Look the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t changed the world in his 166 days in office – let’s get another one.
That seems to be the way we roll in Australia.
Since 2007, Australia has averaged a new Prime Minister every two years. Do we want to follow Italy? It has a chaotic, wildly swinging, political system and in the last 12 years has chewed through 17 Prime Ministers. They used to be the unstable Western country we joked about. Now here we go again getting ‘disappointed‘ with a PM before we give them a reasonable chance to lead.
I’m not saying we should give the PM a free ride, I’m saying we should give him some time to do his job.
Of course, there are a raft of issues Turnbull and his government need to deal with over the next few years (not first 166 days).
To begin with there is:
Don’t even mention the thousands of smaller or related issues that must be sitting in the TO DO pile on Turnbull’s desk.
So can we give him some space and time to do his job please? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m hoping a lot will change under Turnbull: our children in detention policies, marriage equality, tax changes, more stable employment figures and climate change action but I understand the government can’t package things up and delivers them as fast as internet shopping. It’s a government people, not ASOS.
I wanted the same for Julia Gillard who was our PM from 2010-2013 and was rounded on by a hungry press pack, the opposition, her own party and warriors with internet access from about week three and now I want the same for Turnbull.
Of course Turnbull’s tenure is complicated by the fact he was never voted in as Prime Minister by the Australian people, it was a dramatic Liberal Party leadership spill that put him there. But that is done. Vote him out at the next election if you think he hasn’t done a good enough job.
For now he is the Prime Minister of Australia and he needs more than 166 days to prove himself. It’s a complex, changing country of 24 million people he is leading not the local soccer club.
I want anyone who leads my country to be thoroughly across the main issues that effect us all. That’s a lot of issues. I want them to spend time contemplating solutions, shelving solutions that aren’t going to work, and then coming up with better ones.
I want them to be sending work back from their ministers that isn’t good enough and asking them to do it again. I imagine that happens a bit.
I want them to be the smartest person in the room and the person who knows how to win in that room. I don’t want them to be sitting in their office reading tweets about themselves. Googling their name and checking that new online petition with 200 signatures on it about keeping a really, really rude US rapper out of Australia. I don’t want them spending time coming up with a witty insult for the opposition that will get them a meme that goes viral.
I want a Prime Minister who is allowed to lead intelligently, works hard and if he or she disappoints or isn’t up to the job, gets voted out. I don’t want a reactionary, populist, orange, use fear against each other PM, otherwise I may as well live in the US and be listening to Donald Trump.
I want our Prime Minister to be given the opportunity to show me exactly what he can do.
After all, who is running the country? A dozen malcontent tweeters who don’t want a roundabout at the end of their street? A couple of columnists that know they’ll get a reaction if they stick it to the PM, because isn’t the news cycle so fast today you need to feed the masses something that will make them click? The Opposition who seem more intent to play a game of Gotcha (‘Mr Turnbull according to a SMH story from 1972 you said you hated the colour red, now you say it is one of your favourites. You are a liar Sir’) than fix their own deep-seated Party issues and sit down in offices together to come up with policies that might help Australians lead a better life?
I’ve, obviously, never been a political journalist or a political junkee but I’ve followed what goes on in Canberra. Now I snap off the radio when politicians, commentators, or someone wanting to change Australia by allowing smiling in passport photos via an online petition comes on.
I’ve heard it all before. The Opposition plays Gotcha and says everything the government wants to do is “short-sighted”, “seriously flawed” “low” “creating class warfare” “uninformed”, “typical of a party out of touch with the worker” “‘losing at the opinion polls” YADA YADA political negative catchphrases YADA.
The commentators analyse and dissect. Then analyse and dissect (with their biases next to their keyboards) and speculate some more going around and down the same political rabbit holes until someone jumps out and says “leaked internal polling indicates that Malcolm, Tony, Julia, Kevin, John YADA YADA current political leader YADA is unpopular in their own party”.
Watch Leigh Sales grill Malcolm below. Post continues after video.
And then there is always someone who gets media time because they spent 12 seconds creating an online petition calling for the abolition of Family Assorted biscuits in Canberra because to consume these sweet, comforting delights with tea is disrespectful to the growing number of single households.
Turnbull’s honeymoon period was always going to come to an end. He was never going to be a knight in shining armour waving his jousting stick and instituting radical changes in his first five months. This is politics, not a Hollywood movie treatment.
Turnbull is a man trying to do the job of Prime Minister. Things need to change. Give him the chance to do that.
Let him give it a go and if you don’t like what he does, vote him out.