It has been said that negotiating with the current Senate is like herding cats – and Lord knows those cats have some crazy ideas – but that is nothing to the job in front of Turnbull who is trying to corral a herd of raging dinosaurs.
The fact that Kevin Andrews got 30 votes for Deputy Leader after Malcolm had already won the leadership is a clear indication that the far right were sending a warning. To get the votes he needed, and the support he will need into the future, Malcolm must have compromised many of his previously espoused personal beliefs.
Hearing Truss and Joyce warn that the Coalition deal would have to be renegotiated was like listening to paper tigers roar – as if they would give up being Deputy Leader and Minister for Agriculture.
The Nationals seized the moment to make a list of demands to which Malcolm apparently acquiesced – financial concessions for stay-at-home parents, moving responsibility for water from environment to agriculture, maintaining a plebiscite for same-sex marriage, and money for regional mobile blackspots.
Does this mean Barnaby gets his dams???
Kevin Andrews and Christopher Pyne are in a battle for Defence – a choice which I am sure excites the ADF.
With 44 Liberal votes against him, and a hard core of 30 right wingers backed by some very conservative/odd Nationals, Malcolm will have a hard time prosecuting any change at all in the short term.
At least Tony believed a lot of the stuff he said, weird as it was – Malcolm is going to have to sell things which do not represent his personal views. For an ego like his, that will be hard to maintain.
Malcolm likes the stage and this may well irk some of his colleagues. It may also annoy the many Liberal voters that are angry with the spill. If they see too much of a smug Turnbull in the media they may well choose to punish him as Rudd supporters did Gillard.
Can Malcolm suppress his personality and opinions when dealing with fools? Will he be able to bring the flat earthers into the 21st century? Will he be able to make the creationists evolve? Will he be able to quell the fears of the Islamophobes and the homophobes?
Looking at Turnbull’s current crop of colleagues, all I can say is good luck with that!