Despite renewed promises to consult with colleagues and listen to voters, the address by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the National Press Club was an affirmation of his government’s reform agenda more than willingness to reform himself.
Running a government isn’t meant to be easy. It necessarily involves protecting and maintaining the well-being of millions while responsibly managing a budget of billions. And like some prime ministers before him, Abbott has been judged by voters as not having done a particularly sterling job in the first year of running his.
Like those predecessors, Abbott still has time to turn things around. But it will take him tapping into qualities that we have not yet seen present in the man.
The Queensland election offers the spectacle of a conservative government headed by a deeply unpopular leader facing off with a still-shellshocked Labor headed by an almost invisible opposition leader. It makes perfect sense to view these proceedings as a possible forbearer of the federal election to come.