Malcolm Will Lose The Election
  • 25 February 2017

Malcolm Will Lose The Election

The way it is looking, we have moved from Malcolm Turnbull being likely to lose the next election, to Malcolm Turnbull has already lost the next election.

It is still some time away, but there is an intensifying trend in the government of under-performance and collapsing polling. Not only that but the Liberal Party is itself beginning to crack wide open. Perhaps this is the natural outcome of having a leader who wasn’t sure which party to join in the first place, but always definitely wanted to be Prime Minister. Achieved, but why not do something with the role.

The Prime Minister was once a client of my newsletter and even asked if his wife and daughter could be put on the mailing list too. So, I thank him for that, and even while I thought he should not have deposed Abbott in the first place, we were all willing to give him a go as Australians generally. He came to the job extremely popular, but then, only just scraped through at the last election.

Malcolm Will Lose The Election

That was the election that was supposed to be about clearing the Senate out. So that real policies could be progressed.

The exact opposite happened. With an even more complex Senate situation to deal with being the result. Apparently, all those who got in did so with the use of an algorithm that had been made available and purchased, on exactly how as an independent or small party, you should allocate your preferences to all the other parties. So that you would need up the winner virtually regardless of your initial direct vote. If someone knows where to get this algorithm, could you please let me know?

So in the current term of office, the PM declares he has done more than Tony Abbott ever did. Now, this could be true? Which would mean that the PM could clearly state the great policy initiatives he has delivered into law?

Malcolm Turnbull does this. The very first thing he chose to declare with great bravado was that he got rid of the Gold Pass for Politicians…

I’m sorry. Did I hear that correctly? The number one achievement of the sitting Prime Minister has been to cancel retired parliamentarians travel passes?

Well, it is a good thing, but it was hardly some great national economic or cultural achievement. I mean, even Gough Whitlam introduced Medicare, The Australian Ballet and created The National Gallery in less time. Are we really to accept this is something that allows the PM to sit back and assume he is doing a good job of running the country.

The PM does go on, after elaborating about his success with the Gold Card, a stroke of the pen by the way, to say that he has also re-introduced building industry oversight. Now, this really is something. This was an achievement to be sure. But given, it was the re-establishment of something that existed previously, while still sincerely noteworthy, it doesn’t really cut the mustard as a great intellectual and policy breakthrough, by a sitting Prime Minister.

In fact, the way Malcolm Turnbull is going, he is likely to go down in history as the “Smiling Prime Minister” for all those selfies, but little else.

While the PM and his government are beset by the challenge of somehow appearing busy while being unable to get anything of substance through a problematic Senate, which is truly not their fault, he really lost the game in the first three months of office. When he backed down to some of his backbenchers, on virtually every good idea he had in his head. remember the complete fanfare and then nothing over tax changes.

This was one of the most popular new Prime Ministers in history, and he wasted that popularity by failing the test of courage to take on those who did not agree with him in his own party, in the public arena. The public thought they were getting a fighter, who could get things done. Instead, they saw a populist leader full of niceties, and little to show for it.

Perhaps this attack by Abbott, under the guise of reasonable promotion of his book, which is of itself is an attack on the current leadership, in any case, is actually a chance for resurrection or redemption from the Prime Minister. Instead of dismissing Abbott, he should move to admit he has a point on some of the issues raised, and use this to bring the party together with clear new policy initiatives. Which would include recognition of the un-affordability of property for many Australians and the potential threat of renewable energy obsession blackouts.

We all want renewable energy, but we need it as soon as possible as it is able to do the job, in all conditions at a reasonable cost, and not before. We all want immigration, but it is at a high level and does consist of wealthy people buying homes for their children and grandchildren out of China. We do not want this to stop, but perhaps, the edge could be taken off a little to allow Australians to compete.

This would, of course, include changes at APRA and the RBA. These organisations are in dire need of serious review. In my talks in recent years, I have often spoken of how Australians have one hand tied behind their backs by APRA and the banks, while foreign bidders bid merrily away. There is something amiss in a system that favours foreign home ownership over the youth of our nation being able to take their place at the table.

So, Tony Abbott is on to something. Whether this is enough to get him the leadership ever again, has more to do with the backbenchers than with a few key Ministers opinions. A total clearing of the ministerial decks is not out of the question, as a way of clearing a path for Abbott in order for the party to counter the threat from Hanson.

As you will know, I think the Senate should be totally abolished. It is there to represent the interests of each state. Instead, it has fallen into being just another party politic arena. Therefore its reason for being… is lost. It only causes the nation to fall further behind the rest of the world.

Tony Abbott has surprisingly raised a solution whereby there could be combined sittings of both houses, without a double dissolution election, to decide policies which have been twice rejected by the Senate. Such a change could bring forth a major change to the political landscape of this country that actually benefits the people of this great land.

We need a bold policy to move forward. For we are falling behind the rest of the world at a great rate of knots.

If Malcolm Turnbull can change the tune, and bring the party together in the direction of some of Abbott’s thoughts, this would be both bold and effective. A great achievement for both the party and the nation. This would be a great Prime Ministership capable of winning the next election after all.

If not, without a change in leadership, the Coalition will only retain power with the help of Pauline Hanson. Is that a nation we really want? Even this may not be enough.

There will be much more to talk about at the Annual Conference fast approaching, as it will be an exciting time in Australia’s history, and for the property market indeed.

For now, there is no doubt current pressures for property prices to evolve higher, will only intensify.

Clifford Bennett

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