Moderation the killer for fence-sitting Turnbull

The news of Cory Bernadi’s defection reads more like satire than political scoop but the implications for Malcolm Turnbull could be very real.

From a distance, LNP supporters may believe the most imminent effect Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives will have on parliamentary proceedings would be to dilute the conservative vote and create an even less compliant Senate.

The latter would be unlikely to bother the Prime Minister, who’s about as keen to usher in fresh legislation as his predecessor was to appear on the ABC.

More importantly, Bernadi’s departure will have an effect on the House of Representatives in which the coalition has a one seat majority.

With George Christensen, member for Dawson in the lower house, pledging his allegiance to Bernadi, the Australian public can be sure of one thing – the ultra-right view is alive and well and with it, Malcolm Turnbull’s days in office are numbered.

Christensen’s distrust of ‘moderate Malcolm’ and his similarly moderate views is well documented.

“All I will say on [a marriage equality vote] is if all of a sudden the policy becomes a free vote, my firm view, and it’s not just a view it’s actually the reality, [is] that is breaking one of the tenets of the Liberal National Coalition deal,” he said in October.


Illustration: Alan Moir

In a short while, we’ll look back on Malcolm Turnbull’s days in office and one word will continually spring to mind.


Perhaps we’ll look even further, far enough to see that Turnbull’s greatest mistake came when he joined the Liberal Party in 1981.

It’s forming as the great political platitude of Turnbull’s regime, the centre-left leader of a centre-right party; how could that ever work?

As the far-right grow restless, so to do the left.

The countdown is on and it won’t be long before Malcolm is forced to get down from the fence and trudge back to the slums of Point Piper whence he came.



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