Is Australia the Most Unstable Democracy in Asia?


By Beau Dunne:

Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party have gone against their famous mantra, of letting the Australian people decide who ought to be PM, and have staged a coup to save themselves from their own mistakes.

In a fast and furious coup orchestrated by Malcolm Turnbull and his posse, the democratically elected Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was ousted from his position as leader of the nation.

The change means that Australia is now statistically the most unstable advanced democracy in the Asian region, as Malcolm Turnbull will be the 4th Prime Minister to take office since 2013.

This record of rapid political change and instability, is unsurpassed by any of our neighbouring countries in recent years.

Following pressure from his own party, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott called a spill motion on the evening of the 14th September, and by the end of the long night the knives were bloody and the work was done.

As Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull says he will bring promising a new style of consultative leadership that he said would be “thoroughly traditional”.

However, given that the Australian public was disaffected not so much by the style of leadership of the Abbott government, but rather by their policies, questions remain as to what policy changes Malcolm Turnbull will bring to the job.

According to an analysis of the challenge in delivering an innovative economic policy, the New Matilda has reported that Mr Turnbull will need to address the problems and opportunities stemming from climate change.

However, contrary to the need to address climate change, Mr Turnbull has said he is sticking with the coalition’s current policy on climate change, which has been called woefully inadequate by Labor, The Greens, and numerous NGO’s.

Mr Turnbull said in his address to the press on the night of the coup that the previous government’s climate change policy “is one that I supported as a minister in the Abbott government and it’s one that I support today”.

Malcolm Turnbull’s first test as Prime Minister came on the 19th September, when the people of the federal electorate of Canning, in Western Australia held a by-election for the seat. Andrew Hastie, the Liberal candidate was successful in the by-election, however there was an over 6% swing away from the Liberal party.

The over 6% swing from the Liberal party, will be a concern for Mr Turnbull if that swing is replicated around the country at the next federal election.

Students at Western Sydney University who were asked how they thought Mr Turnbull would change things, were very unsure.

They said that this is mostly due to the fact that it is still in the early stages of Mr Turnbull’s leadership, and he has not announced any significant policy changes.

A key challenge for Mr Turnbull will be to differentiate on a policy level between his government and Mr Abbott’s government, because a change in leader changes nothing unless a change in policy occurs as well.

The Western Sydney University Liberal Club was contacted regarding what the leadership change will mean for students, particularly in regards to education policy, however they did not respond to questions.

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