Tony Abbott is still our prime minister – how?

POLLIES, it’s time to pull your socks up.

This whole ‘changing of leadership’ is really starting to sound like a broken record.

Labor did a double switch during their recent stint in the top job and now the Coalition is following suit – is this something we will come to expect as a normal political practice?


While it’s not surprising that Tony was challenged to a spill (Tony hasn’t exactly been the most popular kid in school), it’s unsettling. You wouldn’t expect a stable government to be chopping and changing so drastically, and you certainly wouldn’t expect it to happen so quickly, or so often.

So why is everything falling apart?

According to an article by Amanda Vanstone, who if you don’t remember was a minister in the former Howard government, the problem lies in the way Abbott treats his backbenchers. According to her, they’re feeling “ignored or taken for granted”.

Now, I’m no political expert, but I would have thought that taking care of your backbenchers would be something of a priority for Tony – or any prime minister for that matter. After all, they’re the ones who decided you would lead the party, the ones who campaigned their butts off to get you in the top spot, and they’re the ones who’ll kick you out if you’re not performing.

So it’s surprising that we’re hearing so much about his Bitter Backbenchers (which, incidentally, would be a great band name).

Tony survived the spill threat 61-39, but he’s not out of the woods yet. Even the ministers who backed him did so only on the condition that he stops and takes a good, hard look in the mirror. It’s safe to assume he won’t be leading the charge in the next election…

Unfortunately, Tony’s off to a rough start and it hasn’t even been a week. His statement “I’ve listened, I’ve learned, I’ve changed” that he’s been quipping is all well and good, but really it needs to be backed up by something.

Who has he listened to? What has he learned and how is he changing?

Better yet, show us that things will get better and that this government won’t fall apart. Otherwise federal elections are going to be less about voting for the party you believe has the best policies and more about who is less likely to embarrass us as a country.

Over the past years (can we say decade? Has it really been that long?), it’s become clearer and clearer that there are no winners in this game of tug-of-war between the two major parties and, unfortunately for us, the Australian people seem to be the biggest losers.

So pull it together, Tony.

In fact, pull it together politicians as a whole. Remind us that you care about your country – about us – and not just about your petty feud. It’s about time we had a government we’re not ashamed of. Heck, maybe we’ll even be proud again one day.

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