The (Un)Making of Tony Abbott

October 21, 2011 No Comments by admin

One of the most noticeable things of Australian politics since the past 2 years not been the midnight axing of Kevin Rudd or the ascendancy of Julia Gillard to the post of PM, it has been the remarkable story of the ability of Tony Abbott to influence the course of political debate in this country and he has become a rallying point for those who oppose Labor and its style of governance. While no one expected the maverick and speedo wearing man to succeed, Tony Abbott has beaten the odds and remains a fighter. Right from his one vote victory in the Liberal leadership spill defeating Turnbull, to his efforts to quell the Carbon Tax Legislation, Abbott is waging a Jihad in Australian politics.

Tony Abbott is a one directional truck which has been piercing the Labor policies into pieces and has managed to drive news rather than vice versa. This ensured the Prime Minister never remained in the limelight and never drove the news agenda. Tony Abbott has been the focus of Australian domestic politics since the past 2 years

Look at the odds against him, he publicly acknowledged that he doesn’t know how to iron his clothes, he opposes Abortion and still does not believe that global warming is man made, he made a Shit Happens remark over the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan, and in spite of these goof ups, he has managed to survive.Tony Abbott has displayed rare skills in retaining the limelight. Abbott has widely traveled in India and has lived in Bihar which might have taught him rare survival skills. He did appeal to at least half of all Australians when he lost the bid to become the Prime Minister of this country. And there in lies his dilemma. Abbott has failed to make inroads in the other half of Australia, who are still keeping away from him.

Tony Abbott has peaked and his approval rating as per the latest opinion poll has stagnated to 41%. His disapproval rating has remained around 50%. This indicates he is appealing to his core group of supporters but has failed to expand his circle of approval to the rest of the voters (read Labour voters). The rise of Greens in this country is more to do with Tony Abbott than with Greens. There is a very big group of Labor voters who refuse to transfer their allegiance to Tony Abbott and have found Greens as an alternate remedy. Without appealing and getting these disgruntled Labor voters to his side, Tony Abbott can’t get the keys to the Lodge in Canberra. And here in comes the mild mannered, Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull saw sense in moving the Liberal voters away from Howard’s hardline stance on climate change and refused to succumb to the Liberal anti climate change lobby. During the past 2 years he has built an image of a pragmatic politician and has held to his views of initiating action on climate change.

Passage of Climate Change bill has stripped Tony Abbott of any further opportunity to embarrass the government. His statement that he will repeal Carbon Tax Legislation if voted to power is extremely reckless. Ever since he became Leader of the Opposition his statement have undermined business confidence and his negativity on climate change has irked corporate Australia. Consider this, that when corporates prepare their annual statement they take care of Carbon accounting in their accounts. So what is the fuss they ask. Time is fast running out for Abbott and also for Gillard.

If Gillard does not survive past Christmas, the independents could switch loyalty and refuse to support maverick Abbott or a recycled Rudd as a PM. That leaves the door open for Malcolm Turnbull to take over the reigns in Canberra, which is a much better option than having Abbott taking over as Prime Minister of this country.

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