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.