From the IPA website – rapid reform before the goodwill runs out
Queensland’s former Premier, Campbell Newman, lost office after one term in which he held a massive majority; Tony Abbott’s downfall was gross misjudgement in his first budget. Both came to office without exposing their true agendas to the electorate. The result was the shock waves that ran through the community when the new leaders implemented punitive policies that had not been flagged.
Turnbull has thus inherited community distrust about his true intentions.
In ‘Be like Gough: 75 radical ideas to transform Australia’, an IPA Review Article, John Roskan, James Paterson and Chris Berg discussed the need for rapid, radical action by Abbott should he become prime minister.
The article includes a revealing checklist of suggested areas for reform. If Turnbull is trying to pursue a very small target and a concealed agenda, this list of measures is what some in the IPA authors considered should be included in a broader reformist sweep. This includes in medical insurance, away from the public provision to the private sector, as well as a significant range of pro-business changes in taxation and industrial relations.
The transition from ‘tribal chief to national leader’
In ‘The ties that blind: Tony Abbott never cut it as a unifying national leader’ Peter Hartcher used Abbott’s own words to explain why Abbott lost the prime ministership to Turnbull:
‘He [Abbott] was never able to achieve what Abbott himself described as the task of an incoming prime minister, making the transition from “tribal chief to national leader”.
‘The result was that the centre of the electorate, where elections are won and lost, abandoned Abbott. For 18 consecutive months, his government has been in a losing position in the polls.’ (Sydney Morning Herald 15.9.15)
The trouble for Malcolm Turnbull has been that through the succeeding nine months or so the Abbott tribe remains as tribal as ever, bitter in defeat. Turnbull has been sucked into the tribal tensions rather than, himself, being able to make the transition to a true national leader.
And the question now, is how much of the centre of the electorate is abandoning Malcolm Turnbull as well.