One thing political junkies love to do is speculate about which of its members an opposing group should make its leader. It’s a purely rhetorical enterprise, since there’s no way in a blue fit we’d vote for any of them, but it appears to be somewhat entertaining to sit on one side and give advice to people whose best interests we clearly do not have at heart.
Which, of course, brings us to Malcolm Turnbull.
Malcolm is this week having difficulty with his conservative base. The fact that he’s a hardline economic rightwinger, a former banker, a close friend to corporate Australia, is not enough – he campaigned for a Republic, and he wants the Liberal party to vote for Rudd’s cut-down half-arsed barely-there response to the probability of devastating climate change. So they’re considering rolling him.
Do we, who want the Liberals to lose, want him replaced? Is Joe “Workchoices” Hockey more electable? Is Tony “Roman Catholic laws for all Australians” Abbott?
The further to the right they go, presumably the less likely to win an election they get, which is a good thing for progressives – but it also raises the stakes, and would be much more devastating if they pulled it off.
So who’s it going to be? Who would you advise them to pick? What about if you actually had the conservative base’s interests at heart?
And how have the Liberals fallen so hard for the kind of wedge politics of which their former leader was such a diabolical expert?