The year 2015 will likely be remembered as a watershed for the Liberal Party having surrendered what they perceived as the high moral ground of never having dumped a sitting Prime Minister.
One might argue that John Gorton was dumped in 1971 but seeing as he so magnanimously voted himself out, we will overlook that incident and give the prize to Tony Abbott.
Sadly though, in terms of mediocre government, that watershed extends further. These so-called “adults” have shown us over the past 12 months that 2014 (as bad as that turned out), was just a rehearsal for 2015.
The past 12 months has been a year that will go down in history as so pathetic, so comical, so dysfunctional, that trying to find anything good for 99% of us would require micro-analysis.
Coalition government ineptitude has meant that, intellectually, they have made us an impoverished nation. Impoverished of ideas, of reform, of equality, of compassion for the persecuted, the homeless, the destitute, the poor. They have impoverished our strength and our vitality.
The fact is, this government has failed on so many levels they are already digging themselves into a hole so deep that to go one step worse in 2016, they would have to bury themselves in concrete.
Since the Coalition won government in 2013, the bar has been set so low, it makes the Bejelke Petersen government of the 1970s look positively radiant.
What is it within the Aussie psyche that it appears willing to accept poor performance, possible criminal activity on the part of some ministers and incompetent economic management, in favour of a leader who isn’t Tony Abbott?
These questions need to be asked because, as things stand today, the polls would suggest they will be returned to government sometime next year despite the names of Sinodinis, Bishop the elder, Brough, Pyne and Roy, still ringing in our ears given the alleged questionable activities for which they have been cited.
To that we can add David Johnston, Joe Hockey, Ian Macfarlane, Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz to the multiple ministerial changes that have taken place for which we can only surmise were the result of poor performance.
Then of course there is Tony Abbott, who is no longer leader but whose policies remain intact.
Next year will see an election that will be fought on policies that adversely affect our children’s education, our health, corporate taxation, the GST, and yet the national debt will hardly be mentioned. What does that say about our collective intelligence?
How is it that our national debt will exceed $400 billion before the end of this year and that fact will barely raise an eyebrow? How is it that a deficit budget is now the default position when those same people producing it, claimed in opposition, it would be the ruination of us all.
Or on a different level, how is it, for example, that Mal Brough can still be a minister, after answering yes to whether or not he asked James Ashby to obtain copies of Peter Slipper’s diary by Liz Hayes on ‘Sixty Minutes’ and then answer no to exactly the same question in Parliament, with no mitigating explanation?
And how is it that the government have shunned investment in renewable energy opting for reliance on a dying coal industry, when the rest of the world’s major polluters are forging ahead with wind and solar.
Malcolm Turnbull’s catch cry when he assumed the leadership was innovation. So where is the innovation in renewable energy, tax reform, education and health? Turnbull’s announcement on Monday of a $1 billion program for innovative projects over the next four years will hardly set the world on fire.
Next year, an election year, we are likely to see vastly superior, innovative policies from the Labor Party as they move around the country addressing these fundamental issues.
Yet, I suspect the people will overlook the significant content of Labor’s platform and content themselves with what they view as a preferred national leader regardless of the substance vacuum within the Coalition policy framework.
An impoverished nation indeed. Some people should be required to pass a competency test before being allowed to vote.
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