Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull


I blogged about then-opposition leader Tony Abbott winning his party’s leadership from Malcolm Turnbull in 2010. Now in 2015, we find ourselves with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after he successfully lead a spill motion against Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Abbott made great political theater over Gillard and Rudd's issues (the spill, then Rudd returning), which I also blogged about at the time.

TL;DR: Australia has a new Prime Minister, because Tony Abbott was polling poorly. He also didn't do us many favours internationally, as John Oliver so embarrasingly pointed out.

Tired and unsure

This spill happened over a week ago, and barring a brief mention on a recent podcast episode, I haven’t commented. I wish it were due to me being one of those cool, aloof people who dismiss all politicians as corrupt, thereby giving them cover to be.

Instead, I’m unsure. For one, I'm loving the optimistic (if buzzword-laden) language instead of the character-assassinating, mud slinging of the last few years. Transcript from The Guardian:

The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We can’t be defensive, we can’t future proof ourselves. We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.

There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.

Mr Turnbull has also reintroduced the Science portfolio, albeit one headed by Christopher Pine and part of Industry. There are now five women in cabinet positions, up from one before. He’s hinted at scrapping university deregulation, albeit in the context of an “obstructionist” senate. No more knights and dames. Copyright has been moved from the Attorney General’s office to that of the Communications Minister. He’s angered the shock jocks.

Still, we have reason to be cautious. With the exception of Mr Abbott and former treasurer Mr Hockey, the cabinet consists of the same people who delivered all the flawed policy of the last two years. We’re still getting Fibre to the Node, despite cost blowouts and coppery obsolescence. Even if he is more progressive, Mr Turnbull will have to play to the party who only gave him victory over Abbott with a few votes. He also needs to keep the Nationals happy.

During his debate with Andrew Bolt, Greens leader Richard di Natale refused to be drawn into a left-wing/right-wing debate, preferring to comment on the merits of policy. I admired that, and will be trying it with this new mob myself.

Now to see what happens.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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