Australian Politics – Prime Minister Turnbull Cannot Afford This Complacency

Posted on Fri 04/08/2016 by

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Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

I have magnanimously offered Malcolm Turnbull 10 top tips to winning the election he now seems set to lose.

But David Crowe warns that Turnbull seems too complacent to change:

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull is too confident for his own good. He is strolling to the election against rivals who are in much better shape and already running rings around him…

Oddly sure that they are above day-to-day politics, Turnbull and his colleagues routinely are trounced by their opponents…

Dismiss any stories you may read of panic in government ranks about their performance. The real problem is they are not worried enough. Turnbull has fumbled his tactics on negative gearing, a GST increase, income tax cuts and last week’s tax sharing offer to the states…

On Wednesday morning he had to fix a dangerous vulnerability on school funding after belatedly realising he was exposed to a Labor attack for suggesting the states could run their schools alone.

Mark Kenny:

Just over six months ago, Malcolm Turnbull convinced his colleagues that Tony Abbott’s claim of strong leadership was an abject failure… Turnbull promised something different. .. His leadership would be sophisticated, consultative and purposeful…

But … Liberals are wondering if … a penchant for endless consideration is just a mask for being decision-averse…

Words like “ditherer” and “waffle” and now “wishy-washy” have entered the lexicon, and most worryingly, some are coming from his own side…. “I think it is coming across to the public that we are a little bit wishy-washy,” said the LNP member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, on Wednesday, with refreshing frankness…

Turnbull’s glib response came as he admitted he hadn’t spoken to his backbench colleague: “But if I did I would encourage her to be more upbeat, that’s for sure.”

For marginal seat MPs, remaining “upbeat” in the face of the latest Newspoll, which showed the government would have suffered a 4.5 per cent swing against it in an election held now, is an exercise in self-delusion. Few will have welcomed the PM’s positive thought coaching.

Labor’s private polling has identified a strong under-current of disappointment in the electorate. Three things are feeding this. First, Turnbull’s decision-making process, which is seen to be glacially slow and which, in the case of tax reform, has left the government with nothing concrete to talk about for months on end. Second is his reluctance to stamp his own policy branding on the government he now leads. This means on many of the very policies that had made him popular, he has gone missing. And third is the likelihood that voters’ memories of what they disliked about Abbott will inevitably soften with time…

Note Kenny’s last point. Now understand why the Left is so frantically trying to drive Tony Abbott out of Parliament?

And there may be a role for him in the not-distant future, should the Liberals suddenly need a great Opposition Leader. Simon Benson:

It has been suggested that the current cycle of revolving-door politics can only be broken with the re-election of a Turnbull government. Never mind the fact that a government cannot seek re-election if it has never been elected…

The counter-view to the Turnbull thesis is that the cycle will only be broken if the Coalition gets tossed out of government. Only then will both parties have learned their lesson…

Turnbull appears to be at one level tormented with timidity but politically reckless at another. This has undermined the credibility of the Coalition’s economic policy agenda far as we know it… The question as to who will better run the economy will obviously be the principal election issue. But the consideration of which side offers better hope of restoring stability is equally as important.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/