Whether one chooses to call the current state of play democracy or its warped and shadowy cousin, something in Australian politics will have to give in 2015: either the Government’s hardline approach to economic reform, Labor and the Greens’ equally uncompromising style, or the crossbenchers’ hold on the balance of power.
Abbott’s reshuffle may superficially appear to be a reset in preparation for 2015, but in reality it is more about the PM’s paranoia and tenuous leadership than it is about his Government’s rejuvenation.
Having fulfilled its obligation to produce the MYEFO, and reached a shared understanding with economic and other commentators about the state of the budget, the Government must now set about the task of crafting its second budget.
Whether it has been solving the mystery of the missing parliament house cafeteria pool tables in Senate Estimates, giving the Coalition grief in Parliament, or working tirelessly to rid his own party of the scourge of corruption, Faulkner has earned the respect of many political operators and observers.
Through hubris and a seeming inability to get the politics right on pretty much anything, Abbott has managed to destroy any chance of his PPL policy ever seeing the light of day. Even more concerning is that the PM’s poor political instincts may also hinder the development of future childcare policy.