Saturday 24th December 2016 - 4:43 pm

The PM’s overlooked advantages

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull has two under-rated qualities that will help him keep his job, beyond the end of this parliamentary year.

 

Firstly, he looks and sounds like a Prime Minister, in the tradition of the Liberal party’s founder, Robert Gordon Menzies.

 

That means he will, at least, have a chance of escaping the criticism Mr Turnbull might otherwise have expected from party elders.

 

They are, frankly, disappointed at the Prime Minister’s apparent inability to curb insiders, like South Australia’s Cory Bernadi, who want to see the Coalition take tougher lines on internal, right wing policies.

 

The Federal Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, declared immediately after the Federal election in July, that Mr Turnbull would be displaced, before the end of the year, by divisions within Australia’s conservative parties.

 

That hasn’t happened yet, although there have been moments of real excitement at times.

 

One came when the three major ratings agencies threatened to end our Triple-A credit rating if we did not get our debts under control.

 

That threat has now receded, with the higher prices we have been getting for our iron ore and coal.

 

 

However Mr Turnbull’s plans to proceed with  public referendums on same sex marriage and whether Australia should become a republic both remain political hazards.


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Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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