No, our choice is not John Howard. Nor, for that matter, is our choice to just remove Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister. Rather we are for a leadership leadership change that creates a clear platform for a broader, united Australia. Malcolm Turnbull is so far the most likely and it seems that the entire conservative movement is headed in that direction. It is to his credit that he is providing this clarity. It is to John Howard’s credit that Howard was so accurate when he warned that “Arrogance and grandstanding is the worst way to behave in politics”. Both are bound to fail. Sadly they might also fail. So in true Turnbull fashion, the cause of this changed Prime Minister is sweeping. Indeed it seems that Turnbull’s record in negotiations with the Senate has been the single most important factor contributing to his demise. It is hard to envisage that voters would embrace a leader of Turnbull’s party who said that if the Senate “kicked” on Tuesday’s vote the Government would change tactics to hold more votes and less sway. The actions of Peter Dutton against immigration detention centres have been even harder to accept. He simply refuses to go. The sentiment which Turnbull has fomented about the loss of Australian sovereignty and our inalienable rights is all too predictable. There is a likelihood that under a stable Turnbull Labor will pass laws to put expanded gun control on the statute books before the end of the week. And the case against such laws will be made in every way except by Malcolm Turnbull. Under pressure from the bush’s anti-gun lobby, Dutton has allowed himself to be drawn into a smear campaign that clearly is aimed at stopping gun ownership among non-Brisbane families. If Turnbull cannot properly defend gun ownership in the interest of human life then he will be swept into irrelevance.
It is a difficult choice as members of the Prime Minister’s inner cabinet try to prepare voters for the arrival of Turnbull’s angry foe, Tony Abbott. Or better still it is a difficult one. The electorate can be forgiven for thinking this is the worst possible prospect for Turnbull. It is perhaps as misguided and anodyne as believing that Malcolm Turnbull is an economic visionary in the mould of Mitt Romney or describing former political prime minister John Howard as an idiot. That is largely in opposition to the view that despite his history of leadership failures Turnbull retains the measure of authority that Australians demand. I hope he will not get into the habit of telling Australians what they already want to hear. As to his personal character as Australian, I hope that he does not cave in to the cynics who are convinced that he is an inflexible man. These people deserve to be taken seriously.