A Prime Minister has to be a team player

Tony Abbott makes far too many Captains’ Calls. Knights and dames, the $20 Medicare rebate reduction, Prince Philip’s knighthood and now the call to move the leadership spill discussion/meeting/vote to Monday at 9 am. Make no mistake: this is a strategic move with personal motivation. It is not true leadership style.

Abbott seems to be under the illusion he is a president, not a prime minister. The Australian system is the party that wins a majority in the lower house forms government and chooses the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister MUST be a team player, otherwise democracy is undermined. Despite the number of Abbott supporters wailing they voted for Abbott as Prime Minister, they didn’t. That is impossible in the Australian system, irrespective of what any individual might like to believe.

There seems to be a fox in the hen house and the chooks are running around headless. Some say the move of the discussion to Monday is a Captain’s Call, other’s say Abbott consulted colleagues. My guess? Abbott consulted colleagues he trusts to support him in a vote for leadership and didn’t consult those he wants to throw off-balance and shortened their preparation time.

There’s a dig at colleagues, too. People were given an opportunity at last week’s cabinet meeting to speak out against the leadership and nobody did, Hockey says. If they don’t support Tony Abbott they should resign.

Source: The Guardian

What a load of rubbish. If people don’t support Abbott they have a duty to Australia to stand up and say so.

I hear Abbott has control of the ballot to the extent he can force a show of hands rather than a secret ballot. Put up your hand in favour and hope to retain or obtain a ministerial appointment, or don’t and risk banishment to the backbenches as retaliation. Hardly democracy.

Abbott is clearly not popular otherwise we wouldn’t have the #ImStickingWithTony hashtag running riot on Twitter.

Abbott owes it to this country to behave honourably and allow the democratic process to take place. This is not a time for Captain’s Calls or bullying of colleagues. Those colleagues who allow themselves to be bullied shouldn’t be in parliament and I suggest constituents watch very carefully how their local member behaves on Monday.

With an approval rating of minus 38 per cent, according to this week’s Fairfax-Ipsos poll, the Prime Minister offers his colleagues no credible prospect of becoming popular and therefore no bonus to their own vote. Now his partyroom support is collapsing as well. What authority he is left with is based mainly in the cabinet. In other words, among individuals personally promoted by him, and in the case of several, whose own futures are hog-tied to his. This is hardly convincing. Nor it is durable in the event of a specific challenge.

Source: SMH (emphasis added)

As Margo Kingston points out, this is not a team player.

So where to from here? I can assume a few telcos are making a killing this weekend as phones run hot across the country. Who has the cojones to stare down the class bully in an open forum?

An even bigger concern is who will stand against him? Turnbull seems to be considered the front runner, but maybe it is just time for fresh blood. Turnbull was punished by being forced to destroy the NBN and I’m not sure the electorate will forgive him. Bishop’s not ready, despite the flash feel good media pieces. Hockey or Morrison? Please, spare us.

Be very wary, Australia. Abbott is out to save himself, he cares not a jot for the rest of us. If he did, the leadership issue would be being dealt with on Tuesday as planned with a secret ballot. Abbott would do the right and honourable thing. He would be a team player. For Australia.


17 comments on “A Prime Minister has to be a team player

  1. […] was the art gallery invite, the tactical move of calling the meeting a day early to minimise communication before the spill and on top of that, misleading speeches (only the […]


  2. @ aussieian2011 I don’t think you realise how lucky you are. I have only ever been able to vote for my local member. I have to accept his or her decision, even when he or she is NOT the person I voted for, about who should be PM. How come you have been able to vote for a PM? What part of Australia should I move to, to gain this privilege? I once lived in the electorate of Bennelong, for just one election and so I was able to vote against John Howard but he was still elected and all those other elected members voted him in as PM. I moved to another electorate and he didn’t appear on my ballot paper. That was so unfair. How come you get to vote for a PM even when you don’t live in his electorate. Do you have some special powers or a superior understanding of our electoral process? Please let me know. I really want MY choice of PM.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Abbott was voted in to govern as pm and not to remain as an opposition leader. He keeps going back about the mess of the labor party without doing what he promised he would do.
    He can’t continue on. His own party doesn’t want him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Abbott is the PM whether we like it or not, yes he does refer back to the Labour fiasco and quite rightly so, he does not want the Liberal party to play the same games as Rudd and Gilliard, he is doing what he promised to do and its unfair to say he’s not when you are advocating his removal after five minutes in office, his party does want him, why do you think they selected him up front as PM, certainly not the actions of a party not wanting him, you will find the two traitor members of the Liberal party are the disgruntled two calling for a spill


      • And what of the disapproval rating? He is an embarrassment at home and abroad and is doing untold damage to the Liberal “brand”. He isn’t doing anything that he promised to do and he has been in office a lot longer than five minutes. MORE than enough time to earn his stripes.


      • The approval rate of all politicians changes daily, and polls are untrustworthy.
        Tomorrow we will see just how many people disapprove of Abbott, as for stating he is an embarrasment, no more so than the Labor party circus of Rudd and Gilliard, as for your statement he isnt doing anything he promised, you must be joking, the boat people fiasco was addressed and still under resolution, carbon tax went out the window.
        Overall, these two major problems he promised to fix have been addressed, as for earning his stripes, even Rudd and Gilliard if they had stopped clowning around, could not even earn their stripes in 20 years of government.


  4. I have been voting in all State and Federal elections since I was 18, I am now 64, my voting is compulsory under law, however over the last decade I now believe my vote is being misused. I voted for Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister and for the policies he advocated. That was my vote and I expected Mister Rudd to be Prime Minister using my vote, to remain in power the full term, I then found that my vote could be altered by a party caucus, my vote was then transferred across to Julia Gilliard, whom I never voted for as Prime Minister, with this transfer of my vote I found my vote was now endorsing Gilliard’s policies. Policies which I did not endorse. My vote has also been transferable to other parties, ie, Greens and Independents.
    I voted for Kevin Rudd based on his policies as endorsed by his party, I did not authorise the Labor party Caucus to alter my vote in any way shape or form.
    I voted at the last Federal elections for Tony Abbott based on his policies, I, once again, find my vote has been misappropriated , and is now open for barter by the Liberal Caucus.
    I voted for Tony Abbott based on his policies as endorsed by his party, I did not authorise the Liberal party Caucus to alter my vote in any way shape or form.
    I believe that by changing Prime Ministers or Leaders with different policies, is deceitful to my vote, I vote for one person and their policy, I expect my Prime Minister to rule for the set Parliamentary term, I do not expect my vote to be free for barter or exchange.
    My vote has become a bargaining chip in the world of Australian politics, nothing more, this deceitful practice is endorsed under the threat of fines for not voting.
    Australian’s who vote for a leader and his policy, are entitled to see their vote rewarded with a full term of Federal Parliamentary Leadership.
    I believe the Federal Government is in breach of their verbal commitment to my vote and also misappropriated my vote for party political gains.
    I believe that Australia is suffering from the continual change of Prime Minister, in that they are not being permitted to fill their full term, this constant Governmental leadership change scenario, has not only made a mockery of Australia on the international stage, but is frustrating all Australians who are caught in the web of this debacle
    Parliamentary rules and code of conduct should be altered to allow all elected Prime Ministers, to fulfil their complete term, irrespective of good or bad governance.
    The only person, I believe who should have the power to remove a Prime Minister is the Governor General. If a Prime Minister is removed by the Governor General for any reason, the Opposition must then be empowered with governance.
    My votes for a Prime Minister and government no longer has value, it appears my vote is now primarily for a party and its Caucus, and my vote is at the discretion of the Caucus as to its use
    A parliamentary change to rules and code of conduct will have the effect of ensuring all Government ministers must support their elected leader, Their Prime Minister, to ensure their party can make it to the next election, any disloyalty to the Prime Minister thereby will jeopardise the standing of the party as a whole


    • Ian, despite what you may believe, you DO NOT vote for a prime minister. Whether you believe it should be the Governor General or not is not the question. Until the system is changed, it is what it is.

      You voted for your local member – nothing more, nothing less. Until Australians start to realise this, I believe we are doomed.

      Do you REALLY want a bad prime minister in place for his full term? Think what damage that can do both internally and on the world stage? That is not a practical solution to problems.


      • I think you will find I did not vote for my local member, my local member is National, as I stated I voted for a person as PM, as endorsed by his party and their policies, I did not authorise my vote to be altered by the part caucus, that was not part of the voting deal, if that was the case why not just vote for any party caucus and trust them to make the decision for Australians.
        Our parliament allows for a four year term for a party and their PM, why do you think it unreasonable to think otherwise, do you not comprehend how much damage has been done to Australia over the last eight years by PMs not getting to complete their full term, have a look at our image on your world stage from this circus that has been created by the in out in scenario.
        Chile a third world country, no foreign debt and still endorses a full 4 year term for their elected Prime Minister, irrespective of good or bad governance, the party after 4 years can stand again with a different candidate.
        Australians are sick of the advocates who endorse changing PMs and members who do not fit their political beliefs.
        If my vote has no standing in electing my local member, then any other vote of mine on the Federal stage is a waste of time


    • You may believe that, and you may believe it be morally true, but it’s factually incorrect under our system of democracy.

      In our system you can ONLY vote for a person to represent your electorate in the parliament. Even if that person is in a party which votes in a particular leader to be PM, you are only ever voting for the local representative. Don’t believe me? Check out the names on the ballot paper – none of us get to vote for Tony Abbott except the people living in his own electorate.

      Once the electorate has voted for a representative, that person is free to go about their job as they see fit. They don’t have to stick to pre-election commitments, party policy or even common sense. They may feel forced to do what their party says, or feel free to go their own way. In any case, there is no contract here.

      The PM is just that – first amount Ministers. As such, he or she is initially chosen by their colleagues, and can be dumped at any time by them. As Australians don’t vote for that position, then we similarly get no say when a change is proposed.

      For me, the antidote to the apparently constant leadership change is to focus on policy. That’s my sole criteria for voting. I don’t care whether so-and-so is a “good bloke”, their publicised morality or values or anything. My only question is: does this person represent policies that I want to see enacted for the good of my community? When you do that, it doesn’t matter whether A, B or C is party leader today – that’s their own internal problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Explain this to me, if a party puts forward a member for consideration for PM to the Australian public, is not that same party endorsing the policys that candidate is going to carry into the Prime Ministership, in other words the party must completely endorse their candidate, this is where the anomaly lies, otherwise the two Liberal members, advocating a spill, and others, should have spoken out before nominating Abbott as PM


      • There is no concept of a party putting forward ‘a member for consideration for PM to the Australian public’. All we have is a party of members of Parliament voting between themselves as to who should lead them. To some extent, the views of the public matter (we vote for them in the end) but it’s not a formal presentation to the public as in a US presidential campaign.

        Party leaders only ever need 50% of the vote plus 1. To imply that once they reach that (as Abbott did) they are forever unassailable is asking for just too much. Surely, individual members of parliament always have the right to vote according to current conditions, not what happen at the last election! Otherwise, you are advocating for a full presidential system where the winner takes it all and can’t be challenged. A bit like Queensland, and see where that got them!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on auntyuta and commented:
    Very timely post by Robyn Oyeniyi. Well worth reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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