either side of politics. In a way it's sad, both for Australia and for Abbott.

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        • Craig HS:

          27 Feb 2015 2:14:25pm

          In July 2014, Tony Abbott speculated on 2GB that if the government's "difficulty" in getting legislation through the Senate continued for six to 12 months, it might be time for a poll, ie Double Dissolution. He walked away from that afterwards.

          That doesn't strike me as the kind of thing to idly muse over. To be sure, it was a tactic to try and strongarm some assistance from Labor, and as Tony's personal gaffs and woes had yet to strike at that point, there was a remote possibility of the LNP picking up crucial Senate seats.

          I can't help but wonder if Tony wished he pushed the button on the big bad DD back when he had the opportunity. Doing it now would consign the LNP to the wilderness for the forseeable future.

          Would it still be a weapon he could use against unruly back-benchers? "You're with me or we all fall down together!"?

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        • the yank:

          27 Feb 2015 2:59:09pm

          I recon Rudd is kicking himself for not doing it back when he had the opportunity, Craig.

          I guess that is the way of things. I look forward to the day I see Abbott give his Rudd speech. Then will he do another Rudd and try to undermine Turnbull?

          I suspect Turnbull won't be as easy a mark as Gillard.

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        • Jerry Attrick:

          27 Feb 2015 6:04:53pm

          "I suspect Turnbull won't be as easy a mark as Gillard."

          Unless, of course, he has most of Australia's press and all the shock jocks slandering and ridiculing him.

          I'm hoping we never see that sort of lynch-mob mentality in Australia again, even for those applications that might be considered "poetic justice".

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      • Jay Somasundaram:

        27 Feb 2015 9:29:12am

        I believe what the country needs in a PM is good governance skills - the ability to oversee the operation of a very complex business called government. From their CVs, Turnbull demonstrates the most such experience by far. On the other hand, I find his handling of the NBN mediocre. Morrison, on the other hand, demonstrated ability in his last portfolio. Bishop has also demonstrated competence, but her role was less governance, but the nevertheless critical skills of negotiation and collaboration.

        But I will be disappointed if Turnbull GRABS the reins. It needs to be given to him by a united party asking him to step in. The Liberal party will get far better public credibility if it is seen as being united. He will also be a more powerful PM, more able to do the job. If Turnbull cannot see this, and hold/sacrifice his personal ambition, then he is not worthy. If the party cannot see this, it is not worthy.

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      • JohnC:

        27 Feb 2015 9:43:24am

        @PGC:

        The dilemma facing the Liberal party if Turnbull gets the top job is twofold. Firstly his middle of the road political stance will put him at odds with the dominant right wing section and secondly many stand to lose their positions of power both in the parliament and in the party as a direct result of the Turnbull elevation. The final outcome may well be an electorally popular Prime Minister but a deeply divided party intent on self destruction for years to come.

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        • whohasthefish:

          27 Feb 2015 3:04:49pm

          The problems facing the Liberal Party are of their own doing. When Howard was kicked out because of his parties draconian policies the scum floated to the top of the party tree. Its time for the party to scrape off the scum and allow fresh faces and idea's to reinvigorate the party. Abbott, Abetz, Bishop B, Heffernan el at all need to be excised. Only then can the party move back to its true libertarian principles and become an acceptable alternative. The pretence of middle ground politics whilst imposing a far right agenda has been exposed and quite frankly has been thoroughly rejected by the populous. Time for a cleanout, starting with Abbott.

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      • v:

        27 Feb 2015 10:04:27am

        PGC,

        "I do not think our republican Turnbull will reign"

        I'm not so sure that he wants to. But, even if he did want to, I think that he realises that now is not the time and that he would be better off just undermining Abbott, letting some power mad goose like Morrison take the poisoned chalice of the Liberal leadership, and keep his powder dry until he can emerge as the saviour of the Liberal party after their humiliating defeat in 2016 (or earlier).

        But there is one possible hitch in his strategy. Although he has a strong personal following in his own electorate of Wentworth, he will have to be careful to distance himself from the more unpopular measures yet to be introduced by his party, and this will make his continued membership of the cabinet increasingly untenable. It is hard to know whether Turnbull's undoubted popularity in his own electorate is strong enough to counter the quite extraordinary level of hostility building up against the Tory government. And this hostility appears to be at its strongest in "trendy", "latte-sipping" electorates like Wentworth. It is possible (but probably not likely) that Turnbull could lose his chance at the top job, not because a majority of his colleagues don't want him, but because of majority of his constituents no longer want the Tories.

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        • gbe:

          27 Feb 2015 11:31:40am

          From where I sit know one wants the job and that includes Tony and Bill and really who could blame them the mainstream media waiting for any slip family and close friends torn apart in social media and talk back radio and blog sites.

          Very average money and perks considering the demands you would have to be a complete masochist or a dim witted fool to put you hand up for that sort of endless scrutiny.

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 12:33:48pm

          gbe,

          "From where I sit know one wants the job and that includes Tony and Bill"

          I think that there is a bit of a difference here.

          Abbott (and many of his fellow Tories) has only ever wanted to be PM. He never really bothered to think about what he would do if he were PM, he just assumed that being PM was what he deserved for being such an excellent chap (in his own eyes). The question of whether he still wants the job is a vexed one.

          I think that Shorten is more typically Labor in his outlook and sees the leadership as something that it was his responsibility to take on. This explains the relative civility and good spirits in which the leadership contest between him and Albanese was fought. A win for Albanese would not have been the end of the world for Shorten because, like most Labor MPs, his interest is in "the programme", not in who is in charge.

          It is fair to say that support within the Labor Party for Shorten is stronger now than it was when he was elected as leader, and it is also fair to say that he has impressed and even surprised a many Labor members who cast their vote for Albanese.

          I should say that this says less about the personal qualities of Shorten or Abbott than it does about the nature of the parties they lead. The exist for different purposes - or to be exact, the Labor Party exists for a purpose and the Liberal Party exists to oppose the Labor Party. This focuses the thinking of Labor members on policy and the long-term vision promoted by the party, rather than on personalities. Members of the Liberal Party do not enjoy this luxury. All they have to go on is presonalities.

          Such a shame - there are some clever people in the Liberal Party, but the organisation gets in their way.

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        • Jay Somasundaram:

          27 Feb 2015 2:07:11pm

          Actually their money and perks are virtually the highest compared to other OECD, particularly considering that AU has a smaller population and budget than then the UK, Canada and US (Obama US$400,000 +$50,000 expenses). (AUPM AU$500,000, UK and Canada less).

          It would be interesting to know how many of our MPs, while working in the real world received an annual income higher than that they receive as an MP.

          Our "Leaders" keep saying that we need to tighten our belts. How about they LEAD by example.

          Virtually all leaders are ambitious and power-hungry. Otherwise they wouldn't have gotten far up the ladder

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 3:28:12pm

          Jay,

          "Actually their money and perks are virtually the highest compared to other OECD"

          So, other OECD countries treat their pollies even worse than we do. Is that really such a source of pride?

          I'm not a politician. I'm not sure how good I would be at being a politician, but I do know that I am not prepared to make the sacrifices required to become a successful politician. And, perhaps more importantly, I am not prepared to ask my family and close friends, to make the necessary sacrifices on my behalf.

          But throughout my working life I have occasionally found myself in a situation in which I have had to work closely with politicians and I would have to say that, on average, they are quite exceptional human beings who honestly believe that they can and should make the sacrifices that I am not prepared to make, and that what they believe in will be truly helpful to the nation. Now, they can't all be right in this belief. In fact, at least half of them are probably wrong and there is even a remote possibility that none of them are right. But if we are talking about their motivations here, rather than the effects of their actions, I would have to say that they are mostly noble.

          They do a tough job. It is not a job that I am prepared to do and I could not guarantee that I would be any better at it than them even if I was. So I think that it is only fair that I respect them. It's fine to criticise their policies and their errors, and to lampoon and satirise them (most that I have met love it), but I really do think we should draw the line at attacking them as human beings - especially when most of us know virtually nothing about most of them.

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        • Jay Somasundaram:

          27 Feb 2015 6:08:27pm

          "They do a tough job".

          There are plenty of tough jobs that Aussies do, V, that have far lower wages. Fishermen, lumberjacks, hospital cleaners, teachers in dysfunctional communities...... generally with greater job-competence than I see in politicians.

          I agree that most politicians enter politics with a sense of doing good for the community. But that doesn't guarantee competence. Nor does it prevail against the corrupting nature of power and our political culture.

          I believe most politicians would jump at the chance to be PM, and believe that they would do a better job than the current incumbent (Illusory superiority is a cognitive bias whereby individuals overestimate their own qualities and abilities, relative to others: Wikipedia).

          However, I do try to keep my posts both factual and civil. And welcome it being pointed out to me when I breach these standards. I'm not quite sure what you found offensive. Power-hungry? I see a thirst for power as a universal animal trait - necessary for survival. Leaders need it more as successful leadership IS the exercise of power.

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      • hairy nosed wombat:

        27 Feb 2015 10:29:48am

        The irony is that while Abbott is the monarchist, in practice he is the most presidential leader the nation has ever seen. In the Office of PM, we now have our own little Whitehouse, with policy frequently being written by employees of the Liberal Party with little input from elected members of Parliment or public service. We now even have El Presidente Abbott telling us he was elected PM by the people!

        The republican Turnbull will actually represent something of a return to a more conventional Westminster model. But then one suspects the real reason why Abbott, and before him Howard were really monarchists was more about resenting the potential limitations and oversight on their powers that would come from trecognising the realty that we are already effectively a republic. The current ambiguity afford Abbott greater freedom than he might be afforded otherwise.

        Likewise, the great strengths of conservatism have always been pragmatism and civility. Abbott lacks both. Turnbull is strong on both, although clearly no conservative. Abbott's demise will no doubt be largely due to his failure to demonstrate the behaviors his political leaning would suggest should be his instinct.

        Barry, you are very right. Allowing Abbott to continue to go on is an indulgence to his ego by the Party, and as such the public will have little patience for it. Permenent damage is being done to brand Liberal.

        The Liberal Party needs to get back to being about good governance. Tony Abbott's ego should be well down on their list of priorities. Turnbull needs the chance to oversea the next budget, or this entire political term and any chance of ongoing Liberal leadership will have been sacrificed to Mr Abbott's ego and the arrogance of the nutty right.

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 11:21:40am

          hnw,

          "The irony is that while Abbott is the monarchist, in practice he is the most presidential leader the nation has ever seen."

          I think that he still has some way to go before he tops Rudd in this respect and even further to go before he overtakes Howard.

          Abbott is more the old-fashioned feudal autocrat, and he clearly has delusions of nobility. What else could explain him knighting a prince? Abbott sees himself as a monarch, not a president. He is trying to reintroduce feudalism, with multinational corporations taking the place of the old robber barons.

          The idea of presidents and elections and their connotations of democracy is just a bit too disturbing for a neo-feudalist like Abbott.

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        • Middie:

          27 Feb 2015 12:40:44pm

          Agree v. Democracy is often about discussion and negotiation to get an outcome. We all know how 'good' Tony is at them. It also explains many of his captain's calls.

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        • Gazza:

          27 Feb 2015 12:48:15pm

          I think you might be reading too much into it v.

          In my opinion Abbott hasn't got the faintest idea what he is doing. We may well be looking at a 'Chance Gardener' (see Peter Sellers in Being There) in action!

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        • Burhead:

          27 Feb 2015 1:32:04pm

          V

          I agree, I think the general public are being treated like peasants in medieval times. The new class of peasants will not be able to afford property of their own, they will work longer and longer hours and yet pay all their income to the new lords of the modern age; the Corporations. Public assets are bequeathed to the new lords, for services rendered and favours granted, via privatisation, and the peasants will pay and pay till they die.

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        • Amazed:

          27 Feb 2015 11:27:29am

          Thanks for the humour (albeit unintended) - "the great strengths of conservatism have always been pragmatism and civility" - oh boy how wrong can one be?

          In conservative politicians all civility is feigned and their pragmatism only ever occurs when their ideologies have proven to be impossible to implement.

          On the other hand Labor's civility was well demonstrated yesterday when Albanese expressed his views on the retirement of the Chairman of the Sydney Airport Corporation and we all remember that epitome of civility - one Keating. Additionally Labor's pragmatism is based on the demands of the many factions of the unions (in other words "do as we say and you will be allowed to be rewarded").

          It may be so that politics is the "art of the possible" but I have seen little civility from any politicians other than that which is feigned to serve their pragmatism.

          A curse on all their houses!

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        • Rancid Remark:

          27 Feb 2015 12:31:09pm

          Isn't it odd that what you say goes in both directions "based on the demands of the many factions of the unions (in other words "do as we say and you will be allowed to be rewarded")." This also applies to big business and the LNP.

          Seems we cannot win with whoever we vote for.

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    • tc21:

      27 Feb 2015 8:37:15am

      I just don't see the appeal of a Turnbull either, he sends me to sleep.

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      • Abraxas:

        27 Feb 2015 9:00:20am

        His appeal both to voters and to MPs is nice quiet leadership with no crash crash oops! To entertain us in the media and at the pub.

        Personally I prefer Abbott continued leadership till 2016 at least in an election we can sweep them all away for the foreseeable future.

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        • Le blogeur gai:

          27 Feb 2015 9:49:17am

          There is a sizable portion of the Liberal Party which hates Turnbull's guts, so I don't think he'll get an easy time ESPECIALLY from Abbott supporters who will white ant him from day one.

          And he will forever be dogged by his involvement in the Godwin Grech/OzCar fake email affair which rendered him dishonest and untrustworthy.

          He is also weak and unprincipled.

          Despite being in a party which allows it's members to cross the floor, and despite being supposedly pro same-sex marriage and pro carbon pricing, he voted against both issues because Tony told him to.

          And he has also destroyed the NBN - because Tony told him to.

          Turnbull is no better than Abbott really and all the Libs will be doing is trading one disaster for another.

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        • Fred:

          27 Feb 2015 12:29:01pm

          So you want the ALP and greens to screw the economy up AGAIN and open the boarders up AGAIN. Are you insane or mad? You do realise that the country will be so badly damaged by those lefties one day that the LNP will not be able to repair the damage AGAIN.

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        • le blogeur gai:

          27 Feb 2015 1:06:21pm

          Fred, Labor saved the economy from the worst of the GFC to the envy of the rest of the developed world and delivered low interest rates, low inflation, low unemployment, AAA credit rating from all 3 ratings agencies - a first - and a very low debt-to-GDP ratio.

          Since Abbott and Co came to power, our debt has blown out by $70+ billion, their 1st Budget STILL hasn't been fully passed after 10 months; our international reputation is in tatters; the Australian motor vehicle industry which employs 200,000+ people in the industry and satellite industries/businesses has been bullied into quitting Australia; the renewable energy industry has almost been destroyed sending thousands of jobs and billions of investment dollars overseas; and our defence manufacturing industry stands to be destroyed by awarding the submarine manufacturing contract to Japan.

          No thanks Fred. We can't afford much more of this government.

          Despite Labor's internal bickering, they still ran rings around this mob.

          In Gillard's first 7 months, she passed 127 pieces of legislation despite a hung parliament and hostile Senate.

          Abbott's effort in the first 7 months was 7 pieces of legislation.

          The Coalition may have a "born to rule" mentality, but in practice, they are unfit to rule.

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 2:01:13pm

          Easy for gillard to pass legislation when you have an effective majority in both houses. The support she needed was easily brought. As to the "born to rule" crap, this is nothing more than the typical left wing trash to rally the stupid. As a friend that lived under communism said to me, people believe in the socialist/communist ideal until they grow up.

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        • Robert:

          27 Feb 2015 4:07:24pm

          Dave, Gillard didn't even have a majority in the house of reps let alone the senate. Your man has it easy in comparison and still can't get things through!

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        • Chris:

          27 Feb 2015 2:22:52pm

          The motor industry was already destroyed by the ALP before the LNP got into power.

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        • Tom:

          27 Feb 2015 2:28:00pm

          Try again lbg. The LNP saved Australia in the GFC because they had retired the debt of the last ALP binge AND had saved money. The state the ALP left Australia in after their last failed effort is still to be repaired by the LNP and the ALP/Greens are successfully doing their best to prevent any repair work from occurring. When the ALP block changes they proposed for the last election, you know that they only care about power.

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        • Sir Bones II:

          27 Feb 2015 1:53:52pm

          @Fred

          I for one am getting very tired of these nonsense arguments, there have been many others who have refuted "ALP and greens to screw the economy up AGAIN" rhetoric with facts.

          I haven't seen many people refute the "open boarders" - which is actually "open borders", "boarders" would be people who would pay board for a room.

          Back to my point: An open border is a border that enables free movement of people between different jurisdictions with limited or no restrictions to movement.

          To my limited knowledge Australia since federation has never had Open Borders - if I'm wrong, I'm sure some the more learned contributors here will correct me.

          Perhaps, instead of parroting hyperbole you might contribute to the discussion at hand.

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        • Severed head:

          27 Feb 2015 3:08:41pm

          Unfortunately, its already happened mate. We need constitutional reform, ie broker a two state solution (lifters and leaners if you like).

          Just in case you haven't noticed the centre no longer exists, and its only 18th century inner city liberals like Turnbull who are deluded enough to think it can be recovered. Whereas, the labor/greens just persist with old style class warfare and the poorer you are the more you tend to lose in this war.

          What has been proved by the last 7 years of dysfunction is that the overall government function is redundant. And that goes for all the hangers on as well, such as journalists, media, the twitterblab, academia et al.

          Fortunately, I recognised this when Rudd got in and we have future proofed our family's financial security against the labor/green bankruptocracy. You should try to do the same.

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        • graazt:

          27 Feb 2015 4:51:53pm

          "What has been proved by the last 7 years of dysfunction is that the overall government function is redundant."

          Proven by whom? You?

          Tell that to the Chinese.

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      • robp:

        27 Feb 2015 10:06:40am

        Turnbull does not approach leadership like a bull in a china shop. That is what is so encouraging about him. No drama, or hysterics, which is the trademark of Abbott

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        • Albo :

          27 Feb 2015 1:50:42pm

          If only all those promoting the wondrous charms and abilities of Turnbull , actually had an intention to vote for him !

          What a joke !

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      • Lawrence of Bavaria :

        27 Feb 2015 10:46:58am

        My problem with Malcolm Turnbull is that he supported the LNP party line on the "operational" secrecy regarding boat arrivals - no sunlight or transparency there. He stood idle by and didn't speak up against the watering down of the NBN to a fibreless node fest. Instead he was playing team player for a captain who spiralled out of control. Turnbull, of all people, must have know that the last budget was political suicide. Either he was hedging his bets thinking "Go ahead, make my day - and my day will come sooner than I thought" or his judgment is as off as within the rest of the LNP.

        If Turnbull is to roll Tony Abbott then he has to be the Miley Cirus of the LNP, the wrecking ball that clears out the concrete-headed hardliners like Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz, Bronwyn Bishop, George Brandis and Scott Morrison (won't happen) and the coalition duds like Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann.

        He should reach out to Mike Baird in NSW and offer him a senior position win or lose after the election and he should go out headhunting "women of calibre".

        But if Turnbull just takes over and the policies of the LNP stay as they are it'd be just putting lipstick on a pig.

        And those don't fly.

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 11:45:59am

          Lawrence,

          "he supported the LNP party line on the "operational" secrecy regarding boat arrivals - no sunlight or transparency there. He stood idle by and didn't speak up against the watering down of the NBN "

          Turnbull is the political equivalent of a meringue - he looks solid until you bite into him. There is a bloke in Italy called Berlusconi who could well have supplied the mould from which Turnbull was popped - although he wears even more expensive suits.

          The question that the Liberals really need to ask themselves is whether or not they want to replace a proto-Putin with a quasi-Berlusconi.

          I agree with what you say re: border security and the NBN, but I would add his craven compliance with Howard in scuttling the Republican campaign from within as further evidence of his complete ethical vaccuity.

          Turnbull may be a quieter vessel than Abbott, but that doesn't mean that he is any less empty.

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        • MCW:

          27 Feb 2015 1:36:22pm

          What a comparison. Your political cheerleading is one thing v, but even you must have had some second thoughts about comparing Turnbull to a chauvinistic media manipulating power hungry 'leader' like Berlusconi.

          Go on then, give us the examples of where Turnbull is all those things - perhaps you saw him at a party once?

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        • Albo :

          27 Feb 2015 2:00:01pm

          Dream on v !

          If ever there was a "drovers dog " election for the LNP to win , it is the next one !

          Why do you think Turnbull is making his move now ! All he has to beat is Shorten, 6 years of the last Labor track record of incompetence at the helm, and the past 18 months of more Labor blocking of fixing up their own mess , and not a single new policy to offer the electorate ! Yep v ! Bring it on !

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 3:50:40pm

          Albo,

          "Why do you think Turnbull is making his move now"

          I seriously doubt that he is.

          I don't deny that he is doing all that he can to destabilise Abbott's leadership, but I don't think that this necessarily means that he wants to take over the leadership right now.

          But I think that the surest sign of who really wants the job comes from Abbott's decision to throw Morrison a "hospital pass" with the social security portfolio. Morrison has one feature that initially made him attractive to the PM: he doesn't mind beating up on the vulnerable. Unfortunately this beastly trait was celebrated while his victims were dark-skinned people from places that we struggle to pronounce and couldn't point out on a map. But I suspect (and so does Abbott) that Morrison's "Final Solution" approach will prove less popular when applied to people's kids and grandparents.

          Positioning one's potential rivals under falling safes and anvils is a favourite tactic of weak leaders. And Turnbull is being very careful not to stand on any rapidly growing shadows, but he is unlikely to warn Morrison of the dangers.

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      • J:

        27 Feb 2015 1:46:06pm

        Seriously...the guy's a carefully weighted diplomatic caring genius up amongst the small, limited, ill thought out, pun driven mind of Abbott.

        Perhaps your thrill is cheap entertainment?

        Take the debacle of the Human Rights Commisioner for instance. If he really believed his party was being a subject to biasism All he had to do was say.... Yes I acknowledge the 129 children still in detention is still a issues being a symptom to a very complex problem. We have however lowered this figure from the previous govts figures of ...blah demonstrating our determination to....blah.

        The criticism only required the skills of a smooth mouthed salesman (aka politician) to crow about their achievements. Instead he politicises the issue attempting to demonise a highly regarded academic in her field...who also happens to look like a saint.

        Is he mad or just plain stupid I ask

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    • Alpo:

      27 Feb 2015 8:41:16am

      "Can we now all join in and scream enough is enough?"... Happy to join in, the yank, and to also add: Elections asap!

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      • Alfie:

        27 Feb 2015 12:33:16pm

        "Elections asap!"

        Scream all you like - until 2016. Not a moment sooner.

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        • Alpo:

          27 Feb 2015 2:27:54pm

          Who knows Alfie, we may be surprised.

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        • Tom:

          27 Feb 2015 2:30:02pm

          They don't want any repairs to the economy to occur, do they. That is the reason why they are screaming. Protect the handouts at any cost.

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        • graazt:

          27 Feb 2015 5:17:41pm

          Worked for Gina Rheinhart

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      • bren:

        27 Feb 2015 2:17:58pm

        The same silly calls for early election when Gillard was PM (not necessarily by you).

        However same action, to be ignored, now as then.

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        • Algernon:

          27 Feb 2015 6:20:34pm

          The only possibility of it happening is if Turnbull or someone else takes over from Abbott. A quick election to bask in the honeymoon and save the deck chairs. If Abbott stays then they won't.

          In the meantime The place goes to hell in a hand basket because we have a government with no idea what to do.

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    • Freedom of Speech:

      27 Feb 2015 8:42:49am

      What makes you think it will be Turnbull next leader ... Mike Baird very popular in NSW could be drafted into the role...

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      • peter of mitcham:

        27 Feb 2015 10:21:01am

        That won't happen, we can put that rumour to Baird.

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      • Dace76:

        27 Feb 2015 10:29:29am

        I thought that is where Mr Newman would have gone, but he has disappeared from public view instead, so he at least followed through with that promise.

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      • Jess:

        27 Feb 2015 11:19:29am

        How?

        If there is a spill now the leader still needs to come from the elected members. Baird isn't elected to federal government so it would require the stepping down of a senator of the Liberal party or the stepping down of a member of the lower house and a by-election.

        It is extreemly unlikely that a new senator would be able to take the lead of Prime Minister from the Senate. We have only had a couple of Prime Ministers from the senate.

        a by-election takes time and although Baird might be very popular the current federal government and their policies are not so it would most likely be a swing away from the Liberal party regardless of the seat that is vacated.

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        • bren:

          27 Feb 2015 2:18:57pm

          I think you actually have 3 months to get a Hof Reps seat. No need to be an existing memebr.

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      • v:

        27 Feb 2015 11:58:34am

        Freedom,

        "What makes you think it will be Turnbull next leader "

        Thank heavens I am not the only one who sees it as unlikely that Turnbull could do a Lazarus (even with a single bypass). Or maybe that analogy doesn't work terribly well now that we actually have a Senator called Lazarus (or the Brick with Ears if you prefer). [Note to self: stop trying to be clever - smartypants].

        My money's still on Morrison - thick as two short planks, determined as a pit-bull, incapable of reflection, insensitive to consquences - just the sort of bloke to swallow the poisoned chalice of the leadership like a salmon swallows a bait. You could almost call him a bit of a Nelson (although this is probably a bit unfair - sorry Brendan).

        Cooler heads, like Turnbull for example, will be keeping their powder dry, ready to become the saviour of the Liberal Party after their crushing defeat in the next election. As Kim Hughes discovered, being the captain of a sinking ship is no fun at all.

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        • Lawrence of Bavaria :

          27 Feb 2015 2:10:06pm

          Agree, regarding Scott Morrison, v.

          My money is still on Malcolm Turnbull sitting it out until the train wreck that is the next election and then founding a new Party with true Liberals, simliar thinking Independents and maybe even a few Labor renegades. Suggested name: "The Moderates". Then Turnbull could finally be "Malcolm in the middle.".

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        • DrDavid:

          27 Feb 2015 5:40:07pm

          v:,

          Just for the moment disregarding Turnbull's terrible record with NBN, ABC, and all the ther train wrecks he might have tried to stop but didn't, I wonder what sort of leader he may turn out to be.

          I fully expect Morrison to be next, but I had a strange though in the middle of last night - what if Turnbull decided to stop playing futile politics and actually tried real leadership?

          I think Australia, and the LNP is at a crossroads perhaps as stark as the Whitlam dismissal - under Morrison, we could go down the neoliberal road to wannabe Americans, with no public control over corporate agendas, and the loss of everything that used to distinguish Australia from other nations.

          If Turnbull had some sort of visitation from a higher being, and was persuaded to turn honest, he might be capable of enunciating a different course that would lead to an alternative national spirit, under which we wouldn't feel compelled to viciously disregard international humanitarian law. We might develop new industries based on renewables, using that fabulous NBN Turnbull invented. We could end up actually being the clever country every PM has described us as practically since Menzies.

          But then again, we're talking about LNP, and stuff outside personal power games is beyond them all.

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        • v:

          27 Feb 2015 6:00:39pm

          DrDavid,

          "If Turnbull had some sort of visitation from a higher being, and was persuaded to turn honest"

          Well yes, but if we had some eggs we could make bacon and eggs.....if we had any bacon.

          Nut seriously, I really don't think that the problem is who is the parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party. The big problem is who, or what, is in charge of the Liberal Party and the limitations this imposes on the scope of policy development.

          Turnbull had to wreck the NBN because it threatened to provide digital IP providers with a level playing field and endanger the monopoly currently enjoyed by Foxtel. He knows from bitter personal experience what happens when you go against the WWW (What Wupert Wants) and he is not likely to make the same mistake if he gets a second bite at the cherry.

          This is the problem when you make a Faustian deal - it's very difficult to buy your soul back, even if you tire of the arrangement. The Liberal Party's only possible route to salvation is for a Labor government to ban foreign ownership or control over media services in Australia. This would make it much easier for the Liberals to regain some sovereignty over policy-making.

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    • Alfie:

      27 Feb 2015 8:50:28am

      Unlike your beloved Labor party, the Coalition doesn't change Prime Ministers on a mere whiff of bad polls.

      Both you and Cassidy are just wishful thinkers. Abbott will be there to take on the good fight with Shorten in 2016 (that's only IF he is still leading Labor then - which IMO is doubtful).

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      • Tom1:

        27 Feb 2015 9:17:53am

        Alfie : The epitome of hopeful unrealistic optimism.

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        • queenguinevere:

          27 Feb 2015 9:32:10am

          Another word for "epitome of hopeful unrealistic optimism" is delusion. I like the artistic ring of your presentation though and is something that Annabel Crabb would be proud to own. You have done well Alfie.

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        • Craig HS:

          27 Feb 2015 9:41:43am

          Indeed. It was only about 4 weeks ago the ABC ran an interactive graphic showing all the leadership spills, both Liberal and Labor, state and federal, oppositions and governments, over the last 16 years alone. From memory, it averaged out to about one a year, somewhere in Australia.

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      • Monty B:

        27 Feb 2015 9:31:45am

        Keep up Alfie. The ALP changed their rules to prevent this kind of problem which bedevilled them previously.

        Abbott`s claim that the Libs don`t behave as such is his way of making any move against him more difficult and more costly if/when it occurs. Blatant self-interest ahead of the team.

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        • Alfie:

          27 Feb 2015 12:38:40pm

          "The ALP changed their rules to prevent this kind of problem which bedevilled them previously."

          Since when did "rules" apply to the sacking incompetent Labor leaders? If the polls turn against the ALP, Shorten will be out on his ear quick smart.

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        • bren:

          27 Feb 2015 2:23:32pm

          But it will be much harder.

          If an ALP challenger gets the pre requisite numbers for a challenge, the incumbant might as well resign straight away, as clearly so many will have indicated they no longer the incumbant.

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      • Joe McArthy:

        27 Feb 2015 9:32:51am

        Really Alfie?? I wouldn't bet your house on it if I were you..

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      • sleepykarly:

        27 Feb 2015 9:35:44am

        Hi Alfie!

        Nor does the Coalition change Prime ministers just because they are rabid dogs doing harm to the nation. The traditional medieval respect for those whom God has placed above you still lives!

        Long live the King! Even as he takes us all into a disaster.

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      • Stuffed Olive:

        27 Feb 2015 9:51:44am

        It is not the polls Alfie, it is the stinking rotten specimen we have as a PM. Tony Abbott is bad for everyone and that includes the Liberal Party.

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      • The Skeleton Inside:

        27 Feb 2015 9:59:17am

        Oh I hope so Alfie...

        And Shorten will be leading Labor because the new rules will make knifing him in the back almost impossible.

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      • Blzbob:

        27 Feb 2015 10:07:50am

        It appears the captain intends to go down with his ship.

        That's the captains call I guess.

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      • robp:

        27 Feb 2015 10:08:20am

        Yes sad isn't it? Total denial that anything is wrong with the leader, rather than admitting he was a mistake and doing something about it. Still, that's why conservatives are called conservatives I guess.

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      • whitelephant:

        27 Feb 2015 10:08:43am

        Hey alfie, 100 bucks says you're wrong!

        Abbott will be out within weeks.

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      • maelcolium:

        27 Feb 2015 10:10:51am

        What's it all about Alfie?

        Like Howard, Abbot will hang around until the stench is too much for the hard liners to bear. And like Howard, Abbot will steer the leaky boat onto the reef. Break out the LNP lifeboats!

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        • Dace76:

          27 Feb 2015 10:40:47am

          Do a bit of research on Margaret Thatcher! She won an unwinnable election after the war to win back the Falklands (hence our sabre rattling); Thatchernomics was about austerity, privatisations and training the police to enable better riot control (ours is trained for anti-terrorism)!

          Finally, her Party had to move her on - apparently she also made the statement. that the people elected her PM only the PM can move her on.

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      • Blzbob:

        27 Feb 2015 10:11:46am

        Ice burg AHOY!

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      • Robert:

        27 Feb 2015 10:12:12am

        Oh Alfie, what to do eh?.

        You're man will be lucky to see next week out and yet the one man who gives you a slight glimmer of hope you just cant stomach.

        It's a real dilemma.

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        • epictetus:

          27 Feb 2015 12:01:13pm

          And even if Turnbull gets up it is highly unlikely that Abbott will retire quietly to the backbench.

          Abbott will be seething with nothing on his mind but revenge.

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        • Clicky Von Robot:

          27 Feb 2015 1:10:32pm

          Abbott will resign a la Newman. Then he'll write a memoir explaining his unique vision and how he was hampered by weakness on all sides. He'll finish by mumbling something about people getting what they deserve. After that he'll relax by trying to force a ship into a bottle.

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        • bren:

          27 Feb 2015 2:25:47pm

          Having said only ALp change leaders first term, the last thing he will do after being replaced, is do a Rudd.

          He will avoid as much of the camparision as possible.

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        • Alfie:

          27 Feb 2015 4:02:05pm

          Abbott is going nowhere. Live with it.

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      • Winston S O Boogie:

        27 Feb 2015 10:12:34am

        Alfie, if you are the voice of the majority of the parliamentary liberal party then the parliamentary liberal party is the best friend that Bill Shorten will ever have. If TA remains PM until the next election TA the LNP is irretrievably and irrevocably headed for an electoral wipe out. Are you blind to how even Murdoch and Jones have turned against him? Do you really think that consistently poor ratings can be ignored forever ( care to point to the last time TA had a positive net approval rating?). A Chieftain who may biff the objects of the far rights tribal hatred may appeal to the Tea Party Like (note -emphasis on like)members of the Liberal Party and their fellow travellers, but will never appeal to the Centre of Australia politics where elections are ne and lost. Face it- TA is a dead man walking and no amount of wishful, tribalist thinking is going to change that fact.

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      • peter of mitcham:

        27 Feb 2015 10:20:32am

        Alfie said, " the Coalition doesn't change Prime Ministers on a mere whiff of bad polls." Dead right, Alfie. But a cataclysmic failure of a hopelessly incompetent PM who should never sit down too hard as he might get concussion, could well trigger a change of leader. Let's now see which faceless, backroom, faction has control of the Liberal Party.

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      • worrierqueen:

        27 Feb 2015 10:31:22am

        That's the ticket Alfie! When all else fails a complete inability to look reality in the face will always see us through.

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      • Dace76:

        27 Feb 2015 10:35:45am

        I try to have balanced view and my thought was that the Government couldn't depose T.A. given his attack on this very thing while in opposition. On that basis alone I thought T.A. had to remain until 2016, but I am beginning to have doubts. I do agreed with the article though if he survives until July then he will survive until 2016, because one budget doesn't give a new leader any opportunity to make a difference, so why change. Not sure Turnbull will deliver the change everyone thinks he will as the Liberal Party is still the Liberal Party, all that will happen is less foot-in-mouth.

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      • oldfart:

        27 Feb 2015 10:39:41am

        wanna bet?

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      • the yank:

        27 Feb 2015 11:24:50am

        The LNP won't change leaders eh? I'll put that prediction in the class of the one you made for the Queensland election.

        My own prediction is Abbot will be gone as Cassidy says before the next budget is released.

        I also predict that a Turnbull PM will scrape in against Shorten unless Labor pulls something big from under their covers.

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      • Iswide:

        27 Feb 2015 12:01:20pm

        Alfie, such loyalty. I might have some good news for you - I have heard a whisper that Abbott is to be presented with the Farr Cup for his service to Australian governance. So impressive has that service been that the Cup will be bigger than usual, in fact, it will be the biggest Farr Cup since Federation.

        The Cup is reported to be being constructed out of scrap parts of Holdens and Fords and will ber made in the shape of a canoe. It is said it will be launched from Whyalla with he captain at the wheel.

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        • revitup:

          27 Feb 2015 2:49:38pm

          And the construction will be carried out by workers on 457 visas.

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      • brian:

        27 Feb 2015 12:09:31pm

        "that's only IF he is still leading Labor then"

        Don't think abbott will ever lead Labor.

        No , he's gone ,

        They would be mad to even think of scotty or julia (mind you ,going on this weeks performance they may be) Turnbull is their only hope now.

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        • Jeff Watt:

          27 Feb 2015 1:42:07pm

          Julie Bishop is deputy leader of the parliamentary Libs. Since becoming Foreign Minister, she has had a lot of work to do cleaning up messes after T Abbott's mouth got the better of him. She has given the appearance at least of being competent and taken seriously the need to serve the interests of the citizens of Australia.

          The Libs could do worse than voting her as their parliamentary leader, thus to become PM.

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      • v:

        27 Feb 2015 12:17:44pm

        Alfie,

        "the Coalition doesn't change Prime Ministers on a mere whiff of bad polls."

        Not exactly a "whiff of bad polls", alfie. It's more like a tsunami of disastrous and unexpected state election results, being surfed by a rising dissatisfaction among both backbenchers and some ministers at the way in which the PM's office is being run. In this it is a similar situation facing the Labor Party in 2010 when Rudd had gone off the rails.

        But the simple fact is that there is nothing wrong with the idea that a party should be able to change its leader if it becomes dissatisfied with his or her leadership of the party. It should not be a major pubic issue, and it wasn't when McMahon (the lowest traitor ever to lead the Liberal Party) replaced Gorton (the only decent man ever to lead the Liberal Party) mid-term.

        If the Liberal Party is not happy with their current leader, they should be able to change to someone who they think that they will be happier with. It is really only a matter for members of the Liberal Party and if you don't agree with what the Liberal Party is doing, then you should join the party so that you can have your say. And the same goes for those who harp on about the Labor Party's leadership.

        The idea that an organisation should not be allowed to choose its own leader should be highly offensive to anyone who respects democracy. The Liberal Party should be free to elect whoever they want as leader and should certainly not be forced to persist with Abbott now that they have clearly lost confidence in him.

        Just one word of advice alfie: when you are talking politics, it is best not to talk about what WILL or WON'T happen, and to confine your projections to what is most likely to happen. Things that have a low probablity of occurring have an annoying habit of occuring anyway, and things with a high probabitlity often stubbornly refuse to happen.

        Chaos can be fun like that.

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      • bren:

        27 Feb 2015 2:21:56pm

        Alfie

        In the old days maybe, but there does seem to be some nervous nellies without the spine. Maybe, like their recent predessors they spend too much time on tweeter and facebook, not enough face to face, therefore lose perspective on the electorate.

        (Note - I admit I was one who was surprised K rudd was challenged the first time and did not think it warranted).

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    • Stuffed Olive:

      27 Feb 2015 9:01:54am

      It's more than enough Yank. I don't think we can survive much more of this horror of a man who was never fit to be a PM.

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      • v:

        27 Feb 2015 2:53:19pm

        Olive,

        " I don't think we can survive much more of this horror of a man"

        As you probably realise, I'm not that keen on the bloke either. I first heard of him in student politics, and what I heard inspired me with no great desire to meet him. Then he was my local member for a while, but he spent his whole time scrapping with David Oldfield. So I do the sea/tree change thing and bugger off out of Sydney and the next thing I know he has bought a house down the road from me! I must have been a very naughty squirrel in a previous life to deserve this sort of luck!

        As much as I hate to say it, I don't think that Abbott is the problem. I agree that he is A problem, just not that he is THE problem. And, even if we do concentrate on Abbott, it is not whether he is a nice man or a "horror" that is the problem, but the simple fact that he isn't terribly good at being Prime Minister. If getting your party into government is a measure of ones effectiveness as an opposition leader, then you would have to say that he was quite good at being opposition leader. But you can't be good at everything, and Abbott is hopeless at being Prime Minster.

        But the problem, as usual in politics, is not personalities, and it is not in how the "message" is being "sold". The problem is what they are trying to sell, and it doesn't matter a tinker's cuss who or how they choose to sell it.

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    • BobC:

      27 Feb 2015 9:07:01am

      All "Join in and scream enough is enough". One two three

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    • CraigOfBathurst:

      27 Feb 2015 9:14:12am

      "Abbott's antics are preventing that from happening in an adult manner."

      Others would suggest the media obsession with Abbott, and their sustained attempt to see him fail, is what is preventing the public from hearing what's actually happening.

      Another example was Michael Brissenden's interview with Greg Hunt on ABC radio this morning. Hunt was explaining what he was up to and the progress they've made on many projects but Brissenden kept coming back to the leadership issue. With a little giggle.

      Many commentators stated Abbott was un-electable. With their credibility tattered, all they have now is a burning desire to force his removal. Meanwhile important issues are ignored.

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      • BrandonMP:

        27 Feb 2015 10:04:07am

        "Others would suggest the media obsession with Abbott, and their sustained attempt to see him fail, is what is preventing the public from hearing what's actually happening. "

        And the exact same thing happened to Labor. I'm not saying that it's fair, but this is what happens to political weakness now; it feeds itself, muffling sensible policy and discussions.

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      • the yank:

        27 Feb 2015 10:43:36am

        Abbott and his government are a gift that keeps on giving to the media.

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      • Darren:

        27 Feb 2015 10:51:02am

        Yes Craig. Its everyone elses fault in this adult government of no excuses. Good times. Stay tuned.

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 1:04:13pm

          Yes Darren, no one is allowed to point out the fact about the ALP/greens damaging this country and acting as the obstacle to repairing the damage.

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        • rusty cairns:

          27 Feb 2015 5:23:02pm

          but Dave use a rejection of bills and go back the ballot box is a choice but would only happen if they didn't believe that it was more than the ALP and Greens were the problem with the bills

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      • Grim:

        27 Feb 2015 11:26:31am

        While I agree completely that more important issues are being overlooked in favour of the leadership issues, let's not pretend that the focus on spills is somehow unique to the Abbott Government.

        The Gillard government was continually undermined throughout media by the disproportionate focus on Kevin Rudd. While the media held their breaths in anticipation throughout the entire second term of the Labor government from all sides, even before the first failed spill, if Rudd so much as sneezed in the wrong direction all media outlets were reporting it.

        I think it's incorrect to state that the media necessarily wants to see Abbott fail, but leadership spills are a moment of excitement in the otherwise rather dreary world of politics, and it's understandable (even though I don't necessarily agree with the extent of coverage) to see why the media would report this over the more mundane business of the day.

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      • Jungle Boy:

        27 Feb 2015 11:59:15am

        "Many commentators stated Abbott was un-electable."

        In ordinary circumstances they would have been right. But we had the Rudd situation.

        Similarly, I would say that Mr Shorten is not particularly appealing to the electorate. But now we have the Abbott situation.

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    • David:

      27 Feb 2015 9:40:06am

      Im about ready to add my voice to that scream. The Liberals knew what Abbott was like when they chose him as leader and now they want us to believe they are surprised by his conduct? That won't wash coming from the people who promised us 'adults in charge'. Sack Tony, put in Malcolm, lose the next election and hand the reigns over to Bishop. If someone can fast forward all of this before Easter I would be grateful as I have better things to do than watch Canberra eat itself.

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    • Dave In Melbourne:

      27 Feb 2015 10:05:53am

      In space, no-one can hear you scream.

      Here is what is more likely to happen going forward.

      Abbott won't be rolled by Turnbull at all. In fact people already realise that staying with Abbott is the best thing for the party.

      The Triggs affair will be forgotten and she will vanish from the scene. It is no big deal anyway - so what if a public servant cops some criticism from her boss. Big deal. Helloo? Everyone who doesn't work for the public service couldn't give a toss about Triggs.

      The liberals will win NSW election no dramas. probably increase the number of seats. Greens and labor will be creamed.

      The governments fortunes will rise and come the next election they will again win office and probably get balance of power in the senate.

      Tony Abbott will be the PM for at least the next 5 years.

      He saw off rudd and gillard, and shorten is only there until albo takes his chair. Christine

      will retire from the greens because she is so old.

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      • Honest Johnnie:

        27 Feb 2015 12:11:18pm

        Dave, can you go a little further back in time? Are you predicting a big win for the Napthine Government in Victoria, the Greens to win no seats in Melbourne and a big win for Campbell Newman in Queensland? That sounds like your style.

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      • ViVaH8:

        27 Feb 2015 12:31:56pm

        My only question is just what did you take in order to receive this remarkable 'vision'?

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      • Gazza:

        27 Feb 2015 1:03:23pm

        That's quite a mix of glaring errors and fantasy Dave.

        Is there a Front Bench seat in your immediate future? You seem extremely well qualified.

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      • Eric:

        27 Feb 2015 1:10:49pm

        You are correct Dave. It's only the media making this an issue. In fact, I wish all political commentators would take a 1 month sabbatical so we can have a break from this on-going Abbott bashing.

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      • Sir Robert of Lindsay:

        27 Feb 2015 2:04:17pm

        Two issue theres Dave

        "so what if a public servant cops some criticism from her boss."

        Abbot is NOT her boss, neither is Brandis.

        She holds a statutory position, the same way judges do. Her "boss" is the ENTIRE parliament, and only through a joint sitting can she be removed.

        "Greens and labor will be creamed."

        The polls are showing a steady increase in Labors vote, with Greens maintaining or slightly improving their position. With Abbott now the LNP's No.1 enemy and the vexed issue of privitization to play a huge roll in the NSW election, to say one side will be "creamed" is a little OTT.

        Libs SHOULD win NSW, but as every recent state election has shown it is very hard for the swing voters to distinguish between state and fed issues.

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    • Oaktree:

      27 Feb 2015 12:05:02pm

      Whatever happens I don't think it will work. Abbott will never leave and if he is forced onto the back bench we will see a re-run of the Ruddite undermining.

      The entrenched interests will want to keep the front bench and Malcolm will not have a free hand to shift the party back to the middle. Given his history in finance and in regard to the Gretch affair, I would not have great confidence that the electorate would be better represented across the board.

      At least he is a much smarter diplomat.

      I note Morrison is being warm and cuddly in his new ministry.

      Be careful what you wish for.

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    • GreyBags:

      27 Feb 2015 12:46:29pm

      Turnbull supported with out reservation, every single item of the unfair budget brought in by Hockey. He is not centrist economically.

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    • Billy Bob Hall:

      27 Feb 2015 1:25:42pm

      I hope he don't change Mr yank. He''s the man of steel this wide brown land needs right now.

      We don't need Turnbull for sure, the man neither Labor voters nor Liberal Voters will vote for.

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    • TheKat:

      27 Feb 2015 2:45:25pm

      Barry is still agitating for regime change. Maybe Abbott has gone back to his office to resign Barry!!!!!!

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    • howardp:

      27 Feb 2015 3:45:14pm

      People forget about Abbott's attack on his female colleague back in his University of Sydney days. His attack on Triggs is a reminder of the true nature of the man. Not fit to be the Prime MInister of Australia.

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    • The Pav:

      27 Feb 2015 3:57:27pm

      Yank

      Abbott won't be replaced by Turnbull. The extreme right wing just won't accept it. If he was made leader again the party would split.

      Abbott would not go quietly and would white ant him.

      Bishop has already proved she can't handle the job when she was shadow Treasurer. Also the parallels with Gillard would be too easy to draw and lay her open to attack. The there is her own party's problem with just being an old white mans club with a few token women

      The only possible replacement is Morrison who is planning on doing a Jim Hacker to get the job.

      He would be acceptable to the right and is frantically trying to soften his image while in social services.

      As the minister in charge of 1/3 of the budget spend don't you think it is interesting that he is never found commenting on the leadership.?

      He is carefully manicuring his image to be the compromise candidate

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    • Recycled teenager:

      27 Feb 2015 4:07:47pm

      Perhaps Tony Abbot should "shirt front" his dissenting backbenchers and other dignities who disagree with his governing.

      Perhaps they would benefit from cuddling some Koalas too?

      The Koalas wouldn't mind after all they have been trained. Probably by a volunteer on a disability pension.

      This action can't do any harm as this action would not increase nor diminish this governments global laughing stock standing any.

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    • Rsai:

      27 Feb 2015 4:42:10pm

      Whatever the outcome, it should be put to bed quickly. We need collective leadership to resolve issues that will make our country better and build the credibility with our neighbors to ensure our citizens are treated with respect. We need a moderate

      with balanced views to run the country. I pray that God help us in this regard. In the past decade, I have felt that people's voices are heard less and less and when mandate from electorate is misanalysed, people change Governments. This in turn, is not good for Brand Australia.

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    • Pegaso:

      27 Feb 2015 4:44:14pm

      Abbott will be tenacious in trying to hold on.Unlike a lot of politicians he has few options outside of politics.He certainly wouldn't get an overseas posting, he hasn't the intelligence for a business role,he wouldn't go down the Malcolm Fraser path.

      He has just not had the political intelligence to transit from a uni directional Opposition role to the multi faceted approach required of Government

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    • Leoboy:

      27 Feb 2015 6:18:47pm

      Too much betting on the demise of our PM. Let us wait for Tuesday and if nothing happens, I expect all the lefty media to apologise for false reporting and misleading the public.

      For too long the unrelenting media attack on the leader of the land is getting very tiresome. For goodness sake, let the Abbott government govern. The Coalition has been voted in to govern till mid or late 2016.

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  • Brewsta:

    27 Feb 2015 6:59:11am

    Where are the adults?

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    • DBO:

      27 Feb 2015 9:00:32am

      Indeed.

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    • Mitor the Bold:

      27 Feb 2015 9:05:40am

      They went to bed with Keating. We've had the 'special school' kids in charge ever since. Thank god for all that red dirt and our colonial bureaucracy - we'd be another Somalia without them. Our accidental bounty allows idiots to prevail, and sometimes even prosper.

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      • venkat:

        27 Feb 2015 10:03:25am

        +1

        When I migrated to Australia Hawke was the PM. I never really focused on OZ politics because I was new & in pursuit of getting a job & settling in. It was very difficult to get a Engineering job or for that matter any job because of 'Recession we had to have'. But I was entertained by the performance of Keating in Question time for eg. "I will do you slowly". However, I was very angry with Labor because I could not get professional job with all my skills & experience. Now looking back after more than 24 years & seeing the good reforms that Hawke & Keating governments implemented (of course with the help of then opposition) bearing fruit, & seeing the rest of the PMs (may be with the exception of Gillard), where are the Adult indeed?

        I feel the prosperous Australia got, the politicians of both sides became more acrimonious, may be thinking that once they get into power they can stay in power for long time. But the opposite has happened. This country is going to witness a change of PM for the sixth time in 6 1/2 years.

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    • the yank:

      27 Feb 2015 9:08:51am

      They are the ones in opposition.

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      • Dace76:

        27 Feb 2015 10:42:51am

        That is an assumption, which could be proven well and truly wrong in the very near future.

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        • the yank:

          27 Feb 2015 11:08:59am

          Or it could be proven correct. There is only one way to find out.

          Surely it is clear that an Abbott led government has to end and soon.

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        • venkat:

          27 Feb 2015 11:48:49am

          The Yank

          Today you seem to be in full flight. Usually you rest fo the day with 1 or 2 comments.

          Could it be because of your comment "Can we now all join in and scream enough is enough?"

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        • the yank:

          27 Feb 2015 2:19:49pm

          Not really. It is just that for some reason the moderator is letting my comments make it through so I'm letting things just flow from my unleashed grey matter.

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        • Chris:

          27 Feb 2015 12:40:09pm

          No "could be" about it Dace76. The ALP still contains most of the filth it had before, well except for the two PM's knifed by shorten who demonstrate all the true traditions of union loyalty and honour we have come to expect from them.

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    • AJB:

      27 Feb 2015 9:12:31am

      They are crowded out by the dolts.

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    • Monty B:

      27 Feb 2015 9:21:33am

      Adults can be dysfunctional, self-interested, deceitful, blaming, churlish. He never said what kind of adults they would be.

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      • Terrence:

        27 Feb 2015 10:15:00am

        and he also said not to believe anything he says unless he writes them down

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 2:07:15pm

          He did say that and as a result is the only polition to have told the truth.

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    • awake:

      27 Feb 2015 10:08:55am

      Adults, they were never there. Big words/slogans - no backup, governance, risk assessment or financial acumen. Just keep the status quo for the big end of town and the rest of us can just like it or lump it.

      Well here is the news Australia wants to lump it as quickly as possible.

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    • jonmarks:

      27 Feb 2015 10:55:57am

      It is a mystery and should be a concern for all.

      Our government is the country's Board of Directors - or at least should be. Company Boards are legally driven to work for the betterment of the company and shareholders - although it must be said that this is not always the case, mostly they follow this course albeit sometimes with unpopular decisions but always with a company centric view of success. If Boards fail they are quickly axed, usually by pressure from major shareholders but occasionally from within the company itself. No Board would survive in today's corporate world if they devoted the sheer time to just maintaining their jobs that this government does - it simply would not be tolerated.

      Imagine at an AGM asking the Board to explain why productivity is down, losses growing and turnover reduced and being told that it was all the fault of the previous Board two years ago and they are going to think about framing the terms for an independent report and there is not much they can do anyway because the market is difficult and the shareholders don't understand them and keep calling them names and they don't care in any case because their contracts still have two years left.

      There should be a way of holding a country's executive to account, if they make promises, pledges and claims they must have transparent, argued, defensible reasons for changing or cancelling them, if they need to spend time on party politics and reapplying for their jobs (an election)) this time must be outside work commitments, if they make decisions that are clearly politically motivated and especially if selfishly motivated there must be mechanisms in place to censure and reverse.

      We deserve better, the whole, global structure of continued material and economic growth combined with population growth, environmental damage and depleted resources means that significant challenges are ahead for all the world's government executives and let's be more than fair and say that our current Board is in need of some fresh ideas.

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      • the yank:

        27 Feb 2015 11:11:26am

        Agreed there should be but there isn't so we are left to just grin and bear the nonsense.

        Could the GG call an end to this nonsense?

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      • Gruffalo Soldier:

        27 Feb 2015 11:23:04am

        Imagine lying to get on the board in the first place. Called fraud, I think

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  • Ricardo K:

    27 Feb 2015 7:02:17am

    I think you're right Barrie. Even Abbott seemed relaxed yesterday at the Pollie Pedal. Perhaps he's looking forward to spending more time on the bike. Or he believes his own PR and thinks this was a great week for the government.

    I don't see him stepping aside, and a lot of Turnbull's colleagues seem to loathe him so they won't pull the trigger unless there is another option. Morrison is putting his hand up and Bishop has her best emoji face on. I think it really will be a lolly-scramble.

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    • tombeithemist:

      27 Feb 2015 9:38:09am

      While I love watching LNP hypocrisy in action Turnbull may well prove too divisive a figure unless there is a landslide of approval from colleagues in the LNP. They may as often happens go with second or third best in line to the throne. Either way what is clear is that Abbott aside their policy platform, vision for the future and often ridiculed budget have not cut through with the public at large. I say again I do not think many are against reform - what we have before us is an agenda that is perceived as unfair. Many, many sensible options have been expressed but hello no one listening. Mr Abbott will not go quietly into the night.

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  • worrierqueen:

    27 Feb 2015 7:11:53am

    Abbott's position is untenable. You simply can't bully your way through government forever, particularly when you like to bully women. Not a good look for the minister for women (the ultimate contempt for all women).

    This government, ever since it got in, has been acting as if it never needed to worry about elections again. In Abbott's case it's true.

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    • Losimpson:

      27 Feb 2015 9:12:37am

      Love your conclusion there queen.

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    • Tree Frog:

      27 Feb 2015 9:23:21am

      Bullying Gillard worked really well for Abbott, it got him the Captains job.

      He is simply reverting to behaviours that have worked for him in the past.

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    • tombeithemist:

      27 Feb 2015 9:40:35am

      Your last paragraph puts into words what I have being trying to articulate for a while. That is exactly how they present. Well certainly the PM does.

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    • think 1 type 2:

      27 Feb 2015 9:46:27am

      Many paradoxes. The LNP has continued to act like they did in Opposition - an attack footing. They have been busy dismantling Labor platforms and acting on an undisclosed make-the-poor-pay agenda as if the supposition was they would only be in for a term, while the more usual manner of the LNP to behave as if they were born to rule has continued. Leadership disunity was an alter of sacrifice to an absurd degree under the ALP, yet the LNP find themselves likely to pay just as dearly for dumping a leader to appease the anti-carbon-price lobby.

      It has been and continues to be strange in the manner of a dream where you know you've been here before, but all the signs and symbols are in another language, and which side of the road to drive on seems to shift chaotically.

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    • The Jones Crusher:

      27 Feb 2015 10:05:44am

      "Abbott's position is untenable. You simply can't bully your way through government forever"

      We really need Tony to last until the next election so that we the voters get to deliver the coup de grace rather than the faceless men of the LNP...

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  • a happy little debunker:

    27 Feb 2015 7:15:51am

    If Malcolm thinks he has the numbers, then let him try. (Can we expect his resignation should he fail?)

    The problem is that Malcolm never polled as well as Tony Abbott still does.

    (In addition, the other contenders may well chuck their hats into the ring and further dilute Malcolm's efforts)

    The 'progressive' media & commentariat has never liked or accepted Tony Abbott, but then they can only push propaganda, rather than substance. Just look to the near incoherent ravings both here, Fairfax and the Grandiun.

    Even an astute political observer, like Barrie, was advocating the morning of the failed spill motion for another expected within a day.

    Reputedly the party room consensus was to allow time. If that is not the case - then this plays out like LABOR TRAGEDY.

    Nothing would give the Gillard/Rudd Lovers more satisfaction than a grand 'I told you so' moment.

    Hence the amount of agitation, 'false leaks' and media beat-ups that we have seen.

    No matter any outcome at this point, the next budget will be an Abbott / Hockey budget.

    Get the popcorn ready - should be quite the show!

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    • worrierqueen:

      27 Feb 2015 8:24:20am

      "The problem is that Malcolm never polled as well as Tony Abbott still does."

      Do you actually bother reading the polls? Abbott is the most unpopular leader in the history of polls. Personally I hope you keep him. We would never need worry about being bullied by the LNP again.

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      • a happy little debunker:

        27 Feb 2015 9:00:59am

        How quickly we forget Mr 17%!

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      • CraigOfBathurst:

        27 Feb 2015 9:40:52am

        The worrierqueen is no challenge - too easy to prove wrong. Just because you think something doesn't make it true. Here are the records:

        Newspoll Prime Minister polling

        Lowest approval rating: Paul Keating (17%) and Julia Gillard (23%)

        Highest dissatisfied rating: Paul Keating (75%) and Julia Gillard (68%)

        Opposition Leader polling

        Lowest "Better Prime Minister" score: Brendan Nelson (7%), Simon Crean (14%) and Malcolm Turnbull (14%)

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        • M2M:

          27 Feb 2015 11:32:44am

          stop introducing facts - you are spoiling the whole thing

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        • Closet Romantic:

          27 Feb 2015 5:41:39pm

          It's the lack of facts or perspective that's confusing the hell out of me.

          The people screaming for Turnbull to take over from Abbott are not the LNP voters they want something, someone else so if Abbott has lost the traditional LNP voter and most of the swinging voters who really decide the election it's too cloudy to see the sound of ridicule not thought or alternatives is too strong.

          Not that the ALP has to deliver policies until the next election just oppose and argue the flawed ones the government proposes and maybe I am not reading enough but a lot of the criticism from both sides seems to be about window dressing and media bites not anything that they would do differently we are getting so many close elections to call it strongly either way.

          If they can do a bloodless coup get Abbott to resign or bow out for the good of the party it might happen but there has to be an alternative to Turnball for the LNP to try the various leadership contests that tore apart the ALP

          What the LNP should try first is a massive cabinet reshuffle Hockey isn't coping as treasurer lets put Turnball there and see if he can handle it better Morrison is a weird choice for social security and if he wants to be prime minister he nees to get the heck out of their his time in immigration has left a bad taste to many, how many more will he put offside in the m

          New portfolio because he basically is being used as a hatchet man.

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    • Vince:

      27 Feb 2015 9:00:24am

      "(Can we expect his resignation should he fail?)"

      If Turnbull was forced to resign I think this country would rise up and remove Abbott by force. Honestly, I think Australian's have had it up to the neck with Abbott. It's only the deluded 30% who still cling to him because they are so afraid of the alternative: a country that actually is run from the sanity and reasonableness of the middle, not the rabid extremists (left or right).

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      • paul winch:

        27 Feb 2015 9:48:33am

        Has anyone tried to explain why TA makes so many errors of judgement, how he pursues policies and makes statements to the dismay of his colleagues and the majority of voters?

        Why does he swagger (without moving his arms) and laugh so unnaturally? I'm no physician but I feel that TA won't see out his term due to health reasons.

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        • Doctor A. Robot:

          27 Feb 2015 1:39:55pm

          I strongly suggest, Mr Winch, that we are seeing the effects of Mr Abbott's achievement of a Boxing Blue at University. The very few photographs from that time and place indicate the Mr Abbott was NOT in the habit of wearing protective headgear during his bouts.

          In short, he's taken too many hard blows to the head which, coupled with an already aggressive personality and an only moderate intellect to start with, have manifested in poor judgement skills, memory deficits so that he does not recall in the afternoons the statements he made the previous day or earlier and a highly combative personality.

          "An only moderate intellect" because he did not earn a place at Oxford for his mental skills, but only on a Rhodes Scholarship which, if you refer to the Conditions of Award, is given to students who have the potential to benefit the Empire and the Mother Country and sporting prowess, rather than upon academic merit.

          So, a mediocre intellect suffering repeated heavy head blows without protective headgear (because it would have been "too sissy"? which would certainly suit his pre-existing personality profile).

          I would tend towards a diagnosis of early-onset dementia occasioned by a history of chronic low level brain insult, leading to frustration and increased aggression as we see so often in sufferers from Alzheimers and other brain dysfunctions.

          It would not be in his own best interests to remain in a high stress occupation where stress levels could instigate a cerebral blood vessel rupture without warning.

          For his own good, he should retire from politics completely & find a relaxing occupation or hobby to pass the time as his brain injuries gradually overtake his mental capacities and he descends further into confusion, inarticulateness and eventually physical incontinence as well as the mental we can already discern.

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        • Sir Bones II:

          27 Feb 2015 4:12:30pm

          @Doctor A. Robot

          Personally I like to speculate that it could be a case of him either being the vanguard for the invasion of the body snatchers or to be an alien of reptilian type descent (with a human like shell) - probably inspired by the Simpson Treehouse of Horror episode where Kang and Kodos take on the forms of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole to take over.

          However your explanation, though not as exciting, is much more plausible, so I may run with you theory from now...

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 9:04:11am

      Nah! AHLD there is still time for Turnbull and his new front bench to formulate a new budget, that is why they want to do it now. New front bench, new ideas, new budget formulation.

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      • the egg:

        27 Feb 2015 9:36:04am

        I don't much like Abbott. In fact I detest him but I really like the idea of an entire new front bench. If Abbott goes then many of the existing front bench must go with him. I doubt if it matters who gets the job (except for Morrison) if any of the encumbents could work with Turnbull so it's all going ot get very interesting from here on in to July.

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        • Oaktree:

          27 Feb 2015 3:29:19pm

          Hi Egg, are you sure the front bench will go? They seem well entrenched to me.

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    • the yank:

      27 Feb 2015 9:12:28am

      You are as delusional as Abbott. Which polling numbers are you looking at?

      Turnbull may well not be everyone's cup of tea but he can at least string a few sentences together without bullying someone.

      Abbott gone within two weeks and good riddens.

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    • Tree Frog:

      27 Feb 2015 9:27:53am

      @debunker- the leaks aren't coming from Labor, they are from inside the Liberal Party.

      But hey blame Labor, it seems to be the Liberal way - never take responsibility for your actions and blame people who are not in power for it.

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    • Tom1:

      27 Feb 2015 9:29:37am

      happy: I little bit of realism will help if you expect readers to take you seriously.

      In the end it will reach the point where all of those on the back bench will start thinking of their own survival and not Abbott's.

      The front bench are beginning to waver in a big way. They may not be thinking about their seats, but of losing government.

      Turnbull has a lot of uncommitted voter support, and there is no doubt that he will experience a honeymoon period when the knife is pulled out and wiped clean.

      Those concerned about the welfare of Australia will breath a sigh of relief because the next election will then become a question of ideas, not just an opportunity to get rid of Abbott.

      The lesson of course will be that the Coalition was not born to rule. They are not the "Suppository" of all wisdom, and they will have to govern for all Australia.

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    • Tom1:

      27 Feb 2015 9:29:37am

      happy: I little bit of realism will help if you expect readers to take you seriously.

      In the end it will reach the point where all of those on the back bench will start thinking of their own survival and not Abbott's.

      The front bench are beginning to waver in a big way. They may not be thinking about their seats, but of losing government.

      Turnbull has a lot of uncommitted voter support, and there is no doubt that he will experience a honeymoon period when the knife is pulled out and wiped clean.

      Those concerned about the welfare of Australia will breath a sigh of relief because the next election will then become a question of ideas, not just an opportunity to get rid of Abbott.

      The lesson of course will be that the Coalition was not born to rule. They are not the "Suppository" of all wisdom, and they will have to govern for all Australia.

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    • Monty B:

      27 Feb 2015 9:45:41am

      Yes, it`s all a media conspiracy. That must be it.

      How do you explain the internal leaks, the conservative press and well known shocks jocks also criticising Abbott?

      How do you explain (now more than) 30 Liberal MPs feed up with him and wanting him gone?

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    • Malcolm:

      27 Feb 2015 9:55:09am

      Happy as you are no doubt aware the Coalition has a majority and therefore formed the government. But since it did that it, by Abbott's own admission a few weeks back, didn't actually govern for 17 months or so and now as its first acts in government it has decided to renege on the South Australian submarine promise, launched an attack on the Human Rights Commissioner while offering her another job if she would go quietly thus stuffing up the quiet part and has lied to the Parliament concerning that.

      I won't go into the government's performance in the 17 months between September 2013 and February 2015 because all of us are only too aware of the list of self-inflicted pain suffered by Abbott's now admitted period of non-government, suffice to say why were we the public also forced to bear that pain as well. That strange interregnum of 17 months is hard to define. Was it a period when the defeated Labor Government was in caretaker mode while the Coalition were forming a government, or was it a period when there actually was no government because the Coalition hadn't been aware that it won the 2013 election.

      Have you any answers to those questions.

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      • Monty B:

        27 Feb 2015 12:00:05pm

        Strictly speaking Abbott told us `good` government starts from now on. So rather that saying there was no government for 18 months, there has been according to Abbott, bad government for 18 months.

        Far more damaging I think.

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    • robp:

      27 Feb 2015 10:09:32am

      Oh happy, you must be crying inside.

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  • Katsy:

    27 Feb 2015 7:16:48am

    Oh the Karma!!!

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  • Reallist:

    27 Feb 2015 7:31:32am

    Can we also get rid of Hockey, Brandis and Andrews. I think they would be better placed in IRAQ.

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    • Tom1:

      27 Feb 2015 9:32:00am

      Well of course that is part of the attraction. The Libs know this, so they can kill two birds with the one stone.

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    • Tree Frog:

      27 Feb 2015 9:32:05am

      Let's add Morrison and Mathias Corman to that list.

      They look urban and sound reasonable but are utterly ruthless to those on lower incomes.

      If people have less than $10 million in the bank they should be extremely concerned about these two. I know I am.

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      • Reallist:

        27 Feb 2015 12:08:34pm

        TF, whole heartedly agree. Left them off the list as both seem to just follow rather than having capability of driving policy.

        Maybe thats naive but I just see them as being the main attraction in a show at the zoo. Throw them a banana makes them feel important as long as none of the others get one.

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    • Sir Robert of Lindsay:

      27 Feb 2015 2:29:50pm

      Realist - one of the first posts of yours I can say I'm 100% in agreeance with.

      Welcome to The Bright Side of The Street!

      Andrews is the biggest problem the LNP have outside of Tony, he stills controls the religious right within the party. Until the LNP are purged of that cancer democracy in Australia will suffer.

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  • The Thinker:

    27 Feb 2015 7:34:56am

    Even if Abbott is deposed as leader, the tensions between the hard right in the coalition and the centre/left will remain.

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    • queenguinevere:

      27 Feb 2015 8:39:34am

      You are 100% right there. There will always be factions within the party which will always be destabilizing. The LNP will eventually implode which could result in a newly formed LNP with separate factions. Once the "I want, I want" babies grow into adults, things may change, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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      • al:

        27 Feb 2015 9:17:59am

        " I want, I want" babies grow into adults

        Are you referring to the sizeable proportion of lefties with their hands out for government grants and other largesse, such as the arts community, indigenous community, refugee community etc...

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        • Craig HS:

          27 Feb 2015 9:49:42am

          I think that would be big business and banks, with huge profits while somehow receiving massive government handouts as well.

          Shareholders before social responsibilities!

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        • BJT:

          27 Feb 2015 9:51:09am

          So, you don't believe in helping aboriginal people? I'm glad even on the worst day, the Liberal party are still trying to help meet the 'Bridging the Gap' targets. Unlike you, they realize that 'community' means working together to help the people with the most disadvantage.

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        • Jess:

          27 Feb 2015 11:39:29am

          By Bridging (not closing, I notice) you mean unilaterlary stripping funding from many programs running in communities without anaysis of whether they are working or not, stripping funding from legal aid which Aboriginal people use. Having no plan for jobs and using stick (truancy offiicers) only approaches for everything and expanding expensive programs that don't work then I guess they are continuing to "bridge the gap"

          This government will benefit from the work of the previous governments achievements in early education for Children.

          If you only read Pearson and Mundine Snr. views I can understand your position that they are continuing to bridge the gap. However if you read any other source I don't see how you can maintain that veiw.

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 2:12:36pm

          Can't touch the gravy train can we. Time for someone to look at personal responsibility. I.e., if you choose to live in the middle of no-where, refuse to keep clean, refuse to attend school, then you real problem is the person in the mirror, not the one your racist attitudes blame.

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        • Stuffed Olive:

          27 Feb 2015 9:57:07am

          No artistic Righties?

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        • Curious party:

          27 Feb 2015 10:15:01am

          Or are you referring to the corporates and rich people who are always holding their hands out for more tax cuts and more easy government contracts from their friends in government?

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        • Oaktree:

          27 Feb 2015 3:33:37pm

          Just read on Independent Australia the letter from Higginson, Liberal Party treasurer. He gets money in from New York, British pounds also mentioned, and by the million. No wonder this country is being reamed!

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        • Michael S.:

          27 Feb 2015 10:20:44am

          This is opposed to 400 mil on data collection, billions on new nucl. subs, fighter planes etc. No wonder, the govt wants us to pay for health and ed. as there are spending it all on new toys.

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        • mickp:

          27 Feb 2015 11:34:19am

          Do me a favor - take a look at how much money is spent on the well off via superannuation tax breaks, overly generous part pensions and seniors health cards, fringe benefits, negative gearing, the endless un-means tested Howard era handouts, private school funding, private health rebates, etc, etc. The solution to our fiscal woes is in front of our eyes and it has nothing to do with the indigenous, refugees or arts communities. Meanwhile, the clowns on the Right openly equate means testing with class warfare!

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 2:15:47pm

          Yes mickp, it saw is terrible that people question why 80% of the scum that went to fight for ISIS were on disability allowance. The system is broken and you want to ensure that anyone can milk the system as opposed to only providing assistance to those that need it.

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        • spacey 101:

          27 Feb 2015 4:11:09pm

          You do realise al, that 3/4 of all Australian households receive some sort of government welfare? 75%!! but instead of looking into those payments and looking at who is receiving funds that do not need them, this government kicks those who absolutely, without a doubt DO need assistance, namely the disabled and the unemployed!!

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    • the yank:

      27 Feb 2015 9:15:20am

      True but it's how they are managed that is important.

      Neither Rudd nor Gillard could manage that aspect of things now Abbott shows what a fool he is, will we ever get another leader able to actually lead?

      And what happens to Abbott when disposed? Will he leave parliament? Or cause more trouble like Rudd did?

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    • jonmarks:

      27 Feb 2015 9:21:38am

      Those very right/centre tensions are not just a concern for the Coalition but also for Australia. If Turnbull cannot sway enough of the centre and centre right in his party room to support him they will stay the right wing course and vote for Morrison and by doing so we will inherit another perhaps more erudite but still hard right PM. I strongly suggest that this would not be the will of the Australian people who are looking for a more moderate nuanced leader. Compounding Turnbull's problem is that he is adopting a 'no blood on my hands' strategy and cannot be too obvious in his campaigning.

      Let's not forget that Abbott won the ballot for party leadership from the position as a complete outsider - the battle was supposed to be between Turnbull and Hockey, but somehow we ended up with Abbott.

      It is extraordinary that the fundamental direction of the government - whether it swings to the moderate centre or stays its hard right track - is out of the hands of the electorate. If a government chooses to radically change course and if Turnbull takes over, it will, the voters should have a say in whether this happens or not. Bring on an early election with policy platforms on display from all sides and let Australia decide on the political direction it wants to take.

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      • DoCo:

        27 Feb 2015 10:48:18am

        jonmarks,

        I absolutely agree with you on this. The real problem for Australia is not Abbott (although that's a truly bizarre thing in itself).

        The real and frightening problem is neoliberalism, with its associated emasculation of the rule of law (except in favour of big business).

        I'm expecting Morrison to be the next LNP leader, and he will go for a neoliberal policy with all the cold, heartless efficiency of a monster, as he has already given us a glimpse of in his 'Stop telling us about the boats' campaign.

        We need to see the policies, and should refuse to vote for anyone who has not published his or her policies well ahead of any election.

        We also need to insist on a prenuptial agreement that sees liars ejected immediately.

        If we let Morrison have a go at this country, that will be that, forever.

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      • TrevorN:

        27 Feb 2015 1:12:56pm

        Yes, yes, yes! It does not matter who their political leader is.

        The real reform has to come by the removal of the dangerous (and loony) far right string pullers from the conservative leadership of both parties.

        Abbott is being absolutely run by his NSW far right faction which consists of a frightening number of religious and economic radicals. They also have sway over the NSW government which is heading for a slow death under the LNP.

        Turnbull knows this and to that extent any victory over Abbott will have to be so complete that it also destroys the silent men of the LNP as well. If it does not it will not matter who becomes PM because he/she will just be a puppet.

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  • Mike GG:

    27 Feb 2015 7:36:31am

    Oh please let the spill be after the NSW election.

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    • the yank:

      27 Feb 2015 9:16:40am

      Good if you want to help NSW Labor. Can Abbott actually deliver yet another state to Labor? I wouldn't think so but Tony has a certain touch in that area.

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      • tombeithemist:

        27 Feb 2015 9:50:54am

        Don't think he will but he will help Labor make a severe dent in the LNP majority. The LNP in NSW are no clean skins - notice no more vilifying (well not the same feral tenacity) the Labor party over corruption they have a great recent record themselves! Huge cuts in govt spending (education and health) and selling off utilities along with coal seam gas are big issues. Apologies I digress... LNP politics needs a reset that I believe has become obvious.

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      • Curious party:

        27 Feb 2015 10:17:14am

        Baird is no Newman though.

        I can't imagine the stuff-up that Abbott would have to pull to change the likely outcome of the NSW vote - it will be an LNP win with a substantially reduced margin.

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        • Alpo:

          27 Feb 2015 11:23:06am

          This time I also support that prediction, Cp. At the most Labor can hope for a hung Parliament, but a narrow Coalition win is the most likely outcome in NSW. That will give some breathing space to Tony Abbott, for sure.

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        • Chris:

          27 Feb 2015 2:20:20pm

          Given the endemic NSW ALP corruption, I hope we don't see them for a long time!

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        • Curious party:

          27 Feb 2015 3:51:38pm

          Chris:

          Your bias must be showing here - I can't think of any other reason why you would be ignoring the reams of information from ICAC saying that the LNP are just as bad. In my area 3/4 of the local LNP candidates (and they did a clean sweep in the last election) were forced to resign due to ICAC finding corrupt dealings in their campaign.

          Actually, on that topic, I was at the local shops last weekend and they were handing out for the lib candidate. One of them went to give me a handout and I loudly said, "No, I'd prefer to vote for someone who won't be called before ICAC." The response from the suited individual (possibly the candidate) was "Is that even possible?" I couldn't help but give him that point!

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  • gray:

    27 Feb 2015 7:40:00am

    interesting, but i think abbott will have to be dragged out of office screaming and kicking, he will threaten and fight all the way, it is in his nature, he thinks he was born to rule, the only thing that tony thinks about is tony, australia needs a leader with a vision of the future as we come into uncertain times, with unempolyment about to sky rocket. i dont care which party is in power all i wish to see is a plan for the future economically, the economics of the world has to change, growth economics is starting to fail, we need a stablisation plan to keep people employed and paid enough money to be able to support the internal economy going, unempolyment only creates kaos, you only have to look at the middle east and africa, poverty creates terrorism and crime. if everybody in the world had a job with decent pay, you would find crime and terrorism would fade away, there is enough wealth in the world to make this happen if not the human race will be on a downwood spiral into kaos and war, maybe thats what some people want , i dont

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    • GregC:

      27 Feb 2015 8:59:03am

      gray (sic), though I share most of your sentiments, I have to ask, what do you have against capital letters?

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    • Dave Davis:

      27 Feb 2015 10:54:08am

      gray, I respectfully disagree.

      Everything about Abbott suggests his identity is tied to an absolute polarity, whereby "them" (Labor, the left, human rights commissioners, unions, greens, scientists, women, etc) will always be more hated than "us" (white conservative men born into wealth, etc).

      Abbott has also shown in the past that he's not averse to the odd personal sacrifice for the good of 'the team' (not the Austalia team, the blue-tie team).

      My belief is Abbott will go quietly when he's ousted. However, Hockey is another story. He'll continue to snipe and undermine, much like Rudd did.

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      • gray:

        27 Feb 2015 11:53:02am

        you could be right only time will tell, and you are probably right about joe, it will be interesting times soon

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  • Nova4avr:

    27 Feb 2015 7:48:45am

    Thank you Barrie for your excellent article laying out the issues.

    There is no doubt the Abbott Govt. have engineered this mess they are in. The attack on the HRC was an absolute disgrace & just shows how the Govt. are still locked in Opposition mode.

    Abbott will no doubt be dumped, but the problem is who will replace him. Turnbull is the obvious choice but I think he realises that the party needs to be brought back to the centre right & away from the extreme right as it is now. But to do that he would have dump Hockey, Brandis, Abetz, Andrews, Pyne, Robb, Cormann, Frydenberg & a few others who are rusted on Abbott supporters.

    To do that massive reshuffle would upset the LNP faceless men who think the current policy is the best. So Turnbull sensibly realises that resetting the party would be impossible, so he has walked away from it.

    The question is who else is there. If there is not an about turn in the LNP's policy direction towards a more centralist position, that is fair & equitable then changing the leader will just be a case of rearranging the deck chairs.

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    • Losimpson:

      27 Feb 2015 9:16:15am

      You are right there Nova that there is a whole group at the top of the ministry which has to go along with Abbott. I think you might be right too that Malcolm has recognised he cannot change the direction of the party, and has walked away.

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    • CraigOfBathurst:

      27 Feb 2015 9:44:56am

      "The attack on the HRC was an absolute disgrace"

      Why would you say that? Triggs has been proven to be partisan and the issue of the 'inducement' will soon come to a head - and it will be Triggs and her cheer squad that will be shown to again be wrong. I can't wait.

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      • The Pav:

        27 Feb 2015 4:06:12pm

        Abbott said Triggs is partisan therefore the opposite is true.

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    • tombeithemist:

      27 Feb 2015 9:55:29am

      Wouldn't disagree. Turnbull will either allow his ego to get in the way or read the situation for what it is. I'm guessing the later although if the party room provides close to unanimous endorsement maybe?? Either way they are going to have to fix their policy platform because it is still easy fodder for Labor (and rightly so I may add).

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    • tentative.observer:

      27 Feb 2015 11:13:53am

      Bishop is the only choice for the LNP. She is hardline enough for the hardliners to tolerate (even though she has to mend a few bridges with some of her WA colleagues in the wheat belt electorates) but just moderate enough, whilst being conservative to the bone, for her more moderate colleagues.

      I like Malcolm Turnbull but he will never bring stability to the government unless the hardliners are sidelined. I cannot see such a shift in the LNP. Heavens. It would take them back to the Menzies Liberal Party, something that it hasn't been for a generation.

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      • Dame Paul Pott:

        27 Feb 2015 6:32:01pm

        Bishop would be perfect for the backroom manipulators. She has never been anything more than a specch reader ever since she entered parliament. She'll just do as she is directed. the only difference is, unlike Abbott, she has no personality, nor personal opinions that can get in the way of the people who run the LNP.

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  • George Spiggot:

    27 Feb 2015 7:50:04am

    It's only a matter of when.

    Once the rot sets in, it can't be stopped, ask Labor.

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    • Curious party:

      27 Feb 2015 10:20:39am

      I disagree. In a medical sense once rot sets in it can be stopped by extensive excision. The problem is that the ALP didn't have the guts/capacity to excise all of the rotting matter that was/is poisoning it (ie the unions and back office party acolytes).

      The question here is whether the LNP has the guts to excise the hard right faction which is the rot that is poisoning them.

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  • custard :

    27 Feb 2015 7:50:08am

    There is no evidence that criticism of Triggs would be a catalyst for Abbotts demise. The only defenders of Triggs are the ABC and Turnbull.

    Barrie is just running his own false narrative as he does each and every week. Let's face it two weeks ago Cassidy predicted Abbott was going to resign after the spill failed. Well that didn't happen and neither will this.

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    • Brandane:

      27 Feb 2015 8:38:14am

      The attack on Triggs was unnecessary and has played like the Latham handshake or worse.

      The stumbling about over the Brandis inducement might well see Brandis facing a corruption charges.

      Two own goals in the one match and you think it is going well!

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      • a happy little debunker:

        27 Feb 2015 8:56:57am

        Brandis sure has a lot of explaining to do!

        Like, How Triggs pre-canvassed her own colleagues and government staff about moving from the Commissioner's position to another role, before meeting with a direct representative of the AG and pre-identifying the role she was 'shocked' and 'appalled' she considered she was offered at that meeting.

        You have been played and care not one whit that you have!

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        • gman37:

          27 Feb 2015 9:26:24am

          ahld, who are you and where do you get your information? Hiding behind an alias while attempting a leak that even the Foreign Minister avoided smacks of insider trading.

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        • CraigOfBathurst:

          27 Feb 2015 9:51:07am

          Debunker is not leaking anything, gman37. The information is freely available if only you'd look. You won't hear about it on the ABC though. Look elsewhere for the truth.

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        • gman37:

          27 Feb 2015 2:49:35pm

          Help me out here Craig, I am a seeker of the truth. Can you point me to sites that will convince me?

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        • Dame Paul Pott:

          27 Feb 2015 6:33:57pm

          "Look elsewhere for the truth". Where? Tell us your source.

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        • Tom1:

          27 Feb 2015 9:44:00am

          happy: She has denied that assertion, but don't let that worry you.

          Abbott pas played this issue like a true statesman!!!! I suggest just like you would have expected him to. Trouble is apart from you there is only one other person that also thinks so.

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        • Robert:

          27 Feb 2015 10:37:32am

          Happy, are you aware that kids are being sexually abused in our detention centers? Suffering untold mental and physical stress.

          Surely that should be your starting point?

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      • CraigOfBathurst:

        27 Feb 2015 9:46:16am

        "The stumbling about over the Brandis inducement might well see Brandis facing a corruption charges."

        The unfolding evidence suggests otherwise, Brandane. Watch this space.

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        • worrierqueen:

          27 Feb 2015 1:48:11pm

          The "unfolding evidence" being Brandis's lies to cover up his alleged corrupt conduct you mean Craig?

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    • TheJohno:

      27 Feb 2015 8:50:44am

      Weel said Custard....now can we return to reality for the sake of this conversation?

      Former PM Fraser is neither part of the ABC nor Tunrbull and he was very critical of the attack on Triggs. Just one example of the factual incorrectness of your statement!

      Yes, Barrie's prediction was incorrect, but then, so have Tony's about well, everything! He predicted (promised) no cuts to pensions, medicare, education etc. He predicted (promised) they would return the budget to surplus in their first term. He predicted (promised) good government from day 1.

      Yes, Custard, someone is running their own false narrative and the nation is suffering for it......

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      • Tree Frog:

        27 Feb 2015 10:08:37am

        Gillard survived her first spill too

        History repeating itself?

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    • Paul:

      27 Feb 2015 9:05:24am

      Add Julie Bishop to the list of Trigg defenders as Bishop has admitted that Triggs was offered another job. The coalition is falling apart.

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      • Eric:

        27 Feb 2015 9:45:37am

        Oh please - she was NOT offered another job. Bishop said so herself. Why do people make things up?

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        • Dave:

          27 Feb 2015 2:03:25pm

          Because the lefties are "Born to lie"

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 9:09:35am

      Custard, do you have an ostrich? You should get one and tell it what you just wrote here. You won't see it's head for weeks.

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    • godbothered:

      27 Feb 2015 9:12:55am

      custard,

      "The only defenders of Triggs are the ABC and Turnbull.".

      Aren't you one of the "the ABC is biased" trolls so regularly ranting away? So, in your scheme of things, we have one "side" (the ABC) who is (supposedly) "defending" Triggs, AND a senior member of the other "side" (worst government ever) also defending her. Doesn't that mean she is, according to you, being defended by both sides of politics? Or is Turnbull no longer part of your "side"?

      And you were trying to assert that she didn't really have much support. Funny!

      Easy to twist yourself into verbal knots when you try to defend the indefensible.

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      • Curious party:

        27 Feb 2015 10:25:03am

        Turnbull was never really part of the LNP side to the rabid right within the party. He was always some sort of leftie plant. I mean, he is a republican for heaven's sake!

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      • Winton S O Boogie:

        27 Feb 2015 12:15:06pm

        And even the local rag the West Australian, normally the bible of the incontinent brigade, has come out in support of Ms T. Face it, rusted ons- when even a staunch Conservative paper like the West abandons TA it is pretty certain that only a miracle can save him now,

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    • Greg:

      27 Feb 2015 9:39:23am

      What about the widely signed letter of support? Doesn't that count?

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    • tombeithemist:

      27 Feb 2015 10:05:24am

      Come on? The govt have had the report since November.. November mind you - had their large brains working overtime looking at a way of oh no not selling a good story as a govt that they STOPPED the BOATS but as is their style attack the person and haven't they had practice at that. You remember the last PM don't you? All class when it comes to women? (See Dawes and Clarke skit ABC). These dills have an opposition mindset. Tripped up by their super (their view) intellects. How does the PM spend all this time "playing the man" over the Triggs matter when he has perfectly feasible defence (like it or not)? Oh yes I see good govt in action. Way too clever for us minions.

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    • The Jones Crusher:

      27 Feb 2015 10:07:50am

      "The only defenders of Triggs are the ABC and Turnbull."

      Malcolm Fraser?????

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    • The Pav:

      27 Feb 2015 4:10:12pm

      The other defenders are people:-

      who can think

      understand the rule of law

      understand ethics and have them

      can think logically

      understand how democracy should operate

      believe in fairness, justice and humanity

      do not believe innocent children should be imprisoned

      The only false narrative is from Abbott and the disgraceful Brandis. That the nations first law officer should act in such a way should result in his censure by the Senate

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  • Alison Cann:

    27 Feb 2015 7:51:10am

    When the Prime Minister allowed his normal belligerent macho attitude overflow against human rights with the Human Rights Commission and career out of control like a trainwreck this week, as usual he got three "Excellent" ticks from his backbench.

    Don't be afraid to come forward Barrie.

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  • murphy's law:

    27 Feb 2015 7:51:29am

    What I don't understand about this government is that they do not lack experience as many of the ministers and including the PM have been in power before. So how do they manage to basically screw up so many issues.

    Is it the captain or are the crew just a lousy bunch of has beens.

    Whichever it is will soon be revealed if the change leaders.

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    • queenguinevere:

      27 Feb 2015 8:48:32am

      The culture is endemic within the LNP. You put a bad apple in the bowl and they soon all become bad. Similarly, the rest of the LNP are turning bad due to a few ideology set fanatics. I never thought I would ever see politics become so bad here in Australia in my lifetime. It is sad to see where a privileged few can completely stuff up a great country.

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      • Tree Frog:

        27 Feb 2015 10:04:10am

        Totally agree QG.

        The rise of the GFO politician, where they are groomed for office from university is destroying Australia. These politicians have no real world experience, no business experience and attitude of entitlement as the chosen one for a safe seat.

        They don't know what it's like to live on the minimum wage or be one of the 22 million Australians who don't own an investment property.

        They think the average voter is just a whinger who needs to work harder "like they did".

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    • Eric:

      27 Feb 2015 9:08:26am

      Anyone who has run a business knows just how much harder it is when times/ cash flow are tough than when the money is flowing in. Same with this Govt - tougher when there are so many areas that need to be fixed after the ALP debacle. Trouble is we have too many voters who have no idea of delayed gratification - they want and expect things to happen quickly. Unfortunately life is not that easy.

      So it may appear the Govt 'screw up' many things in the eyes of some. I don't personally agree and see the Govt making headway on a number of fronts against a media obsessed with gossip and rumours rather than dealing with facts and realities.

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      • BJT:

        27 Feb 2015 10:06:23am

        Sounds very similar to The Australian article the other day, saying that it's the voters fault that the government is doing poorly, because they are all selfish and self interested.

        I put it to you that voters are aware that policies such as free medicare are worth fighting for, other countries have them and they are there to support people. They are aware that penalty rates are beneficial to people who are on a lower income.

        The people who benefit from their removal, aren't they being selfish and self interested too?

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      • RichardJ:

        27 Feb 2015 10:07:59am

        Eric, you are just reciting the playbook - which is not the same as reality. There was no 'Labor debacle'. They were able to deliver stable and competent government in difficult circumstances. As it happens I disagreed with quite a lot of their policies, so what I am commenting on is the difference in behaviour between the two parties. One consultative and reasonably transparent, respecting of institutions and established norms; the other a travesty of a supposedly democratic government for the 21st century.

        If you are referring specifically to Labor's correct handling of the GFC then it just shows you don't know what you are talking about.

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      • Regionalgranny:

        27 Feb 2015 10:11:16am

        Eric, you are correct saying that things are so much more difficult when money is tight or in the government's case when the economy stalls. However, the problem is not that the public do not understand this, but that the government's budget reflected their LNP ideology to such an extent that only those who blindly follow that ideology themselves cannot see it. The Austalian public has a nose for unfairness and in the first budget of this government it was obvious that was what they were witnessing. Kind of like 'blue collar versus blue tie'.

        Combine this with a Prime Minister who seems to believe that because his government was voted into power, then the majority must think and behave the same way he does. Mr Abbott is in our neck of the woods today plodding his way through the traumatised and bruised victims of cyclone Marcia. I will be doing my best to go and see him because I have always wanted to see what I believe is called 'a dead man walking'.

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      • tombeithemist:

        27 Feb 2015 10:18:06am

        Just so you know - no economist worth his/her salt accepts that the previous (MINORITY GOVT) left the country in any thing like the mess the LNP said it had inherited. By OECD and world standards we were applauded for swift decisive action. Compare that to the current govt's attempt to hammer the weak and vulnerable into the ground as a "solution" and its not hard to see why they are on the nose. Born to Rule (but only for some).

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      • maelcolium:

        27 Feb 2015 10:35:46am

        The ALP debacle? What would you call the LNP performance over the last 18 months?

        Someone else said life wasn't meant to be easy twenty years ago - it was a stupid statement then and remains so today.

        Yes, we are making great headway. Right into recession.

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 9:11:11am

      The captain and crew came off of a battle ship not a cruise liner.

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      • Tree Frog:

        27 Feb 2015 10:10:16am

        It was a cruise liner, the Costa Concordia.

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    • Edward:

      27 Feb 2015 9:25:14am

      I think the LNP made a classic mistake of politics: they started to believe their own propaganda.

      They fell into the trap of assuming that because Labor stuffed up so badly last time they would have a few "free kicks". This assumption was probably right. Unfortunately, however, the leadership stuffed up and forgot to put the ball on the spot before making the kick.

      I am simply amazed at how "professional" politicians can be so inept at reading the electorate. If the Party lets the status quo stand for much longer they will be tarred with the same brush as the "leadership" as having very poor judgement about what's good for the nation.

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      • Curious party:

        27 Feb 2015 10:33:03am

        "I am simply amazed at how "professional" politicians can be so inept at reading the electorate."

        I used to be peripherally involved with young labor, and what I observed there is that you get a whole bunch of people spending all of their time in the young labor social circles. They would get jobs with unions and for politicians, and so they would be spending all of their work time AND all of their social time in a giant echo chamber filled with other believers.

        I suspect it is the same on the young lib side as well, and so what you have is the professional political class (think Sam Dastayari, Luke Foley, even Tony Abbott {remember he was into student politics as well}) who get sucked into this very insular world and thus lose the ability to understand normal people who don't see politics as the all important thing, but rather see good governance as important. (And good politics and good governance are mostly antithetical when it comes down to it.)

        So I'm not amazed at all really.

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        • Grandma:

          27 Feb 2015 12:17:21pm

          Curious: good post. I remember John Howard saying that all the people he spoke to agree with him. I used to think "but who exactly are you speaking to? Most of the people I speak to don't agree with you"

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    • GJA:

      27 Feb 2015 9:26:03am

      Leadership in opposition is different from leadership in government. In opposition, Abbott's direction of the Liberals was for them to play the bully, denigrating, tearing down, mocking, and generally being belligerent at every opportunity. It worked well enough, too, but it didn't then and doesn't now constitute leadership.

      I believe Turnbull would behave more as a leader should, but I doubt he will have the opportunity or that he has the guts for another go. As for Hockey, I regard him as being not substantially different from the schoolyard bully we've got in charge now. Andrews is finished, Pyne is a sniping poodle, and Morrison doesn't have an operational moral compass.

      As you say, second-rate leftovers. Except maybe Bishop, but as a woman she doesn't stand much chance.

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    • sleepykarly:

      27 Feb 2015 9:42:52am

      Murphy,

      You ask 'is it the captain or is it the crew?'

      Well, remember that this captain was selected by the crew as being the best of them, the only sensible answer to your question is 'Both!'

      If Tony is the one they picked for themselves, then what does that say about their own assessment of each other's competence?

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    • RichardJ:

      27 Feb 2015 10:03:58am

      They were not competent when last in government.

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    • The Skeleton Inside:

      27 Feb 2015 10:07:08am

      Yesterday's men, Murph, yesterday's men.

      It is now today.

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  • chris:

    27 Feb 2015 7:51:39am

    Let's get this spill done. I feel like Australia is going nowhere. I have no confidence Tony Abbott.

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  • Freddie Frog:

    27 Feb 2015 7:52:54am

    Can we have an election yet?

    One where all current members of parliament are not allowed to run?

    Horrible, the lot of them.

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    • Curious party:

      27 Feb 2015 10:35:37am

      Agreed. Or better yet, just have some sort of jury system where we select a random representative sample of the population and they are empowered to make decisions based on the testimony of experts (within and outside government departments).

      I know there are a hell of a lot of problems with the above, but from what I see of the independent senators they seem to be the only ones genuinely trying to represent people (albeit often with diminished capacity!)

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      • Freddie Frog:

        27 Feb 2015 12:09:09pm

        I like your thinking Curious Party,

        The Federal Election Lottery!!

        It couldn't be worse than our current system and would definitely reduce the corruption from our established parties trying to repay their debts to their electoral sponsors.

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  • splod1:

    27 Feb 2015 7:53:04am

    Abbott: "Dead man walking." Says it all, really. The question is, who will follow as the dominoes fall? Hockey? Cormann? Abetz? A new leader is unlikely to retain a dysfunctional executive.

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  • Jacqueline K:

    27 Feb 2015 7:54:33am

    As far as I'm concerned Bishop lost all credibility when she started playing elaborate games over the wording of the "role" Gillian Triggs was, or was not, offered. It's clear that she's as mean and tricky as the rest of the Coalition.

    What a mess - it must be Labor's fault.

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    • Malcolm:

      27 Feb 2015 9:40:09am

      I must admit to being completely puzzled by Bishop's behaviour - she has nothing to gain by supporting Abbott and everything to lose. She obviously enjoys her job as Foreign Minister and appears to be doing a reasonable job and by supporting Abbott's attacks on Triggs she is scuppering both that role and any aspirations she may have to be PM.

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    • Jaspez Perth:

      27 Feb 2015 9:41:13am

      Of course it's all Labors fault.

      If it hadn't been for them and their expertise in backstabbing and white-anting of both of their leaders (Rudd and Gillard) and showing this mob of incompetents how it is done, it would be doubtful any of this bunch of clowns would possess the nous, let alone the initiative to plot Tony's removal from office mid term.

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  • Zackdog:

    27 Feb 2015 8:00:42am

    You would think self preservation would have kicked in by now for the liberal party members, if they are to have a chance at winning at the next election. Abbott must go for that to happen. What the liberals need is fresh faces and get rid of the whole front bench. People are just sick of the same faces all the time, they need new blood to revitalize the party and maybe a little bit of truth telling so the people can have some confidence in them.

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    • sleepykarly:

      27 Feb 2015 9:53:12am

      Zack,

      Self-preservation can be trained OUT of a person. Every Army in the world works on that assumption.

      Just go back to the first few days of Barbarossa. Hitler's army was speeding into Russia so fast that the Russians didn't even know where the Front was, Stalin have been played by Hitler for a total fool and was cowering in his dacha, and the politburo.... Went out to beg Stalin to take control!

      And only a few years later, the 12-year-old boys and 70-year old invalids were still trying to defend the Ruhr against the Allies instead of welcoming them in to beat the Russians to Berlin!

      The LNP are much the same; they will die with their Leader, rather than admit they have trusted in a lie.

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      • Zackdog:

        27 Feb 2015 11:48:00am

        Sadly I think you are right. Fools the lot of them. The Truth means nothing to these people. The word Honourable in front of there names means nothing and should be removed. What say you ?

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  • virgil:

    27 Feb 2015 8:13:30am

    I can't help feeling sorry for Tony. He seems to be carrying around with him a huge weight. Wearing that ridiculous lycra outfit at a media stop. Arriving at Yepoon yesterday (finally he made it to Queensland) looking defensive and wary. That macho gait, mouth open, tongue lolling, fake smile look becomes more pronounced every time I see him now. Jeez he must have a thick skin. But live by the sword...

    Why didn't the LNP get the job done 3 weeks ago and spare Tony and us this death dance?!

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    • Meh:

      27 Feb 2015 2:45:37pm

      The answer my friend is fear and greed.

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    • The Pav:

      27 Feb 2015 4:13:49pm

      don't forget the sloooooooooooow talk and endless repetition

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  • Malcolm:

    27 Feb 2015 8:14:14am

    Abbott's behaviour has become increasingly erratic. Disregarding the backflips and tantrums of last year, this year has seen a defeated spill motion but one which owed that defeat to an apparent off the cuff promise about submarines being built in South Australia which was promptly reneged on once the PM's job was secured. He then promised that good government would begin as if the previous 17 months of distinctly poor government hadn't occurred - 17 months written out of history.

    The PM has led a series of attacks on Professor Triggs in what seems to be aggressive frustration, These culminated in the AG's Department Secretary confirming to the Senate Committee that Triggs had been offered an inducement to resign. Inexplicably this was then denied by Senator Brandis and the denial reaffirmed by Julie Bishop in the parliament. The next day, after the uproar caused by her denial, she then backtracked and confirmed that there had indeed been an inducement offered - which makes her statement of Tuesday to appear to be a clear case of misleading the house. Was this lie perpetrated at the PM's request? If so that is cause for the PM's or Bishop's resignation.

    Parts of the 2014 budget still languish while the deficit continues to rise and now we are preparing for the 2015 budget in May. A budget in which from advanced statements the government appears to have backed away from its grandiose statements made when it was in opposition. The question now is not what is the government actually doing but do we actually have a government or simply a parliament that has gone on holiday. PM Abbott has not accomplished anything and now it appears his own party agree.

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    • Sneezel:

      27 Feb 2015 8:33:31am

      Abbott is certainly erratic. Let's nor forget his comments in Parliament on an alleged terrorism office - remarks which would have quite clearly been in contempt of court had he made them outside Parliament. This is unacceptable in anyone holding high office.

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    • Eric:

      27 Feb 2015 9:11:28am

      'that Triggs had been offered an inducement to resign'.

      That is completely untrue and should be retracted. Stop making things up and/ or read more widely than the ABC or Fairfax.

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      • Tree Frog:

        27 Feb 2015 10:15:27am

        No it's not Eric, she was offered another role/job as an inducement to resign.

        May I suggest reading other non Murdoch press news papers for information. They are much more reliable.

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      • BJA:

        27 Feb 2015 10:18:19am

        I'm sure Abbott would be dumbfounded to hear that the parliament of the land of his birth had commissioned Germany to build Britain's new submarines (U boats).

        Why can he not see the distress that the idea of Japan building Australia's new submarines causes Australians?

        I don't understand Abbott. Forgiving and forgetting old war enemies and enmities is fine. Just don't be so stupid as to ask us who had fathers and uncles prisoners of war of the Japanese, when they were trussed up and used for live bayonet practice, to take kindly to playing tootsies with the modern day 'knights of Bushido.

        There were, of course, always myriads of decent people in Japan.

        I am, and have no trouble being, good friends with peace loving demilitarised Japan and Japanese. Just have the sense not to reawaken some of the most horrific memories of my childhood and the hatreds that they generated.

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      • Sir Charles:

        27 Feb 2015 10:25:29am

        Dramatic Irony Alert!

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      • Curious party:

        27 Feb 2015 10:38:00am

        If falsehoods were forced to be retracted here then a lot of comments from you and yours would be completely blank.

        But, I think it is much more accurate to say that the truth of the inducements has yet to be established. It certainly hasn't been disproven.

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      • maelcolium:

        27 Feb 2015 10:41:58am

        So talking to Triggs about a job in international affairs coming from two Ministers, one saying they have lost confidence in you is not an inducement. Sure sounds like a tap on the shoulder to me!

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  • Gruffalo Soldier:

    27 Feb 2015 8:19:10am

    Be careful what is wished for.

    One of the most destructive and self-centred aspects of capitalism was the rise and power of investment banks - where their duplicity and greed caused the GFC.

    The perpetrators escaped with immunity - and huge bonuses - and many of the architects of irresponsible, unfettered, unregulated greed had been appointed to senior positions in the US Government by GW Bush.

    The leader of the culprit banks was Goldman Sachs.

    The head of Goldman Sachs in Australia was Malcolm Turnbull.

    I don't think this country needs another massive, ego-driven lawyer unconnected with 99% of Australians except the super-rich and dishonest politicians.

    It is also dangerous to put such a character at the head of a corrupt and dysfunctional political system - when the country desperately needs people of vision, honesty, altruism and empathy.

    Turnbull is not the answer. The LNP by its very nature does not have the answer - they don't even understand the question.

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    • GJA:

      27 Feb 2015 9:28:22am

      Very good point. Turnbull's only interest in the leadership of the Liberal Party is self-interest.

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  • Losimpson:

    27 Feb 2015 8:21:41am

    Only 10 days since the abortive spill motion and Abbott has continued with ill thought out approaches to issues which, as Barrie has pointed out, Both Turnbull and Bishop would have handled much better. I find it no wonder the leadership speculation continues.

    Some commentators and Liberal members this morning have been urging the Liberal Party to unite behind Abbott lest they be viewed in the same light as the Labor Party. It's the tired old disunity is death mantra. They completely miss the point. If you have a leader pursuing policies no-one wants and leading you to electoral destruction there is a very strong case for dumping him.

    Personally I hope they keep him. I don't want this rabid right wing Government to get a second term which would be a distinct possibility under Turnbull with no guarantee he could or would reverse the current direction.

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  • ardy:

    27 Feb 2015 8:23:08am

    I agree and think it should be sooner rather than later.

    I am one of those who expected a lot more from Tony Abbott, more openness and organisation than is on show. My left wing partner is giving me heaps about him.

    I am of the opinion that Scott Morrison is my favoured candidate BUT as she of the Red/Greeen has pointed out 'didn't do too well with the Tony pick did you?'. Bishop won't get it - too much like a Julia move and Turnbull would ensure a loss at the next election due to his mamby-pamby attitude and inability to bring the factions together.

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    • T J Maller:

      27 Feb 2015 9:34:14am

      Interesting household Ardy. I am usually an ALP voter and you may find this hard to believe but I agree with you on Morrison.

      His transformation over recent weeks has been impressive culminating with a strong performance at the NPC this week.

      If the spill comes I would expect Morrison to put his hand up and be successful. He is acceptable to the right wing and would have the authority within the Liberal Party to bring them back to the centre-right, something Turnbull would be unable to do.

      The only unknown will be Abbott. How will he react? What to do with him? Will he leave the parliament?

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    • RichardJ:

      27 Feb 2015 10:18:12am

      In my view the LNP should simply step aside. They are doing real harm. They should undertake to guarantee Supply for the incoming government until an election in 2016, resign their commissions and hand the reins to the more experienced ALP. The ALP were a far more effective government (if still not up to my standards).

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    • Tree Frog:

      27 Feb 2015 10:37:06am

      A lot of voters feel the way you do right now Ardy, like they have been badly defrauded by the current government.

      To me it's not a matter of being left or right, it's about doing the best for the majority of the people of Australia.

      Maybe that's what we need to focus on and what our government needs to focus on too.

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  • GregL:

    27 Feb 2015 8:29:24am

    As was Rudd before him Tony Abbott is not temperamentally suited to be Prime Minister. Both were very effective Opposition leaders, revelling in the theatre of what passes for politics in this country. Both demanded and got loyalty from their colleagues despite their well known shortcomings. The promise of government was too dazzling to pull them up. Both failed to make the transition from Opposition leader to Prime Minister and both failed in the top job.

    There is little doubt the Abbott government will be a oncer unless there is a leadership change. The question is will the current Liberal members, like lemmings, follow Abbott over the political cliff or not. History shows that this may happen. When John Howard lost the confidence of the Australian people nobody had the courage to tap him on the shoulder and say "John, time to go".

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  • lilly:

    27 Feb 2015 8:30:20am

    If Mr Abbott does get ousted by Turnbull, I wonder how many of the front bench would go with Abbott? I think the front bench and indeed the party is dominated by big L liberals - the small L liberals are in the minority. It would be an interesting test of Turnbull's leadership style and pragmatism to see if he can work with both sides. His biggest weapon will be his popularity with the voters. Providing he can retain that, he has a chance of dragging the party back towards the center (which will be a good thing).

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  • aj:

    27 Feb 2015 8:31:12am

    the folk that say the federal government cant get rid of an opposition mentality are probably close to the mark, It would be really good to have folk in charge that boost up the good things about australia and all our multicultural groups. Announcements of success and achievement instead of failure. there must be so many positive things happening and great stories of folk achieving great stuff so how about the government talking about these and releasing these to the media instead of all the negatives!

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  • Daveb:

    27 Feb 2015 8:32:59am

    Tony Abbott has neither the trust nor respect of the great majority of Australians.

    His leadership (sic) style is combative, divisive, vision less and disrespectful of many Australians.

    He has eroded Australia's international position as a middle ranking World power.

    Mr Abbott should acknowledge his failings and resign his position as leader of the Liberals in the Federal Parliament.

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    • clete:

      27 Feb 2015 11:23:15am

      "He has eroded Australia's international position as a middle ranking World power."

      Care to give us one credible example of this erosion?

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      • TheJohno:

        27 Feb 2015 1:55:25pm

        Not long ago, Australia was held up as an example of how Climate Change was being dealt with and it was an applauded example by many world leaders (including the USA).

        Now, we have the Foreign Minister writing to the President of the USA almost arguing with him regarding the Presidents use of the Barrier Reif Reserve as en example of what we shouldn't allow to happen........just one example! Would you like more?

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        • clete:

          27 Feb 2015 3:45:47pm

          Ahhh, the good old Climate Change issue.

          It was only applauded by world governments of the left wing, and almost bankrupt persuasion. Countries like Greece, Italy etc.. Aren't they going well?

          Obama only got on the bandwagon when he achieved his second and final term - and even then has promised nothing he, himself is forced to deliver.

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        • Morestone:

          27 Feb 2015 6:03:44pm

          Clete you are totally barking up the wrong tree on that one, Italy and Greece probably care less about sustainable use of resources than Australia unlike successful and forward looking economies like Germany.

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      • The Pav:

        27 Feb 2015 4:15:48pm

        Every time he speaks

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  • BG:

    27 Feb 2015 8:34:38am

    I see the ABC is in full blown campaign mode. Desperately trying to fan the flames to get rid of the guy they hate. It will fail again like it did before the election and before the last leadership vote.

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    • George Spiggot:

      27 Feb 2015 9:01:43am

      Or perhaps the ABC is merely reporting a change amongst the government backbenchers?

      The office of the PM is a game of numbers. Theres no need for left wing conspiracy theories, the adults are in charge.

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      • queenguinevere:

        27 Feb 2015 9:46:37am

        The problem in the LNP is far deeper than just Tony Abbott. Abbott is only the figurehead or the puppet of the LNP. The LNP is run by the faceless husband/wife combination of Peta Credlin (Abbott's Chief of Staff) and Brian Loughnane (Liberal Federal Director). This is much common knowledge as it has been reported a lot in the past two weeks. Even Murdoch wants Credlin removed from the LNP.

        Start with Credlin and Loughnane and then Abbott. Just removing Abbott will not solve the problem unless Turnbull removes those faceless people himself.

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    • David:

      27 Feb 2015 9:08:13am

      Im not so sure it will fail this time. The coalition showed us how to fan the flames when it was Gillard vs Rudd and the anti Abbott camp took notes. All he has to do is tie his shoelaces the wrong way and it will be national news for three days straight.

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      • clete:

        27 Feb 2015 11:21:28am

        "The coalition showed us how to fan the flames when it was Gillard vs Rudd.."

        That was an opposition doing it's job against a very chaotic and incompetent government, David.

        Shorten doesn't need to try and destabilise the LNP over leadership speculation, the ABC is doing it for him!

        That's the difference between the commentary on this government and the previous one.

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        • Dennis:

          27 Feb 2015 6:43:35pm

          Rubbish clete. Do you think the ABC is the only media outlet commenting on LNP leadership speculation? Hardly! If anyone is doing the destabilising, it is the so-called "Liberal" Party itself!

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    • Dennis:

      27 Feb 2015 9:13:32am

      Oh BG! To quote an old saying: "There are none so blind as those who will not see", and you clearly belong in that category. Abbott has shot himself with his own gun and ammunition everywhere except in the head - and you blame the ABC!

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 9:18:14am

      Head in the sand

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  • Alpo:

    27 Feb 2015 8:38:07am

    Barry,

    The problem for this Coalition Government is not so much Abbott as a person and as a leader, his style and deficiencies. Their major problem is that Abbott is the front man for a very powerful side within the Liberal party: those espousing extreme Conservatism and also the Neoliberals. Turnbull is representative of the more centrist, moderate small-l Liberals. Such an important political civil war cannot be waged successfully when you are in Government, that will mean producing a very permanent damage to the "Liberal brand". Ideological wars should be waged when you are in Opposition, so the Party is ready and united when they return to Government.

    Abbott will wait for the NSW State election and use a Baird win to recover some breathing space. The battle for the second Budget will then start and chances are that before giving up he may even call for an early election by the end of the year.

    Things look quite shaky at the moment and anything may happen....

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  • David:

    27 Feb 2015 8:38:48am

    It would be nice to think that somewhere out there there is a 'shadow' government actually running this country while our elected representatives spend their days plotting, leaking, doing cryptic doorstop interviews and appearing on late night TV. Where do these worthies find the time to actually do their jobs?

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    • Alpo:

      27 Feb 2015 8:56:21am

      Good point! Those doing the actual work of Government are the so-much-maligned Public Servants.... Take them away (as the Neoliberals want to do all the time) and watch the House of Cards collapse!

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    • Jacqueline K:

      27 Feb 2015 9:05:17am

      There is one, David. It's a small "shadow government", to be sure, but it's definitely running the country. Gina, Rupert, the Four Big Banks, they're doing a GREAT job!

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    • TrevorN:

      27 Feb 2015 9:06:54am

      "It would be nice to think that somewhere out there there is a 'shadow' government actually running this country..."

      There is: the public services has kept this country running smoothly for the last 100 years or so despite the politicians interference. We've had dozens of elections and Prime Ministers trying to stuff things up but it doesn't really reflect our true government from running things quite well.

      The public servants should be better paid.

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      • tombeithemist:

        27 Feb 2015 10:30:48am

        and govt doing a good job of dismantling it - muzzling debate and opinion from highly experienced and qualified people who work in the public (irrespective of the govt of the day) interest. Don't want that do we? Dumb it down and provide only a political view.

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    • Observer:

      27 Feb 2015 12:40:16pm

      Oh, no, not an invisible hand!!

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  • Hermanmunster:

    27 Feb 2015 8:47:48am

    What baffles me about the Abbott leadership wobbles. Is how everyone else in the real world of life, knew and told them time and time again Abbott was not fit to be Prime Minister. This was obvious from the election that he was the Honourable Minister for Gaffes and foot in mouth. He was shown within days to have a portfolio of lies and deception and not to be trusted. But the Coalition of Absurdity defended and apologised and just to continued to nurture his lies. They were of the believe we the 'voters' are stupid and if they ignore the unrest and anger towards their agenda we would just roll over and accept it like a group of thankful peasants happy to get the scraps.

    How many times do they have to be told? Abbott is on the nose and has been the entire term of this Government. Let him remain in the chair and bring on 2016 Election the alternatives are no better. Turnbull is another liar and delivered a lie with his fraud band and continues to talk double talk. Bishop is now readying her wardrobe to ensure she has something to wear for the bridesmaid job again, that is all she is good at, in the picture but not pride of place, thank goodness. The coalition of comedy and deception rolls on and on.

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  • splod1:

    27 Feb 2015 8:54:12am

    Actually, I think that Morrison and Abetz would make a good Liberal leadership team. We've never had a couple of Daleks running the country before. I can just imagine their tactics: "Exterminate, terminate, turn back the boats, eradicate!" Now all we need to do is find The Doctor!

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    • queenguinevere:

      27 Feb 2015 9:48:04am

      I love it, Doctor Who.

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  • Ian Batty:

    27 Feb 2015 8:55:15am

    Should Mr. Abbott go or stay?

    Stay.

    It's all too easy to walk away - or let others push you out - and leave the mess for others to clean up.

    The ultimate "scr*w you" must be - taking from another culture - seppuku, or "hara kiri". Having brought great disgrace or ruin on one's ruler, the offender is allowed to commit ritual suicide rather than having to continue to bear the shame and criticism that their actions have brought about, or (more importantly) to *do something* to repair the situation.

    For the elected Prime Minister to walk away from almost half a term of chaos, ineptitude and bullying of opponents is, to me, the ultimate act of the bully. "If I can't get my way, I'm leaving the mess for you all to fix, and damn you!".

    In effect, there's little difference between stamping out and being forced out. The Prime Minister's Party was elected to office, and its Parliamentary leader was elected to the office of PM.

    Being elected in a Demoscratic society means you govern for each and every citizen, not just your natural allies and cheer squads.

    Mr. Abbott, you were elected by us.

    You have created a mess of stupendous proportions.

    Show yourself to be honourable and worthy of the Office by staying and reparing the past.

    Then, maybe, you'll get to lead your Party to the next election and maybe, win.

    It's better than lying among the paper clips and shredded paper down there at the bottom of the dustbin of history.

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    • clete:

      27 Feb 2015 11:09:07am

      "You have created a mess of stupendous proportions."

      Just a little overblown, Ian? Whilst I agree with you that Abbott should stay his term, I disagree with you on almost everything else.

      Yes, there have been gaffes, and politically unsound judgements, but these have mainly been around superficial issues, like knighthoods and leadership styles. Abbott has since accepted the advice of some of his Nervous Nellie back bench and has become more consultative.

      When you compare this government against the previous Labor government, there has hardly been a "mess of stupendous proportions" under Abbott.

      On the contrary, this government has many reasons to feel they have achieved a great deal of good, in a relatively short period of time. They have a very disjointed, obstructionist and chaotic Senate to deal with, but should learn from previous mistakes on how to deal with it.

      They also haven't been good at getting that positive message out there, partly because media organisations like the ABC are hell bent on seeing Abbott gone, and will only focus on destabilising the governments leadership.

      I can't see the ABC backing away from this destabilisation tactic, so it's up to Abbott and his ministers to get their positive messages out there somewhere else, and to get on with the job of governing.

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      • Robert:

        27 Feb 2015 12:34:10pm

        Yes, there have been gaffe...but these have mainly been around superficial issues

        Like unemployment at a 12 year high, blown budgets, rising deficits, increased taxes, cuts to schools, hospitals, science & innovation, stripping back of pensions, the pay of our service people, business and consumer confidence shot and on it goes.

        Is that what you mean by "superficial"?

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        • clete:

          27 Feb 2015 3:38:33pm

          "Is that what you mean by "superficial"?

          No, that's what I'd call trying to deal with this countries spiralling debt problem and ever expanding welfare dependency.

          That's the trouble with you lot. You all want the Mercedes C class in the driveway, but never stop to think that eventually somebody has to pay for it. Manna from heaven, isn't it?

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        • The Pav:

          27 Feb 2015 4:21:01pm

          I don't want a Merc....Much rather a Beemer

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    • Le Mec:

      27 Feb 2015 1:05:22pm

      Ian

      Admirable sentiments expressed by you but your words are based on an assumption that Abbott accepts responsibility for all his stuff ups.

      History would show that he accepts no blame for any of his stuff ups. By his reckoning it's all a left wing conspiracy and (from his national press club appearance a couple of weeks ago) the Australian people only vote for Labor when they have a brain implosion (or words to that effect).

      Clearly the man lives in a parallel universe unconnected to our reality. He's got to go for the good of the nation.

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    • Malcolm:

      27 Feb 2015 1:17:06pm

      "Show yourself to be honourable and worthy of the Office by staying and repairing the past."

      He is manifestly incapable of that. The strange lie about the SA submarines to get a vote in caucus and the quite irrational assault on Prof. Triggs are just the latest in a depressing saga of missteps which demonstrate his incapacity for change so he must resign or be deposed very quickly. If not for the sake of the Coalition Government, but also the Liberal Party who he has led out the wilderness of Opposition into a wilderness of bad government and electoral dislike which will see them back in opposition for a couple of terms.

      Abbott has a majority yet he governs as if his government is a beleaguered minority which has to beat every sign of opposition or discontent into submission. Who ever the person was who advised him how to deal with Prof. Triggs ought to be fired. The bizarre thought bubble policies and lies like the SA submarines really are not the mark of a rational person.

      I cannot comprehend why Julie Bishop chose to get up in Parliament and deny the Trigg's offer then be forced to backtrack a day later when she found that everyone was perfectly aware that the Senate committee had received testimony the day before that clearly demonstrated her version of the events was, to put it politely, mistaken. Is there a lemming like mass suicide psychosis growing in the Liberal Party, and if that is the case then this government has to go because Abbott is becoming the Richard Nixon of Australian politics.

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    • The Pav:

      27 Feb 2015 4:19:57pm

      "Mr. Abbott, you were elected by us."

      Err, I think you should check the constitution & learn how the Westminster system operates

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  • emma:

    27 Feb 2015 8:56:42am

    I was enjoying all of the leadership shenanigans - praying for Abbott to stay put as he is the ALPs best chance for election next year. However Abbott's behaviour has become truly erratic and irrational and I am now genuinely worried about this lunatic running the country. There is so much damage he can do and has already done - the mad dog needs to be retired urgently. Even if it ruins Labor's chances at the next election, we need somebody that is at least sane to lead the country.

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    • tombeithemist:

      27 Feb 2015 10:33:26am

      May have happened but I reckon his next big foot in mouth episode will be his last.

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    • clete:

      27 Feb 2015 11:51:23am

      So, Emma. We need another ALP government. A little like the last one, maybe?

      We need that like a hole in the head, I'm afraid.

      We certainly can't afford that either. It will take the LNP many years to clean up the mess left by your last wonderful Labor government. Don't wish another one upon us!!

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      • Alpo:

        27 Feb 2015 12:57:17pm

        clete,

        Have you thought what on earth are you going to do during the long 9 years of the next Labor Government, to start in 2016 at the latest? How are you going to cope?.... I am truly worried.

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      • New World:

        27 Feb 2015 1:28:11pm

        Funny in 3013 under the ALP we were to economic country that was the envy of the world. In the last 18 months businesses' say they have gone backward under the Liberals.

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        • queenguinevere:

          27 Feb 2015 2:45:40pm

          You have great insight of what politics will be like in 1,000 years time. No matter what party is in power then, at least you know that Tony Abbott will not be around. His name might still be around in some dusty and crumbling history books, but then again, some future government might remove his name from history books. That might be too kind of a result for Abbott as he is/was the worst Australian Prime Minister ever.

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  • Rancid Remark:

    27 Feb 2015 8:59:34am

    It's not a matter of "if" but "when" Their timing has to be right if they are going to change leader. Too late and the damage is going to be huge to 1. The budget. 2. The NSW elections. 3. The future of the liberal party. All of these come into play in the next couple of weeks, they have to do it now.

    Tony is still going to proceed with his pugilistic and bombastic fashion and will put the LNP further behind the 8 ball. If Turnbull takes over then the public will be happy and the front and back benches will hear a better report from their constituents and that is what is most important. The peoples satisfaction. The poles will then reflect this and the NSW government will get a better response. Then all will be hunky dory with the LNP.

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  • CraigOfBathurst:

    27 Feb 2015 9:03:31am

    "By going in so hard against the commission president Gillian Triggs, he ended up embarrassing his own party."

    I think you'll find Triggs, Labor and the Abbott-hating cheer squad (ie you, Barrie and your colleagues) will be the ones embarrassed. This saga ain't done with yet.

    And besides, does anyone think Barrie's opinion is credible anymore? This is the bloke who would not report on Gillard's role in the slush fund affair and sacked two conservative commentators from his program for mentioning it. Gillard later defends herself at a Royal Commission and the commissioner states she told untruths.

    And immediately following the spill motion, Barrie said Abbott would quit within a week. Oh, Really?

    Let's not rely on Barrie's opinion as a credible voice.

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    • custard:

      27 Feb 2015 9:35:35am

      The problem with Malcolm is that whilst the left love the fact he thinks climate change is real, is a gadget Internet wiz and has a great ability to speak at length about all sorts of things, they hate his wealth, his political party,his house, his suburb and anything else they can dig up in what would be a political assassination of the highest order. They won't even vote for him.

      Plus Liberals hate the fact that Turnbull would reintroduce a carbon tax, is too leftist and panders to that base. They won't vote for him either. It actually makes him a bigger political risk than the AbbottSatan.

      It ain't happening I tells ya.

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      • Say what :

        27 Feb 2015 1:42:37pm

        Custard. The majority of votes don't come from us rusted-ons but rather the multitude of middle swinging voters

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    • Reallist:

      27 Feb 2015 9:43:56am

      Wasnt Gillard cleared? I still maintain a lot of support in an eye for an eye Royal Commission into TA and his cronies when ALP wins the next election. Hopefully the ALP will remember and show that that "saga ain't done with". So who is credible as its certainly aint you as your motivation is to utter any lie to drive your own point of view.

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      • CraigOfBathurst:

        27 Feb 2015 12:04:10pm

        "Wasnt Gillard cleared?"

        Do your homework, Realist.

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        • Reallist:

          27 Feb 2015 12:36:25pm

          I did. Please enlighten me?

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    • BJT:

      27 Feb 2015 10:16:13am

      Of course, you're the voice of reason... like the PM.

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    • RichardJ:

      27 Feb 2015 11:02:08am

      CofB, you seem terribly confused about many things, not least the difference between opinions and reportage; between prediction and advocacy; between a fair assessment of the government's performance and your personal biases.

      For what it's worth, I read Barry as quite conservative politically (sorry Barry, none of my business really) but I don't see it influencing articles like this, which reflect many years of experience observing the political scene.

      It's fine to disagree with Barry, or me, or anyone else. But you should try to do so on the basis of fairly held ideas arrived at by a thoughtful process.

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    • graazt:

      27 Feb 2015 11:34:56am

      Shot two messengers in one! Well-played

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  • clete:

    27 Feb 2015 9:10:41am

    The good old ABC is determined to look at every single issue through the leadership prism.

    It's cheap and deceitful journalism to constantly quote "sources within..", never mentioning names that can be checked and verified. That's become the ABC's mantra.

    A responsible media organisation, as distinct from a green, left wing mouthpiece, would fully analyse policy and comment on the pro's and con's of the policy in a balanced and thoughtful way.

    The ABC dumbs down almost every piece of proposed legislation and political commentary into a leadership issue, which is doing a disservice to the very people they should be providing a service to - US!.

    Just another piece of Canberra navel gazing, Barrie. Get on with what us taxpayers pay you for, and stop this silly leadership speculation nonsense.

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    • queenguinevere:

      27 Feb 2015 9:53:16am

      This is not "silly leadership speculation nonsense". This is both real and important. With Abbott leading the LNP to self destruction, and ridicule from many other world governments, our once famous country has become a laughing stock to a world wide audience. The spreading LNP headed by Abbott must be arrested and eradicated as soon as possible. No sane person could ever disagree with that.

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      • Alpo:

        27 Feb 2015 11:26:54am

        queenguinevere,

        The longer Abbott stays in power, the better they will self-cook.... slowly. I would only suggest to the Liberal Party not to overcook the stew and go to an early election by the end of the year. They don't want to run the risk of completely falling off the political radar of this country....

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    • tentative.observer:

      27 Feb 2015 12:14:47pm

      Cleve are you reading different editorials and reports in the Murdoch media to me? I've been reading similar articles, editorials and opinions in The Australian, Sun Herald and other 'News' media as well as Fairfax.

      I'd be keen to know what you think for your tax dollar the ABC should be reporting and commenting on. Its charter does not stipulate that it is to be a propaganda arm of the Australian government. In fact its Charter was deliberately crafted so that it cannot be used for this purpose. Only repressive regimes use state owned media in this way.

      Wouldn't it be better to ask why so much of the Australian media seems critical of our Prime Minister and performance of his government?

      Isn't it better to ask yourself why Mr Abbott and the government continue to poll so badly. The polling has been consistently bad and had already established this consistency before leadership speculation started.

      This federal government is a bad government. Supposedly this was never supposed happen under Tony Abbott.

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      • clete:

        27 Feb 2015 1:35:04pm

        I read the "Australian" regularly, tentative. Their political journalists have put their pieces in regarding the leadership question, I agree. But, they also give balanced commentary on policy positions and the difficulties facing the government dealing with a chaotic Senate.

        The "Australian", unlike the ABC, Fairfax and the Guardian, don't have a political axe to grind. The ABC has not stopped harping on leadership speculation since well before the unsuccessful spill motion. It must have broken their hearts when the motion was defeated.

        This latest beat-up is being driven almost exclusively by the ABC, and is only being picked up by other agencies as a result.

        Neither does the ABC's Charter stipulate that it should be a propaganda arm of the Left Wing movement, but it largely is.

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  • FlapDoodle:

    27 Feb 2015 9:20:32am

    Mr Abbott should certainly go soon and not only for the benefit of the LNP. However, there is a wider problem, the LNP front bench, which remains a Howard era legacy group containing a number of dud performers who should be pensioned off immediately. If a new LNP leader was to retain the present make up of this group the party will not have made the generational and intellectual change up necessary to deal with emerging economic, social and security issues.

    One of the pressing issues is that of the large scale, continuing and preferential Government financial support for iron-age industries which swallow a massive and disproportionate share of assistance to industry. The future is innovative, technology and science driver industry which adds value to our natural advantages through the employment of a well educated, motivated and socially cohesive workforce.

    In that sense also, the LNP has not been able to re-invent itself for the challenges that lie ahead.

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  • Babsie:

    27 Feb 2015 9:20:51am

    Now that you have sorted out the LNP Leadership Barrie please tell us who is going to topple Bill Shorten and when, they might as well make their move now gives both sides 12 months

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  • Giles:

    27 Feb 2015 9:23:23am

    It seems that the left wing media is running hard trying to destabilise Abbott because they can see that Shorten has overreached on his support for Triggs. It is his Godwin Grech moment.

    It turns out that not only did Triggs ask to speak with the Attorney-General to gauge his opinion of her but it was she who raised the possibility of another role. Unfortunately she received bad advice from her colleagues and her friends on the left side of politics or else she could have resigned and protected her reputation.

    The ABC, Guardian, Fairfax and the social media crowd think that Abbott has "embarrassed his own party" over Triggs but the fact is that they do not represent LNP voters.

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    • Le blogeur gai:

      27 Feb 2015 10:08:53am

      What utter rubbish.

      Triggs should be supported because she was just doing her job.

      And it is immaterial about who was in power at the time she conducted it. The politics is immaterial - it is the welfare of the children in detention which is of paramount importance.

      And where is your proof for your allegations against Triggs? It is just scurrilous hearsay and nothing more.

      Given this governments litany of lies and deceit, I and no doubt most decent Australians would believe her word over that of any member of this government - the worst in our history.

      The media are merely reporting events, and you - like Abbott - are just shooting the messenger.

      When this mob loses office at the next election, the first act of the new Labor Government should be to establish a Royal Commission into the Abbott Government.

      I suspect that much that this government has been up to would interest Federal prosecutors.

      Members of this government should start lawyering up now - and some should start preparing for a long holiday at Her Majesty's pleasure!

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    • anote:

      27 Feb 2015 10:47:17am

      Dead man walking. Abbott's party members have invested so much in him that they are stunned by their predicament. Abbott gets a stay of execution so long as his party members remain undecided as to what to do.

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    • RichardJ:

      27 Feb 2015 11:06:11am

      I have a bridge for sale, good harbour views, going cheap if you're interested?

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    • Mike:

      27 Feb 2015 11:23:40am

      "It seems that the left wing media is running hard trying to destabilise Abbott"

      Today's News Corp papers have run more leadership speculation articles than Fairfax and the ABC combined.

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    • graazt:

      27 Feb 2015 11:39:17am

      It's been a winning political tactic so far @Giles. Stick with it. There's nothing more edifying than for a bunch of adults to harrass and smearing the reputation of the Human Rights Commissioner.

      Looking forward to your mob getting stuck into some Supreme Court judge you don't like next.

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      • Mr Coot:

        27 Feb 2015 5:29:05pm

        Actually, they are my 'mob' too. I am a happy capitalist living in Ms Bishop's electorate. But I would like to respond to your last sentence because I was disturbed by Mr Abbott and Mr Brandis attacking Ms Triggs. Her position was created by legislation to be independent, much like our judiciary is. And my first thought when I read the criticism was 'What next, will politicians start attacking our judges?'

        These sort of attacks are not right, and not fair. We need academics to do research and write reports, within Universities and in roles like the HRC, and we must trust that the selection processes result in ppl who are academically rigorous and intellectually honest filling those roles. They are functioning like society's conscience and they should be able to conduct their research and offer their reports without being in fear of losing their positions.

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        • anote:

          27 Feb 2015 6:38:03pm

          You are right Mr Coot but these types of attacks are not fair on anybody yet are characteristic of Abbott and Brandis. They were just a little more trigger happy and publically aggressive than usual in this instance.

          It is bad enough when politicians are 'robust' with each other (I do not approve of that unnecessary and uncivilised behaviour either).

          I have to say Abbott and Brandis are fairly even handed in one sense. Namely, they are similarly offensive to everyone who says something they might not want to hear. Brandis says we should have the right to be bigots. Well he (they) certainly exercise their rights to be offensive and while Triggs has reason to feel very much more aggrieved than I they have similarly offended me and other members of the general public.

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    • gbe:

      27 Feb 2015 11:44:17am

      Yes and what has been carefully avoided on the ABC is Triggs has a trail of inconsistencies many of her claims on investigation have been proven incorrect or grossly exaggerated. The instigation of a police investigation has seen her quickly change her story yet again.

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      • anote:

        27 Feb 2015 12:11:54pm

        To paraphrase Abbott in a radio interview ...

        I know what you are doing. You're trying to say that Labor is worse than the Coalition but it isn't. It really isn't.

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    • The Pav:

      27 Feb 2015 4:22:32pm

      Quite right they don't as they have a pulse and can think

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  • GregC:

    27 Feb 2015 9:24:25am

    As a Greens voter I would love to see the LNP tear themselves apart a la Labor. But I am extremely uncomfortable with the internal party machinations being allowed to depose a sitting Prime Minister. Sure, it is a useful tool when we realise we have a despot on our hands, but a party should not be allowed to make decisions that run counter to what the Australian voter has decided. And don't use the "but parties always determine who the PM is!" because the truth is that all of us who put the voting slip into the box have a particular understanding about which leader we have just voted for. The truth is that a majority of Australian voters understood that they would be voting for Abbott as PM. They deserve the person they got. From my perspective Abbott has done nothing that runs counter to the type of person he has always been. His decisions match perfectly his individual set of values. If we as a voting nation were too blind? stupid? ignorant? to understand that what we were voting for might not be so great for the poor, the underprivileged, the ordinary worker, then so be it. We are allowed to change it at the next election. But for a handful of people to make such decisions AFTER the electorate has made their choice at the polling booth, really does treat the voting public with too much contempt. All of us should understand that the continual dethronement of the PM, LNP or Labor, does more harm than good for our country in the long run.

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    • Losimpson:

      27 Feb 2015 9:58:23am

      Greg, you are being too pure. Can we sit around watching the country going down the tubes for another 18 months in the name of being nice?

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    • Le blogeur gai:

      27 Feb 2015 9:59:52am

      "And don't use the "but parties always determine who the PM is!" because the truth is that all of us who put the voting slip into the box have a particular understanding about which leader we have just voted for."

      It doesn't matter how you say it, or how many times you say it: WE DON'T VOTE FOR THE PM. WE NEVER HAVE.

      We vote for our local member who represents the party which best represents us.

      Only those voters in Warringah - Abbott's seat - voted for him, and they didn't vote for him to become PM - they voted for him to be their local member.

      The position of PM is entirely the gift of the recipient's parliamentary colleagues.

      And if a PM is unfit to hold the office - as Abbott has proven - it is entirely acceptable for a sitting PM to be deposed, especially when you consider the damage that he has already done.

      I'd go further than that too. I believe that voters should have the right to petition a Recall Election if they believe that their local member is not performing to standard.

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      • CaneToad:

        27 Feb 2015 6:11:18pm

        Actually, LBG, you couldn't be more wrong. I would challenge the majority of voters to even name their local member, much less name the candidates standing at any given election. In my experience, few can.

        Regardless of the mechanics involved, the average voter sees and hears the party leader in all campaigning. They see and hear the party leader in debates. They see and hear the party leader in opposition and so forth. As much as people may like to believe otherwise, I'd estimate that the majority of voters do in fact place their vote on the basis of what they see and hear, therefore doing so on the basis of the party leader concerned.

        Each party then has a mechanism for selecting a leader from within their elected ranks. All quite simple really.

        Speaking very personally, I couldn't give a damn who my local member is unless they become the leader or cabinet member. I care who leads this great country politically and who is calling the shots. I care little for political ideology but care greatly for good policy, regardless of its political origin.

        So, whilst the 'system' may support your view, reality suggests otherwise.

        In the words of someone apparently wise, "it doesn't matter how you say it, or how many times you say it..."

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    • Curious party:

      27 Feb 2015 10:43:59am

      What about the Greens voters who voted for a party that was led by Bob Brown and ended up with a party that was led by Christine Milne? Is that not equally unfair?

      Fact is that our political system is the Westminster system, and if people are too stupid to realise that they are voting for a local member first and a party second then they deserve to be frustrated.

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    • RichardJ:

      27 Feb 2015 11:10:43am

      This is an interesting issue and one I haven't made up my mind on.

      If we had a presidential system it would be pretty clear that she or he shouldn't be removed by party members. On the other hand, the system we use has always operated differently and there have been some celebrated examples of changes of leader without an election (notably WW2 when Churchill and Curtin became PMs).

      Really the PM is the political leader of the group of ministers who, under our constitution, exercise power in Executive Council with the Governor-General. The office itself is not recognised; it's just another ministry.

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    • Stuffed Olive:

      27 Feb 2015 11:54:44am

      When the realisation dawns that they have appointed a raving idiot as their leader - something has got to give GregC.

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  • bossa:

    27 Feb 2015 9:30:46am

    The only reasonable course of action from here is to call an immediate election.

    This government circus has no chance of sorting itself out before untold damage has been done to our institutions and people. Besides, Tony Abbott has worked in the background, deconstructing everything of value created since 1972, and has no intention of stopping now. Changing the PM will only give these right wing neocons the opportunity to complete the hatchet job on Australia before the next election.

    They will continue to tick off every item on that IPA list of "75 things to do" before doomsday.

    The current political term will turn out to be the most destructive period in Australian history, apart from the massacre of the original inhabitants over the preceding 200 years.

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    • Walter:

      27 Feb 2015 6:03:13pm

      What an incredible blog.

      What exactly is the "untold damage" that you refer to. All I see are lots of Abbott haters hyperventilating.

      He stopped the boats. He stopped the deaths at sea. He axed the economy crippling carbon tax. The investment crippling mining tax. He has been excellent on the world stage and laid the groundwork with three major free trade agreements. He has demonstrated strength in dealing with the terrorism issue. All within the first half of the first term in office.

      What exactly is he guilty of. We have an economic issue in Australia in that we are living beyond our means. We have a welfare and economic entitlement problem thats needs addressing. Thats what needs to be addressed, and that is what he is doing, despite a recalcitrant Senate.

      He may not be particularly likeable. He may lack charisma. He may be a conservative Catholic and not the love child of the so called "progressives". But he is on the right path, and he has made good decisions on the issues that really matter.

      At the next election, voters will have time to reflect on his achievements and consider whats on offer from the Opposition. Voters will be reminded of what happened when Labor was in office. Shorten is not a Bob Hawke. Just wait till the election blow torch is applied to him.

      I read these blogs and am appalled at the venom and lack of objectivity. If Abbott were to fart, he would be blamed for global warming. Back off and let him get on with the job

      Less hyperventilating on trivial issues about Abbott will benefit all Australians.

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  • Greg:

    27 Feb 2015 9:34:26am

    My bet is that they'll bottle it, like they did in 2007. Never underestimate the power of the entrenched Turnbull haters, who would rather take the ship down and be able to appoint the next captain. It's really only the people who want Turnbull, and what do we matter. Do we think the Liberal Party is for liberals?

    Some people are arguing that Abbott is owed more time. I can't see it. He's had 18 months in the job, is clearly not up to it, and is getting worse under pressure.

    Clearly, good government is not about to start any time soon.

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  • Jackson5:

    27 Feb 2015 9:40:09am

    You have to laugh at Barrie's analysis. First Abbott couldn't beat Rudd. Then he wouldn't stand a chance against Gillard. Then we got an article about how if Labor reverted to Rudd again Abbott would be finished. Then Barrie told us the boats couldn't be stopped or turned back. Then the Carbon Tax was here to stay. Then we were told Abbott was going to get rolled. Then Abbott was going to resign and now he's going to get rolled again. No wonder he's stayed within the confines of the ABC, this kind of 'analysis' would be ridiculed in the real world.

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  • GJA:

    27 Feb 2015 9:41:04am

    I have my doubts regarding the immanence of any leadership spill. Absent significant front-bench support for it, it's just petty grumbling, and all Abbott needs is a success at something, anything, nearly, and the backbench will fall in line.

    I also suspect that the Liberals, back and front, wouldn't much relish the schadenfreude they'd be subjected to, or the embarrassment of being the "New Labor" for rolling their leader ahead of the next election. They'll wait and pretend to an orderly transition, if they can come up with a narrative to explain it. If they can't come up with a story, they'll go to the next election with Captain Australia still in charge and blame Labor for blocking their agenda and causing chaos in the Senate, in full denial of the problems they created for themselves with their heartless overreach and determined efforts at tearing down the country.

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  • Rancid Remark:

    27 Feb 2015 9:47:43am

    For the LNP to survive, the hard right has to eat humble pie at the moment and let Turnbull and his centre right attitude and policies prevail. They want the LNP to survive this term and still be in government at the next election. They are not going to achieve this with Abbott at the helm.

    The hard right are the money minders of the party and they can clearly see their backers doing just that, "backing away" so it behooves them to let Turnbull have his way and retain their money trail.

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    • Ducktagnan:

      27 Feb 2015 11:20:55am

      RR - yours s the only sensible comment posted so far.

      The hard and religious right of the LNP have had their day, and it's time for them to go. Most of them have been there too long anyway.

      Australia is best governed from the center right - Hawke did it, Howard did it, and Turnbull is the only hope ( from both sides ) to do it again.

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  • Don:

    27 Feb 2015 9:47:48am

    The public have come to the conclusion that Tony Abbott cannot help himself with his ill-fated indulgences. Just look at the personal attack on Professor Triggs, which is just the latest example. Even if what Abbott claims is right about Professor Triggs, he is still wrong to personally thrash the head of the HRC. Who remembers the PPL indulgence, who remembers the $20 billion medical research fund indulgence, who remembers the unfair budget indulgence? The list goes on and on as far as the eye can see (as someone once quoted). Malcolm Turnbull certainly knows that Tony Abbott cannot help himself. The only question that remains is when the majority of his party will come to realise that Tony Abbott cannot help himself. How many more Tony Abbott indulgences will it take the LNP to finally act?

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  • Kirk:

    27 Feb 2015 9:51:14am

    Are you the same Barrie who said the last spill would result in a new PM?

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  • ateday:

    27 Feb 2015 9:51:45am

    Please bring it on and end our misery.

    And embarrassment.

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  • Barney:

    27 Feb 2015 10:00:08am

    Its not contradicting Tony Abbott, its cleaning up the mess he has left.

    People listen to the Government. So both Bishop and Turnbull are simply being articulate.

    It would be so easy to dominate and keep a minority against such a lettuce leaf weak opposition. If only the LNP had real leadership

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  • thepotter:

    27 Feb 2015 10:10:16am

    It is quite clear the country is calling out for a change of Prime Minister. The current incumbent has clearly demonstrated that he is not up to the job. He is out of his depth. To have a spill after the Budget would render the Budget to the confines of a dustbin. Have the spill now, install a new LNP leader, change the Treasurer and get on with delivering a fairer but firm Budget. We don't need an election. The Labor Party has demonstrated, and Shorten in particular, through its current small target strategy that it is not ready to govern.

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  • CrackTheCode:

    27 Feb 2015 10:19:18am

    Will a leadership change necessarily change the policies the government took to the election? Behind the current Prime Minister are those who supposedly formulated or assisted in formulating the policies; these are the policies the Prime Minister so often tells the public his government was elected upon and which the government now has the mandate to implement.

    Will the policies change, or will the message/massage suddenly become more palatable with a change of leadership. The question posed is whether the public actually are informed about the policies and are thereby able to make an informed decision, or whether the public is making a policy choice on presidential campaigning or personality.

    How many in the general public, or media commentariat for that matter, can complete a dot point presentation to compare and contrast policies between the major parties for example on defence, communications, immigration, agriculture, industry. This means being able to say more than 'submarines, NBN, refugees and people smugglers, overseas buyers, subsidies'.

    Is it a question of how presentable someone is or what they are presenting that is causing the consternation?

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    • anote:

      27 Feb 2015 11:48:21am

      Baby steps. First things first.

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    • tomtoot:

      27 Feb 2015 3:04:41pm

      @CrackTheCode:- You state "Will a leadership change necessarily change the policies the government took to the election? "

      Can I remind you that the LNP stated no changes to pensions, no cuts to SBS etc.,

      One would hope that a leadership change would address the lies and deceit of the LNP before the next election.

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  • Harry498:

    27 Feb 2015 10:21:51am

    Turnball may have been Mr 17% 6 years ago but that was then and this is now. John Howard had very low polls early on before he went on to govern for 12 years. Just a matter of time before Turnball becomes PM. Then the polls will swing from Libs in negative to Libs with a lead of 10% over the ALP. I do suspect ALP posters to start posting the old negative line on Turnball in the hope the Libs don't go for Turnball because it will mean the ALP will be in opposition for 10 plus years.

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    • TheJohno:

      27 Feb 2015 11:47:56am

      I will dissapoint you then Harry. I am an ALP voter (always have been) but this current state of affairs trancends left or right platforms.

      Tony is simply damaging the country both nationally and internationally and he must go.

      I will not condem Turnbull as even though he is a Liberal, he is far closer to the middle/Left of politics than anyone else in the current lot.

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  • El Presidente:

    27 Feb 2015 10:37:27am

    be careful not to underestimate the LNP in maintaining their general level of incompetence by hanging onto Abbott.....especially as many of them hate Turnbull.

    I can just see their heads exploding at the decision in front of them!

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  • Bazzio101:

    27 Feb 2015 10:41:56am

    "What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him."

    Paul Keating

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  • IB:

    27 Feb 2015 10:46:13am

    Hey, we now see what good government is really like. We've had it for a month or so now.

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  • hidi:

    27 Feb 2015 10:56:12am

    MMM. Weak as water Barrie is this the best you can come up with. The only leadership challenge will be in the media with the ABC journalists becoming even more hysterical as time passes and as usual their predictions fall flat.

    What people need to ask has Barrie Cassidy or any of his ABC colleagues ever been correct about anything. Barrie should stick to sharpening knives at the ALP.

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    • Alpo:

      27 Feb 2015 11:08:26am

      I hope you are right, hidi, and all the journalists around the country are wrong: We want Tony! We want Tony!....

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      • gbe:

        27 Feb 2015 11:38:38am

        I think you should be shouting we want Bill. Tony has been well and truly done over. The LNP crowd are warming up and we can all enjoy ourselves and seek our revenge tearing Bill and his colleagues apart very exciting times ahead.

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        • Alpo:

          27 Feb 2015 12:14:42pm

          gbe,

          I am completely sure that you will enjoy tearing future PM Bill Shorten and the next Labor government apart here in these comments and elsewhere. The problem is whether anyone will be listening. The People of Australia are facing a very specific set of problems. If Labor provides satisfactory solutions to those problems, no amount of shouting by critics will be able to undermine their work. The farce of Media Manipulation worked during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments, but we have been finally able to unmask the manipulators and it will be far harder for Murdoch and Gang to lie and mislead next time around.

          I live in hope that soon the Pandora's Box of politics opened by Abbott with the help of Murdoch will be closed.....

          I promise one thing, though. I will be first to criticise stupid initiatives by Labor if I regard any specific initiative as being stupid.... write this down and remind me in due course.

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        • hidi:

          27 Feb 2015 12:33:26pm

          MMM. Do I detect a little apprehension things are not looking so rosy in Victoria and QLD anymore now reality of what they have done to themselves comes home.

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        • Alpo:

          27 Feb 2015 1:04:20pm

          hidi,

          You are confusing a promise of constructive criticism with "admission of failure". That's the typical attitude of brainless stormtroopers, and it's the attitude that is sending this Coalition back to opposition.

          You need to mature, hidi.... and you will have many years in opposition to do so.

          BTW, the Vic and Qld Governments are doing pretty fine, thanks for asking.

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    • Zackdog:

      27 Feb 2015 11:30:49am

      I live in Brisbane and we got rid of newman and the same will happen to abbott and the lnp you can bet on it.

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      • gbe:

        27 Feb 2015 12:02:59pm

        And you think what replaced him is an improvement. Goodness Me !!

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        • Zackdog:

          27 Feb 2015 1:00:49pm

          Yes.

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        • Robert:

          27 Feb 2015 2:39:59pm

          A "what" replaced him.

          Wow, your sound scarily like a conservative backbencher. Any conservative backbencher really. Take your pic.

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  • Sandra S:

    27 Feb 2015 10:58:36am

    Wow! ABC's 'Malcolm for PM' campaign is in full swing.

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    • Alpo:

      27 Feb 2015 11:06:51am

      I hope Tony remains the PM. We want Tony, don't we, Sandra? Tony is the best! Tony must lead the Coalition to the next Federal election, presumably towards the end of the year.

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  • JamesH:

    27 Feb 2015 11:01:12am

    If those unhappy vegemites don't like Abbott then they can go Independent and join Jacqui Lambie on the cross benches. Then those unhappy vegemites would be able to give Tony Abbott a real headache.

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  • tentative.observer:

    27 Feb 2015 11:04:49am

    The LNP seems split with the hardliners still ideologically with Abbott but worried by the continuing speculation which the failed spill motion has not routed because of Abbott's consistent ill thought comments and goading.

    The hardliner's detest Malcolm Turnbull. Unless they extract unequivocal undertakings from Turnbull that they can live with even if Turnbull succeeds, he will never be able to provide stable government.

    If Turnbull abandons his beliefs for the hardliners policies, he loses the goodwill of many Australians and LNP polling dives again.

    Morrison is seen as a twin of Abbott.

    My tip: Julie Bishop will become the new leader of the LNP and its first female prime minister. She is the only compromise that has the hope of ending the leadership tensions and improving the poll numbers.

    Has anyone been watching Bishop since the failed spill motion? I think in the days after the motion Abbott lost her support because of the way he has conducted himself since.

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  • Trump:

    27 Feb 2015 11:05:09am

    Any valid reason why my comment wasn't posted ?

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    • queenginevere:

      27 Feb 2015 12:13:43pm

      Unfortunately, yea! It was censored by the Attorney General, George Brandis. It is called metadata retention and retrieval.

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 12:45:39pm

      What did you say to upset them?

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    • The Jones Crusher:

      27 Feb 2015 1:55:30pm

      "Any valid reason why my comment wasn't posted ?"

      No ryhme or reason required, just like all the posts here...

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    • Trump:

      27 Feb 2015 2:36:03pm

      Even my reply to this was ignored.

      I guess they can smell Lib blood and aren't really on their game.

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  • Jaydee:

    27 Feb 2015 11:06:31am

    My concern is that Turnbull is a suit cut from the same cloth but just marketed in a different shade of blue. He is itching to get into the drivers seat but is much more subtle and smarter than Abbott in how he will get there which concerns me greatly. Will a spill make any difference to the way the LNP do business or will it just be a repackeging of the smae stuff. All they appear to worried about is their image which tells me they have no substance and certinly no real affilliation with the average hard working Australian. All Turbull will do is provide a different spin while still pushing the same LNP barrow. In a lot of wys it is better to keep the wolf in wolfs clothing rather than the wolf in sheeps clothing we will get with Turnbull, he too like the rest are not to be trusted.

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    • Rancid Remark:

      27 Feb 2015 12:46:47pm

      Well, at least you have politicians in the right boxes.

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  • Peter S:

    27 Feb 2015 11:08:40am

    Malcolm Turnbull is one person I could never vote for. Most politicians are overly ambitious, and would do and say anything to achieve their selfish political goals. Malcolm Turnbull exceeds even such unflattering standards. Malcolm is a populist with no value system of his own and I challenge everyone to tell me what Malcolm stands for but Malcolm Turnbull.

    I have voted Liberals all my life. However, if Malcolm Turnbull is their leader, LNP is going to lose several votes in my household. I will vote an Independent, any Independent who will cause as much trouble to the future Labor government as possible. At least as much as the current independents are causing to the current government.

    Malcolm Turnbull? Never !

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    • Waterloo Sunset 2016dd:

      27 Feb 2015 11:25:31am

      OMG, you have that much power over your family. The poor darlings.

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    • clete:

      27 Feb 2015 11:30:28am

      I won't challenge you, Peter.

      I agree 100% about Turnbull.

      He'll always take the path of least political resistance, when it comes issues of social reform. Therefore, you end up with a nothing outcome, or an outcome that neither side is satisfied with.

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      • Rancid Remark:

        27 Feb 2015 12:48:22pm

        Or an outcome that suits everyone.

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    • gbe:

      27 Feb 2015 12:01:03pm

      You don't need to worry most of his colleagues cant stand him either my local MP is disappointed in Abbott but he could never vote for Turnbull. Turnbull knows this and that's why he doesn't declare his intent.

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    • Andy:

      27 Feb 2015 12:56:17pm

      Independents to cause trouble? Thats the attitude TA had as oposition leader. We dont need trouble makers, we need people who can see reason. People who can undestand the niuances of policy ideas. We need co operative people who have new ideas.

      We need people with vision, not more dumbo head kickers. Minimalist, neocon ideas havent worked, next.

      Be part of the solution, dont be part of the problem.

      But i do agree with your analysis of MT. Fraudband comes to mind.

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  • MJMI:

    27 Feb 2015 11:13:17am

    "career out of control"?

    I do think Abbott's political career is out of his hands now. But in the context used here the word should be careen out of control.

    Otherwise I agree.

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    • Grandma:

      27 Feb 2015 12:33:58pm

      I think Turnbull has a limited repertoire of knowing enough about all the issues to be PM. He knows about money stuff, and he knows what he's learnt in his time in politics about climate change and telecommunications. But apart from that I think he's lacking. Abbott is the same, and without the capacity for independent thought...that's why we see him parroting all those slogans and repeating the same small repertoire of answers no matter what the question.

      I've been wondering if Julie Bishop purposely revealed that a possible alternate job had been mentioned to Gillian Triggs. Abbot and Brandis must have squirmed in their seats when she said that in the parliament.

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  • olive:

    27 Feb 2015 11:15:01am

    Imagine this term of government to be called 'Abbott-Turnbull-Abbott' government (ok, at least 'Abbott-Turnbull').

    Have we, since and including the 'Rudd-Gillard-Rudd' government, entered the era of hyphenated governments?

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    • Robert:

      27 Feb 2015 2:44:08pm

      An Abbott-Turnbull government following an Nelson-Turnbull-Turnbull-Abbott opposition.

      I like it.

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  • gbe:

    27 Feb 2015 11:18:34am

    Barrie is a journalist after all so even giving 20% for accuracy noting we never get the names of the disgruntled there may actually be something in this.

    So if that's the case with Abbott heading overseas he is either supremely confident with his position and the power of his new whips or he has joined the list of politicians who don't want the thankless job. More likely the latter so expect an election anytime.

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    • The Jones Crusher:

      27 Feb 2015 1:30:27pm

      "Barrie is a journalist after all so even giving 20% for accuracy noting we never get the names of the disgruntled there may actually be something in this."

      That's right! There was no spill and EVERYBODY loves Tony, and his LNP colleagues love him twice as much as everybody else does... HA ha ha..

      (two times not very much is only a little bit more than not very much...)

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  • resetta:

    27 Feb 2015 11:19:26am

    colour me a conspiracy theorist (or just nutty) - however, the only scenario here that makes sense to me is that TA has agreed to publicly completely self destruct so as to give MT a clear & urgent mandate to rule after the inevitable spill and PM change.....TA's actions after the (1st)post- spill promise to reform and soften and communicate has been exactly the opposite.

    MT then will appear the most temperate, wise and considered leader in history when compared directly to the lunatic raving mad antagonist PM we have just endured.

    Nothing else - apart from a total lack of cognitive function - can explain TA's behaviour and decision making in the last 3 weeks.

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  • maureen:

    27 Feb 2015 11:22:07am

    Although it is against Mr Abbotts DNA I think that someone will show him the numbers that show he will be defeated, he will step down and announce his retirement from politics. He would not like to be humiliated by sitting on the back bench. That is not in his DNA.

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  • Jacob:

    27 Feb 2015 11:25:15am

    Please leave the corpse of the biggest liar in Australian political history (aka Tony Abbott) hanging in the wind.

    We, the Australian people, demand the right and very great pleasure of voting him out at the next election. We hope to see tears, as he is forced to the realization of how much he is truly loathed.

    Early in your term, coalition MPs mouthed off about double dissolutions, well bring it on! Give us the chance to vote asap. You had the chance within the last fortnight to get rid of Abbott and save some of your miserable skins, but once again, you lacked the fortitude to act. You even allowed a non-elected upstart like Credlin to push you around.

    Meanwhile, we will ponder the question: is Abbott or McMahon the worst PM in our history?

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  • Huboo:

    27 Feb 2015 11:26:39am

    I feel that we can be quite confident that Sir Anthony will not be PM for very much longer.

    The thing I look forward to is hearing Sir Anthony cry like a baby when he is subsequently moved to the backbench and forced to survive on a measly 190k salary.

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  • Judith R:

    27 Feb 2015 11:35:16am

    Abbottsolutely hopeless!

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  • Ozibrit:

    27 Feb 2015 11:40:38am

    Only the surname has changed - substitute Campbell for Fraser and you still get the same person who does not know whether to be Liberal left or Labour right. Surely we do not need another failure.

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  • Candy:

    27 Feb 2015 11:45:25am

    Newspoll is so obviously partisan and so often wrong why do people like Cassidy bother to quote it.

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  • Grim:

    27 Feb 2015 11:47:39am

    I actually think Malcolm Turnbull putting his hand up for leadership right now isn't in his best interests. If he were to oust Tony Abbott as leader, then Turnbull would face the same vitriol that Julia Gillard faced - in fact, perhaps even moreso, as at least Ms Gillard immediately called an election to legitimize her position. Whether the electorate bought into that or not is another discussion entirely.

    The problem is that Turnbull will be seen as a backstabber in much the same way Gillard was. Granted, he will be ousting a PM that is considerably unpopular at the moment both in the electorate and the party room, but he'll also have a very short time in order to reshuffle his cabinet and enact his more moderate political positions. Before or after the second budget, he'll have his work cut out for him - if he takes over now, he has to work on a budget while also managing the chaotic aftermath of a spill motion. If he takes over after the budget, then he essentially will have to take the fall for a budget with an ethos he, by all accounts, may not necessarily agree with.

    So, for Malcolm, it's lose lose really. Ultimately, he should realistically be looking at the 2016 election fallout and vying for leadership, either after the next election if the polls indicate a loss, or before (much as Gillard did) if the numbers indicate a Coalition victory with him behind the helm. At least that way he can attempt to rebrand as a new direction with the mandate from the party room of a more moderate, centrist platform as he no doubt would prefer.

    Midway through a term, his ability to make such radical changes is considerably hindered, and he will have half the time to do so against an electorate that will most likely be hostile towards the government. If Turnbull believes he will be a capable, effective Prime Minister, then it's in his best interests to let the party (as it currently stands) continue to prove the shortcomings of the hard-right platform it is currently operating on.

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    • Nina:

      27 Feb 2015 12:19:19pm

      The obvious question to ask is why Abbott doesn't step-down himself?

      The obvious answer is that he cares only for his own power, not his party, or his country.

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      • Grim:

        27 Feb 2015 12:34:28pm

        While I've got no doubt that Tony Abbott's brawler style of leadership is definately a factor, I think the biggest factor is that a leadership change now, willing or otherwise, will annihilate any credibility the government has. I mean, their platform in Opposition was to ridicule an unstable and chaotic government, after all.

        If they show themselves to be vulnerable the same leadership problems then they lose a significant chunk of what little high ground they still possess.

        The problem is that they too are in a lose-lose situation. The rumours of leadership woes will dog them to the next election, which will damage them as well. Effectively as a party they have to gamble on keeping Tony or ousting him, and hoping that the path they choose is the less ruinous one.

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        • Nina:

          27 Feb 2015 1:32:01pm

          The only chance of cutting their losses is by changing leaders with enough time to build stability over a long enough time.

          Labor's mistake was axing a popular PM. The Liberals' mistake is the polar opposite- not axing a toxic PM. A nice little irony for Labor is that if they hadn't made fools of themselves by axing Rudd, the Liberals would probably have a much easier time axing Abbott.

          Now they are hamstrung, and Labor is the beneficiary. Strange how things play out.

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      • ateday:

        27 Feb 2015 2:10:08pm

        Took you a while to figure that one out.

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  • Nina:

    27 Feb 2015 11:47:52am

    Two options: 1. retain Abbott until he is voted out and Labor will bring in sweeping reforms and defend it as a mandate. 2. Switch leaders to Turnbull and most likely win the next election, and endure Turnbull's more progressive reforms.

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    • Alpo:

      27 Feb 2015 12:34:16pm

      Nina,

      Turnbull could potentially work with Julie Bishop, I guess. But can you see him working with Pyne, Morrison, Brandis, Andrews, Dutton and Hockey, for instance?.... and both Abbott and Peta will be still there, plotting their revenge in the shadows....

      No, this is civil war-grade stuff.... better allow the Coalition to sort their mess out in Opposition.

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  • Dagsy:

    27 Feb 2015 11:50:39am

    Hmmm, '

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall and be able to see the faces of Julia and Kevin when the current situation re Tony is discussed, as I'm certain it is.

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    • Grim:

      27 Feb 2015 12:00:57pm

      I'm pretty sure Kevin was knocking on the doors at the Libspill shouting, "Kevin for PM, guys! Third time's a charm!"

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  • pq2077:

    27 Feb 2015 11:59:34am

    Tony Abbott and George Brandis have been claiming that the government has lost confidence in the president of Human Rights Commission and she should resign.

    Voters of Australia have lost confidence in Tony Abbott, George Brandis and the rest of the mob. Are they going to resign.

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  • Sarah:

    27 Feb 2015 12:04:35pm

    Barrie; I hope there is no spill and they continue to tear themselves apart-at least until ONE of them begins to stop trying to hoodwink us.

    I want that one to answer the following question :

    'How are we to 'grow" the economy -pay off ALL our debt-sovereign and private in an over indebted and finite world under the threats of the adverse effects of climate change, robotics and a failing debt dependent monetary system"?

    Until any party has the guts and the intellect to address that question they will continue to tear themselves - an us- apart.

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    • Esteban:

      27 Feb 2015 1:05:17pm

      The 2010 election represented the last realistic chance to "pay down debt"

      We are at the point now where it would take something extraordinary to ever get debt free again.

      For Australia "paying down debt" will have to be modest budget deficits with the odd surplus so that GDP grows quicker than the debt rises. As a result the debt will be increasing in dollar terms but reducing in terms of debt/GDP.

      Given that our whole economic structure has been built on 150 years of access to cheap fossil fuels it is awkward to factor in climate change and the lmplied legislated loss of cheap fossil fuels.

      The answer is to be found in the way the CFC/ozone issue was handled. The boffins put on the lab coats and got to work and developed a cheaper and more effective alternative to CFC which industry dropped overnight.

      What is out there at present that does not generate CO2 and can produce base load power to keep the existing economic structure in place?

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      • Grim:

        27 Feb 2015 2:12:07pm

        'The 2010 election represented the last realistic chance to "pay down debt" '

        I don't necessarily agree with this. In all honesty, between the GFC and the massive drop in ore prices, the federal terms of government never really sat in that little sweet spot where real change could have affected the debt levels significantly. It's more an issue of bad timing over economic management. Though, don't get me wrong, decisions made in that period certainly affected debt levels and affected the timetable of returning to surplus.

        The economic landscape for Australia certainly has changed, however, and I think the national debt rhetoric is going to create a larger sense of dissatisfaction over at least the next ten years while we come to terms with the reality of the mining boom ending, and the issues that will come from decrease in revenue associated with it. Both sides of politics will have to start making some tough calls, and I anticipate debt will have to grow significantly due to investment in new areas before the economy is reasonably able to begin returning consistent surpluses.

        Of course, the problem with that is that the electorate has already been stirred up into a panic over the current debt levels, which will make spending more money politically unpopular. It'll be a tough political landscape, regardless of the ruling party of the day.

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        • Esteban:

          27 Feb 2015 4:16:32pm

          Given the present poli speak that abounds it is difficult to know whether you are referring to true investment or increasing expenditure.

          I am one who prefers the Govt to maintain the circumstances that encourage private investment which would result in revenue flow to the Government.

          I am not against all forms of Government investment, certainly the type of investment that directly generates revenue and results in a saleable asset.

          I think most people are comfortable with that type of debt and would not be as unpopular as you imagine. If anything it could generate optimism.

          My last comment, which appears irrelevant at first read, is left hanging in the breeze:

          Assuming we have 10 years of growth we will be an economy that has gone 34 years without a recession.

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      • The Jones Crusher:

        27 Feb 2015 2:46:34pm

        "What is out there at present that does not generate CO2 and can produce base load power to keep the existing economic structure in place?"

        Geothermal!

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  • Stephen WS:

    27 Feb 2015 12:10:34pm

    Either bring the spill on or call a double dissolution after the next budget is announced and also have a referendum on things like death penalty, euthanasia and increased security powers.

    It is about time the people had a real good say.

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  • Noel Conway:

    27 Feb 2015 12:16:55pm

    Ever since Tony Abbott announced the beginning of "good government" the only change I have seen in him is that he is now kicking heads harder than ever. The treatment of Gillian Triggs is an extreme example of this.

    But it is indeed remarkably extreme. The nasty, mean, extraordinary lengths to which the government has gone to attack this woman is unparallelled, although perhaps that is untrue, it can be likened to their treatment of Julia Gillard, which suggests that the government may well have a problem with women in power.

    Gillian Triggs wrote one report that the government has a problem with. It sat on that report for four months, calculating how it would attack the author. It waited until the last minute before launching this extraordinary report.

    Malcolm Turnbull, clever Malcolm, can see the forest for the trees, he is quick to point out that it is the substance of the report that is the issue, not the author. In expressing himself in this way he has contrasted himself radically from the embattled Prime Minister.

    Tony Abbott said there would be an end to own goals, but here he is, day after day, kicking own goals for his side. Attacking Gillian Triggs serves no real political purpose, it just looks tawdry, it is the ugliest side of ugly politics.

    It has always been hard to see a way forward for Tony Abbott. really, the sooner the Liberal party moves on the sooner we can all move on. i don't know about the start of "good government," but please, can we have an end to this "bad government"? Please?

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  • Greg :

    27 Feb 2015 12:29:36pm

    Another predictable Cassidy column. All roads lead to Abbott is awful blah Turnbull blah. I know you want to slay the evil Abbott dragon but the ABC is salivating too much. Contrary to the received view Triggs deserves the strongest condemnation. Still playing partisan politics she is inconsistent with her responses and initiated discussions with Brandis. The left has been humiliated by Abbotts success in stopping the boats. Unbelievably they still want to claim the high moral ground. They aided and abetted human misery and death but take no responsibility. The coalition are the compassionate party but the left through their talking head Triggs still want to divert blame to the coalition. Malcolm demonstrated his standard treacherous hand waving this week to his fans on the left. His comments from the 'reasonable sensible centre' are just self-indulgent rubbish. He is a self-indulgent narcissist. He has contempt for the coalition base and we loathe him. He should leave the party not lead it.

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    • Stuffed Olive:

      27 Feb 2015 12:58:47pm

      Gee Greg when you Libs turn on another Libs you really do put the boot in. Charming, not. You're totally out of the loop on who said and did what re Triggs and Brandis etc, i.e. you are wrong and lying won't help.

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    • Dave Davis:

      27 Feb 2015 1:42:49pm

      Greg, political parties are not elected by their leaders' political base, they are elected by the people of Australia.

      For Prime Ministers to be successful, they need to appeal to the centre-ground (or what you'd call "the left").

      This is something that the Coalition (and even the Murdoch press) are slowly begining to recognise.

      In Opposition, Abbott was a standout at wrecking and destroying and putting down. But in government, he has shown himself unable to build or create anything . . . least of all a 'consensus'.

      For the sake of Australia, and for the sake of the Coalition, he has to go.

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    • Robert:

      27 Feb 2015 2:47:00pm

      "The coalition are the compassionate party...."

      You're having a lend, right?

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    • Crepitus:

      27 Feb 2015 3:46:03pm

      Hear, Hear Greg!

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  • benluk:

    27 Feb 2015 12:39:29pm

    The mug won't last more than two weeks.

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  • Geezer Smith:

    27 Feb 2015 12:39:58pm

    The timing is not right. The Libs do not want Turnbull to be saddled with a Baird govt defeat. That baggage belongs with Tony. However you would have to be utterly delusional to believe the Libs will head to the next election with Abbott at the wheel.

    They may be a bit dim, entertaining this feral nonsense thus far, but they are not entirely stupid. Abbott's behaviour is becoming more irrational on an almost daily basis, so the timing of a spill will be determined by the magnitude and impact of his next gaffe. Which by all accounts is not far away.

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  • GreyBags:

    27 Feb 2015 12:44:28pm

    Changing leaders will not change a party full of people who reject any evidence that doesn't support their political narrative. They smite, smear and lie about any expert advice that contradicts their own magical thinking.

    They have just appointed to the treasury a man that supports the supernatural forces of the market through zombie economics of the Reagan era that has resulted in the increase in poverty, the hollowing of the middle class and the capture of most of the wealth generated in society by the top 1%.

    When the first principle of your economic theory is clearly false then the results will never match the rhetoric. To claim that 'all people are selfish and rational' is to ignore reality.

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 12:52:48pm

    So the Labor Party have sent in a bunch of women as well as Bill Shorten, all of these people really bother the Prime Minister, really get up his nose, he hates to deal with them, he hates to be around them. But more than that, his biggest sponsors are opposed to him behaving in a normal, civil manner around them, and so it isn't just his natural dislike of of those who are not suited and tied in the correct manner but also his necessity to appear to be getting around the actual requirement that he should be actually working and cooperating not only with the opposition but also with those in his actual party that have expressed their opposition to working with him. It's a difficult position for a man like Mister Abbott to be in, one that he does not appear to have the necessary social media skills to navigate.

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    • Lehan Ramsay:

      27 Feb 2015 1:11:53pm

      Here we can see that the appointment of Professor Triggs to protect our Human Rights, which has come at such a cost to her reputation and patience, was the best thing ever.

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  • Philosopher:

    27 Feb 2015 12:59:01pm

    The ALP wants Turnbull not the Parliamentary Coalition. There will be a move soon against Abbott but the Right will do all it can to stop Turnbull. It will be interesting to see who they settle on when they have to move.

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  • Sandy:

    27 Feb 2015 1:01:18pm

    Someone needs to tell Joe Hockey that the people didn't elect Tony Abbott as the leader of the Liberal party....the party did! The people voted the Liberal party in because they preferred them over the labour govt at the time.

    Turnbull only lost the party leadership by one vote! If he had been the leader of the party went it went to the last election, I'm sure they would have had a bigger majority in both houses and therefore would not have had any trouble getting their policies through. At least Turnbull gets respect and doesn't make a fool of himself and us!

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 1:01:40pm

    Having a female Chief of Staff was great because he could always get on the phone to her husband and talk to him when he felt like he needed some advice but people are saying no Tony no, you can't run a country with someone else's husband. If you want advice that's what your own partner is for.

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  • Paul By The Bay:

    27 Feb 2015 1:05:50pm

    The Libs may change their leader but I have my doubts. And I don't think it would make much difference; I think Tony has the Liberal bus headed for the cliff with his foot flat to the floor and even if Malcolm can wrestle the steering wheel away from him, it's too late.

    Mind you, I don't predict much change under Shorten. In truth, I have trouble finding significant difference between this government and those led by Rudd-Gillard-Rudd.

    Continuous overspending of borrowed money with little of consequence being achieved; that seems to be our ongoing fate.

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  • RealityCheck:

    27 Feb 2015 1:06:58pm

    Thanks, Barrie, for that extra insight into the 'timing' and consequences of 'delay' of the next inevitable spill against T Abbot. Good commentary.

    As for myself, I am not fussed what he Liberal Party does or does not do with it's now ridiculous PM. Although, for their own individual/collective personal/party (such as it is) reputational sake, the sooner they remove him from any party 'power' and party 'identity' position, and personally/collectively 'distance' themselves from T Abbot the man, the less further damning damage they will suffer 'by association' when T Abbot the man fronts one inquiry or other regarding what he knew, when he knew it, with whom did he discussed, etc etc, cases of pedophilia/abuse which was rampant in his church/institutional 'close-knit community' before, during and after his Seminary days, when he must surely have heard/known about (as others have testified that no-one in that close-knit church/institutional hierarchy could have 'not known/heard' about, and also in some cases 'protected' perpetrators). Lest you or anyone else be tempted to 'give R Abbot a break' and 'just forget it', let's remind ourselves the kind of merciless lying personal attacks and 'inquiries' he pitilessly forced onto others; one example being his and media attacks on Julia Gillard regarding her 'Lawyer days', with the excuse that it was "In the Public Interest". Well, nothing can be much more "In the Public Interest" than to find out what T Abbot knew etc regarding pedophilia/abuse cases during his "Seminary etc" days. My gut instinct tells me that the pressure to call T Abbot before some relevant inquiry is increasing to he point that it may transpire before year's end. So the sooner the Liberals can rid themselves of this ticking 'personal timebomb and put all he personal/party distance between themselves and this ridiculous T Abbot, the better for themselves and heir reputations.

    Thanks again for your further insights, Barrie. Looking forward to your next piece.

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  • true blue ozzie:

    27 Feb 2015 1:10:14pm

    How rewarding for Abbott >>>>>> he was flat out making 12 months and has become a beached whale for his party.............

    It could have only been our younger voters that gave him there vote, Abbotts got a long Political history that tells me never to vote for him....... under little Jonny Howard, Abbott was happy to cut millions from our health system, now we see further demolition of our health system with co payments etc. but the money is not directly going back into our Hospitals, Doctors and nursing staff.

    Its not only Abbott who needs to go, the hole party needs to be thrown out, they have all supported Abbott for a very long so go they must.

    Ms Bishop don't worry about the "" LNP BRAND"" that was destroyed when you all totally miss led the voters in a dishonest election promises.

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  • Spin Sick:

    27 Feb 2015 1:14:08pm

    Barrie Cassidy has nailed the dilemma here .... the LNP has no choice. They were essentially elected DESPITE Abbott being leader, not because he was. Many swing voters that did vote for them wished Turnbull was leader and hoped for a change.

    I was a swing voter that didn't vote for the LNP BECAUSE Abbott was the leader, but would have if Turnbull was (at the last election if it was almost anyone BUT Abbott they probable would have got my vote.

    Now these voters WANT than change and will not vote for an Abbott led LNP - and its not retrievable. They will not come back without a lurch to the centre, that probably means Abetz, Brandis and Andrews gone with Hockey (who has allowed himself be completely out manoeuvred by Abbott in both the Turnbull challenge in opposition and the tea party right in Government).

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    • Impartial:

      27 Feb 2015 1:26:38pm

      Abbott emphasised his team during the last election campaign.

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      • Spin Sick:

        27 Feb 2015 4:25:28pm

        Without Abbott the LNP would have won in a landslide ..... but people were voting to end the Rudd Gllard era - it was mission accomplished the very next day. So then swing voters where waiting to see if Abbott as PM would be different, when he wasn't then they turned ..... and nothing will bring them back (because they kind of expected it)

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  • jim:

    27 Feb 2015 1:17:00pm

    I'd just like a return to honesty in politics, I favour Turnbull as he has been consistent in being truthful. I do not see the present argumentative and bullying climate in parliament encouraged by Tony since his days in opposition as encouraging reasoned debate. Instead it leads to both major parties following ideological extremes, rather than any attempt to discover sensible solutions acceptable to voters.

    I'd like to see Turnbull not only move to a consultative form of government, but also move to place a Speaker in charge of the lower house who demands relevance in questions, responses and debate, a speaker who stops attacks on individuals and encourages discussion and debate on policy.

    I'd also like Turnbull to openly support a more Westminister form of party loyalty, in which elected members represent their electorate's interests and can abstain or cross the floor to represent those interests without being attacked as disloyal, when in reality they are only doing what we elected them to do!

    Finally I'd like Turnbull to encourage and work with the Senate's role as a house of review, and to see this as review in Australia's interest, but also in the interest of the State they represent.

    In short, I'd like Parliament to do what it was designed to do, not to just rubber stambp what the party room of the majority party determines. The end result of the majority party room deciding policy and the marginalization of our elected members in this process has seen the increasing dominance of lobbyists and party funding individuals, companies and unions influencing policy.

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  • JMJ:

    27 Feb 2015 1:20:32pm

    Barrie, today the Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg reiterated on radio what most Australians already believe to be a fact that Malcolm Turnbull is the de facto Prime Minister.

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  • Andrew:

    27 Feb 2015 1:25:23pm

    Barrie I can understand why you constantly attack Tony Abbott as your 7 digit pay packet has reduce to 6 digits as a result of ABC funding cuts, but seriously, if you are a factual journalist you can get a job anywhere. I guess this is why you constantly write crap.

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 1:25:42pm

    But this is really the state of Politics today. Time was it was the Prime Minister and his Treasurer whose job it was to do actually nothing but always be somewhere looking like everything was under control or to be in front of the microphones or cameras talking about what they were doing when actually we knew they weren't doing anything how could they be they were either in front of those cameras or sitting down having canapes with their big sponsors or their representatives the radio and television shock jocks like Hinch, Denton, Team Gruen but these days with the four and twenty news cycle you've got to have Abbott, Turnbull, Bishop, Pyne, Hockey and even MORE! of the team out there every day all day and when one isn't doing camera duty they're doing the canapes so basically the entire front bench is on its knees there with the back bench on heavy lifting.

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  • Esteban:

    27 Feb 2015 1:26:50pm

    What we need in Australia is a new party. The equivalent of how the greens interact with the ALP.

    The greens keep the looniest left out of the ALP but preferences still flow to the ALP.

    If there was a party that could take the most right element out of the coalition it would re centre the coalition and Turnbull would be the perfect fit as leader.

    The preferences from the new party would still flow to the coalition because all the others are further left.

    OK don't mention the senate. Have faith. 10 greens senators and 10 right wing senators from the new party balance each other out and the two centrist parties can do the governing.

    Everyone has a party that represents them but the decisions are made from the centre.

    So that just leaves a name for the new party. The clue once again comes from the greens. The name has to be a cloak for their real intent. That is why they are called water melons. They look green but they are red inside.

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    • ateday:

      27 Feb 2015 2:08:41pm

      The Population Party already exists.

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  • Jmar:

    27 Feb 2015 1:36:43pm

    Barrie,

    This idea "that the Govt CANT go on like this" is just rubbish.

    Lets go back to the old fashioned ways where the people elect a govt on the basis of the leader (I know we dont striclty "vote" for the PM blah blah blah...) and that leader governs for a term. And then if the people dont like it some one else can have a go.

    If the coalition change leader half way through a term aka rudd gilliard rudd for no other reason than some people dont like tony abbott (and never did...) then they dont deserve to be in govt either.

    The timing and tenor of the forgotten children report IS questionable (yes I read it!), Muslim leaders around the world SHOULD do more to conndemn things done in their name and Phil Higginson is a whinger who WAS having a cheap parting shot. So what, none of this helps address the systemic budget deficit we have, save (more) australian troops going overseas to risk their lives or help families get access to affordable child care.

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    • tomtoot:

      27 Feb 2015 4:49:45pm

      @Jmar:- I don't agree with your comment - as far as i'm concerned a party can change it's leader as and when they desire - politically the change is in accordance with the electorate - one would hope so anyway.

      Now I can't speak for other Australians - but from my point of view I find this LNP government is a circus of clowns and a change of leadership may well result in a change of policies. That would or could be a good thing - so make the change - GET RID OF ABBOTT. Policies to date that have divided our society need to be abolished - hopefully a new PM will address these matters and not pander to business interests?

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  • Epichero:

    27 Feb 2015 1:42:26pm

    If Abbott is the choice LNP made, then good luck to them in next election.

    Wish then in opposition in decades to come.

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    • tomtoot:

      27 Feb 2015 4:51:33pm

      @Epichero:- couldn't agree more

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  • spud:

    27 Feb 2015 1:46:42pm

    Keep going Barrie and ABC. Almost there. A few more articles, and your mate Malcolm will no doubt look after you when he is PM.

    But there again, if he doesn't make it, maybe there might be an enquiry into your role, and the suitability of funding a national publicly funded broadcaster that soaks up the highest per capita expenditure for such an organisation in the free world, and persists in trying to undermine democratically elected governments they don't agree with.

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    • TheJohno:

      27 Feb 2015 3:15:15pm

      "and persists in trying to undermine democratically elected governments they don't agree with."

      Could not have said it better myself!! This describes the former LNP opposition to a tee. Unfortunatley for Australia, they are now the current government....

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      • spud:

        27 Feb 2015 4:34:38pm

        What rubbish. Firstly, undermining of the Labor government occurred primarily from within, and secondly, the Liberal opposition of the day only did what they are supposed to do; and that is try to reasonably hold the government to account. And that is not to be confused with what the current Labor opposition does; which is simply vote against and block everything in the Senate, even including their own budget measures. They are just totally destructive.

        Thirdly, while unsavoury, politicians seeking to undermine other politicians, sometimes even within the same party, is what politicians do. But that is certainly not what the ABC is supposed to do.

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    • revitup:

      27 Feb 2015 4:25:13pm

      "Trying to undermine democratically elected governments", is just a fanciful suggestion to make Spud. This government were elected on the basis of what they promised, which was reported widely by ALL the media outlets.Even the right wing ;iberal propaganda outlets are baying for the change of leadership because they can see the damage being done to Australia by Abbott and his cohorts. Your thoughts mirror those of the government which is to curtail any unwanted commentary and to blame someone else.

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      • spud:

        27 Feb 2015 6:00:43pm

        It may be fanciful to you rev, but to many others who are not so far left, it is anything but fanciful. We saw it virtually every day of the Howard government and now it is every day against Abbott. Hell, the ABC has even backed Triggs in an attempt to blacken and bring down Abbott, and she did nothing under the previous government while children allegedly suffered abuse. Imagine if they were your kids. And imagine the (ABC) screams if that inaction had been under a Liberal government!

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 1:49:19pm

    They are asking you to look back, Prime Minister Abbott, to that time in University, when you hit the wall. Was there any way that you could have handled that conflict better.

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 1:53:29pm

    Some who would believe in a god would say that this is where this lesson has come from. The chance to do something again but do it better. Others would say now you know, what Rhodes are for.

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  • ECONOMIST:

    27 Feb 2015 1:54:26pm

    Look at Tony Abbott as health minister in the old Howard Government. He mouthed off with odd comments to the camera. It was pre Peta Credlin, now her influence is less of a blanket coverage of Abbott his true personality is emerging.

    Totally agree with other comments on GDP, austerity measures and the tax system. The current government is sending us into recession - not supporting the car industry during a short period of high $ exchange rates, taxing away taxes, ruining our early strong performance in the emerging solar market - particularly Chinese exports, the continued 4-5-7 visa rorts - increasing unemployment, where's the infrastructure development??

    I'm a independent voter and this leadership chaos is worse than the Labor lot. I wish they'd just govern the country. But I knew from Abbott's Health Minister performance we were in for a horrid 3 years.

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  • Peter:

    27 Feb 2015 1:54:56pm

    On Oct 10, 2012 the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, gave what is known as a misogyny speech against the then Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott. With that as background I now believe that his attack on Professor Triggs was retribution for Ms Gillard's speech. From my point of view Mr Abbott and everyone who has attacked Mrs Triggs has done so in a concerted attack on women under the guise of attacking her report on children in detention.

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    • Stuffed Olive:

      27 Feb 2015 4:49:09pm

      He most certainly does not like women with any power. It's amazing that he now has two women in Cabinet. But more amazing that he anointed himself Minister for Women. He has a track record before he met up with Gillard.

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      • Walter:

        27 Feb 2015 6:18:57pm

        If he does not like women with power, then how would you explain his appointment and support of Peta Credlin.

        Perhaps you just believe that which you wish to believe. Abbotts issue with Gillard was that she was simply incompetent. That is not a gender issue. Same applies to Triggs.

        Abbott should have appointed more women into his ministry. There were women of merit that were overlooked. I don't believe this decision was for him a gender issue, but rather a loyalty issue. He stayed with his former shadow ministers, perhaps for stability reasons. Perhaps for loyalty reasons. It was a mistake, however it is not a hanging offence. Let him get on with the job.

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  • 124c4u:

    27 Feb 2015 2:03:23pm

    Oh Boy!

    I really hope Julia especially but also Wayne and Kevin are laughing as much and enjoying this as much as me.

    Alert moderator

    • Jaspez Perth:

      27 Feb 2015 5:59:44pm

      And why do suggest the world was made round. Maybe it was if you happened to be wronged, and you moved forward without looking back, and you did it at a much faster rate than the one who offended you, you might get the last laugh by giving the so and so a swift kick in the backside.

      Watchout lest it happen to you as it is about to happen to Tony.

      Alert moderator

  • Ozchucky:

    27 Feb 2015 2:08:52pm

    Thanks Barrie,

    Abbott is bleeding into the water and the sharks are circling. Not long to go now.

    There has been a lot of speculation in The Drum today about Scott Morrison taking over the leadership.

    I watched Mr. Morrison speaking at the National Press Club recently. It was a lesson in welfare economics. But that is all it was. In my mind there were two aspects that were conspicuously absent.

    Firstly, I did not detect so much as a nanosniff of compassion for those disadvantaged Australians receiving welfare benefits.

    Secondly, I did not detect any proposals for prevention of welfare expenditure blowouts, other than "get a job".

    Mr Morrison said that welfare expenditure through his department now consumes a third of the budget at $150 billion per annum.

    With respect, I suggest that this figure is an underestimate. There are arguably many other government expenditures which are linked to welfare systems but do not go through Mr Morrison's department. For example, increased use of the health, criminal justice and family court systems by many of those on welfare.

    To me, it seems that Mr Morrison is, apart from his passion for economics, entirely detached from the concept of welfare. If the Minister really cared about the welfare of the people, he would ensure that there were a hundred new ideas a week flowing out of his department about the PREVENTION of people falling into welfare black holes. There is so much more that could be done than just "get a job".

    Prevention involves asking two questions instead of one. In addition to "what is it going to cost if we do this", there is the question that I seldom hear, "what is the cost if we DON'T do this".

    Unfortunately, prevention involves imagination, creativity, empathy, boldness, real actuarial economics and continual improvement.

    Do we really want Scott Morrison to replace Tony Abbott ?

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    • the egg:

      27 Feb 2015 7:01:52pm

      NO !!!! I wouldn't trust Morrison as far as I could throw him.

      The LNP have deservedly lost just about all political capital and we have very long memories these days so don't expect to get it back any time soon by clever Abbott type opposition rubbish. It worked last time but it won't in the future. That;s one-trick pony stuff !!

      Alert moderator

  • Walter:

    27 Feb 2015 2:15:33pm

    Barrie, you have recently made a number of predictions about Abbott, none of which have eventuated. Like a broken clock that gets the time right twice a day, you may eventually fluke something right.

    In the mean time, stop your ABC bashing of Abbott. Let him get on with what needs to be done.

    He said he would stop the boats. He had the resources to make that happen, and he did.

    He needs to fix our economy, so let him have the resources he needs to make that happen. Its people like you Barrie who divert his attention. It is as if you are wishing him to fail.

    Alert moderator

    • anote:

      27 Feb 2015 2:34:00pm

      Three word slogan; Dead Man Walking

      Alert moderator

  • mick:

    27 Feb 2015 2:24:03pm

    we need a leader not some fruit lop bring on the stab in the back mob

    then abuts will know wats it like to be done over

    hopefully hockley will be gone with him

    Alert moderator

  • PPSCrosby:

    27 Feb 2015 2:32:06pm

    The Libs do not owe Mr Abbott anything. Any Leader of the Coalition could have won that particular Federal election.

    Voters were fed-up with the difficulties Labor had with Mr. Rudd as Leader, without reminding themselves of Labor's core values.

    Alert moderator

  • ru4real:

    27 Feb 2015 2:37:14pm

    Tony Abbott should never have been elevated to the position of Leader of the LNP because his disrespectful behaviour in opposition revealed him as a bully, a misogynist and master of the slogan.

    Since the election he has proven to be totally untrustworthy, and continues to make disastrous 'Captain's calls'.

    The party now has to endure the PM's totally erratic and chaotic performance, which is not only damaging the Liberal 'brand', but more importantly is damaging Australia's reputation here and abroad.

    His promises to be more consultative are as hollow as the rest of the 'promises' he made before the election.

    No-one believes a word he says.

    Some of his most memorable words will single him out in history as the most unsuitable person who's ever risen to PM.

    People will remember him as 'the suppository of wisdom', and since the knighting of the Queen's consort, the jokes about 'Sir Pository' have been circulating internationally.

    The economy has been on a slide since the LNP came to power, and no-one trusts him or his 'team'.

    To have Abbott continue in the position risks further damage: clearly the role is beyond his comprehension, competence and capacity.

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    • Dave :

      27 Feb 2015 2:58:13pm

      yep, lets bring back kevin rudd. third time lucky.

      Alert moderator

  • A.C.H.H.:

    27 Feb 2015 2:38:04pm

    You wrote, Barrie, 'By going in so hard against the commission president Gillian Triggs, he ended up embarrassing his own party.'

    Tony Abbott has been 'going in hard' with Julia Gillard and with any other person and Party who disagrees with his policies.

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  • Ursulla:

    27 Feb 2015 2:47:18pm

    Journalists are not showing objectivity or creativity when they frequently ask the same question, such as the leadership issue.

    By asking the same question, journalists try to set the agenda.

    There are other more important issues for journalists & the public, such as living within our means.

    Alert moderator

    • tomtoot:

      27 Feb 2015 7:08:52pm

      @Ursulla:- Are you really stating that this LNP circus is doing a good job?

      You are saying in my opinion that the media have got it wrong - how so?

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  • fair suck of the sav:

    27 Feb 2015 2:50:20pm

    For the good of the country short term I hope Abbott is replaced immediately. For the good of the country long term I hope Abbott stays as PM until the next election.

    Alert moderator

  • JimB:

    27 Feb 2015 2:56:32pm

    This article is telling in what it doesn't mention. It seems to be taken for granted that the next budget would be something to stumble through. Is Barrie assuming that a new leader would automatically get rid of the underperforming Hockey?

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  • tomtoot:

    27 Feb 2015 2:56:34pm

    @Barrie Cassidy:- Your opening paragraph summed it up "... he got three ticks from his backbench ... tick, tick, tick." you simply omitted the "BOOM"

    Alert moderator

  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 3:00:39pm

    But this is what I mean. An entire profession beset by a kind of disarray, one that has begun to write its own rules, badly in need of a bit of discipline. Discipline that can only really come from its main constituencies, The little people. The Irish, of those days, and unfortunately now manifesting into a whole new group of little hordes. Wasn't it sensible to stop making people little, do we have to have that all over again?

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  • Don Richardson:

    27 Feb 2015 3:23:42pm

    Turnbull is being canny - he know that the CP don't like him and were glad to see him defeated even by 1 vote. He also knows that to be seen dragging his coat could rebound later, and is waiting to be dragged reluctantly into the PM'chair. Bishop has maintained all along she does not want the job (and has done well for us as FM)

    So who is left, Morrison is the standout, but a little known form WA has started the ball rolling and has tossed his hat in the ring.

    Whoever wins this mud-wrestling will have a bad time convincing the people that they can trust the Libs after the lies and prevarication which has preceded this mess. (Liken it to John Howard's excuse of Core and Non-core promises) The distrust is beginning to wash off onto Mike Baird's election run.

    With regard to the high debt, has anyone else a memory of the debt incurred when the Harbour Bridge was built? Without it, NSW would have been very slow in developing. Yet we still have a 3rd world Highway(?) inNorthern NSW due to Howard reneging on his promise of funding to complete the dual carriage way!

    My hope is that the next Government will look to the whole Country, if Liberal not just their cash base, if Labour to more than where unions are located

    PortMac

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    • tomtoot:

      27 Feb 2015 4:20:51pm

      @Don Richards:- I can only echo your post - and regarding Baird and the upcoming NSW election I suggest the entire NSW electorate take a long hard look at ICAC and just what both Labor and Liberals have been up too.

      Fact check on the ABC gives a clear indication of the web of deceit these parties have been up to - neither deserve our vote - neither party deserves to exist - they should be vanquished - destroyed completely and totally?

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 3:52:29pm

    We should return to the little we know about the end of the Rudd Prime Ministership. He became angry, they said. He became irrationally angry. He became paranoid. Sounds to me like an occupational health and safety issue right there.

    Alert moderator

    • gbe:

      27 Feb 2015 4:08:03pm

      Perhaps he was always like that Lehan some said he was no OH&S then is there. Unless he can prove the job aggravated an existing condition that is.

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 4:04:44pm

    The mechanics are internal, sure. But there appears to be too much ability to get in to it from the outside. I don't think we're in charge of our actual destiny, here, Australians. There appear to be many little munchkin hands on the remote.

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  • Lehan Ramsay:

    27 Feb 2015 4:12:59pm

    Also I don't know which of you Five Hands countries is on Surveillance and Control duty right now but could you cut down on the social media feed? I'ts making me teary.

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  • John Hogan:

    27 Feb 2015 4:21:23pm

    It seems like it's going to happen but it is going to leave a sour taste in the mouth. Especially if the right wing of the party opens it's mouth. They're the ones who went the hardest on Gillard. Turnbull and her aren't a million miles apart. Nor will be the circumstances. That's going to be too much for some, you'd have to think. If they do let it all hang out, it will damage them greatly. It's easy to get the impression that some of them would rather harm Turnbull's chances than to keep their cool and accept the facts.

    Despite the issues, Turnbull represents the kind of Liberal party that is most palatable to the greatest number of people. The party room does not.

    And yet again, in the meantime Shorten is behaving like a pretty normal opposition leader with much higher approval ratings than Abbott did at the same point. If this does all play out, we'll be at an election within months. It looks very interesting.

    I think the best option for the coalition is Turnbull, an election and a significant defeat. They need to look at their overall thrust. That means fresh blood who like Turnbull's politics more than Bernardi's. Labor seems to be in better shape right now but they bled for it and lost some of their best people in the process.

    Alert moderator

  • Heretix The Gall:

    27 Feb 2015 4:35:01pm

    In another ABC Online News article, is

    "

    This morning Mr Abbott told reporters that as far as he was concerned, every member of the Government was focused on doing the right thing by the people of Australia.

    "

    If that is correct, then every member of the government, would resign from the parliament, to force a double dissolution election.

    Also, in that article, is

    "

    "As John Howard said, 'who leads the party is a gift of the party room'," Mr Morrison said.

    "I think anyone who pretends differently is kidding themselves."

    "

    Which shows that Morrison has clearly indicated that he believes that Tony Abbot has no idea what he is talking about, as prime minister, with Tony Abbott's assertion that selection of a prime minister is done by the people of Australia (who he denied that choice, by refusing to provide a double dissolution election), and has nothing to do with the liberal party.

    Similarly, Julie Bishop indicated that Tony Abbot does not know what he is talking about, as prime minister -

    "

    Ms Bishop agreed, saying: "It is self evident that the individual members of the party room are able to elect the leader and the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. That has always been the case and I imagine it will continue to be the case."

    "

    And, Joe Hockey also showed that he, like his "little mate", Tony Abbott, has no idea as to how prime ministers are chosen in Australia;

    "

    But like Mr Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey argued leaders should be hired and fired by the public.

    "It's the Australian people that have the right to remove a prime minister, not anyone else," Mr Hockey said.

    "

    Ah, so both Tony Abbott, and Joe Hockey, have made it clear that we are entitled to, and, should have, an immediate double dissolution election.

    And, in that article, is

    "

    Mr Morrison is viewed as a potential leader

    "

    and he has said that his colleagues in the liberal party, are too busy wetting their beds, to be able to govern the country.

    Great potential leader - about on a par with Tony Abbott.

    And, interesdtingly, at the end of that article, is

    "

    "Let's get on with the job of transforming this country so as the legacy for future generations which was going to be of intergenerational theft is turned around."

    "

    Yes!

    Immediate Double Dissolution election, to stop this shambles from destroyng the country and destroying the future of the children of the country, and, to prevent this shambles from further showing the world that Australia is a dangerous, bad joke, that is a danger to the world.

    Alert moderator

  • Cly Taurus:

    27 Feb 2015 4:47:53pm

    One thing is for sure.

    Tony Abbott's public persona has taken on something of my own name, at least in part.

    Alert moderator

    • Cly Taurus:

      27 Feb 2015 5:02:52pm

      Honestly, this shouldn't have been published but I got away with it ...

      Have fun!

      Alert moderator

  • peter:

    27 Feb 2015 4:55:56pm

    when you are facing a change in leadership it is often best to bring it on promptly....otherwise you risk sharper and sharper manoeuvring from the contending parties.

    And by moving promptly for change you limit further damage from current error-prone occupants.

    The alternative is more ammunitition for your political opponents .

    Alert moderator

  • nicola:

    27 Feb 2015 4:57:34pm

    If we are going to change leaders best do it as soon as possible....or we risk significant further damage to the Liberal brand

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    • Y A Heretic:

      27 Feb 2015 5:32:41pm

      Do you really think that further damage to the Liberal Brand, is possible, beyong what the headless chooks that are the parliamentary liberal party, are already doing to themselves?

      The prime minister of the country, showing that he is a fully qualified member of the USA mad hatters tea party and the GB monster raving loony party, is effectively, with his treasurer and his attorney general, running around the party room, yelling "I am a teapot! I am a teapot! I am a teapot!", and that is the image that is being conveyed to Australia and the world - that a government headed by a person whose sanity is doubtful, is in the process of buying a fleet of collins class fighter bombers, so as to destroy the world, when they fall out of the sky and explode.

      And, according to the Morrison character, the members of the liberal party room, are too busy wetting their beds, to care about the country or the world.

      Alert moderator

  • truebloo:

    27 Feb 2015 5:30:05pm

    What's become apparent to me is how much of a lame duck the Westminster system is. That we can only be governed by Liberal or Labor in effect. That a man who consistenly misses the point and is so self-absorbed could be our Prime Minister is both comedy and tragedy. And it's the same old faces in the Parliament, year in, year out, with the same old lies and spin. and the same old vision.

    All those man-hours in the house and not much gets done from 'either side of politics'. " I came into politics to make a difference ". Yeah sure, sure you did.

    Alert moderator

    • the egg:

      27 Feb 2015 6:53:15pm

      Well Abbott was once quoted as saying that Parliament is "Theatre" and in that sense no one has succeeded in modern times better than he has. He has managed to combine, comedy, tragedy and farce into one pantomime in no time flat.

      Please don't go yet Tony. We are enjoying the show !!!

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  • daveW:

    27 Feb 2015 5:56:20pm

    Why not allow him his legislation criminalising encouragement to violence - he might just top the list of perps. Although I have never been in favour of blood sports, I do find perverse pleasure in watching him squirm.

    And if we also allow his legislation to strip citizenship from such crims, we could then deport him back to UK?

    Alert moderator

  • Reinhard :

    27 Feb 2015 6:26:20pm

    Sorry Barrie but I think you've been conned, this is probably just the Turnbull faction using the ABC for some sneaky focus grouping.

    The party room have given Abbott 6 months to get his act together and I believe they will stick to that plan.

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  • misspunch:

    27 Feb 2015 6:41:51pm

    "And when the Prime Minister followed the lead of the right-wing shock jocks and chastised Muslim leaders for not doing enough to condemn terrorists - indeed, questioning their sincerity even when they do....."

    Absolutely Barrie,

    Millions of Australians of all political persuasions perceive Abbott as a shock-jock without leadership qualities.

    Recently talking to my immediate neighbours - Algerian , Chilean, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, NZer, Pakistani, Slovenian - thats my Australia. We were all on the same page. Abbott deliberately uses inflammatory language to divide all multi-cultural communities.

    Particularly disturbing was Abbotts comment regarding the earlier immigration policies which welcomed & celebrated diversity. Abbott claims his border protection policy has shifted its focus. It sure has. Racial profiling, demonisation & imprisoning/humiliating refugees for legally seeking safer shores.

    No wonder Abbott chose to vilify our Prof Gillian Triggs. He has no interest in the conditions or rights of legal refugees. Mr Simple just wants them to go away.

    Alert moderator

Comments for this story are closed.

Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-27/cassidy-a-pre-budget-spill-is-on-the-cards/6266868

60308
Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Source:Seeking Alpha

Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Source:Nintendo Life

Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'

Source:In These Times

Omnicom\'s Betting On Building Its Own Data Expertise Even As Its Rivals Spend Billions On Data Providers: \'It De Risks Our Business\'