Turnbull has Deserted Us

Turnbull has Deserted Us, by Janet Albrechtsen.

Here’s another shameful ­ad­mis­sion in the diary of a political orphan. At the recent local council elections in my electorate that fall within Malcolm Turnbull’s federal seat of Wentworth, I registered a donkey vote. First time ever. Last time? Maybe not.

The Turnbull government has deserted conservative voters like me. The Prime Minister rarely talks about fiscal repair, and when he mentions “Liberal values” there’s no meat on the bones of that phrase. Important areas such as welfare reform are of no interest to him. Turnbull had to be cajoled into ending subsidies for renewable energy. … By snubbing sound and sensible centre-right policies, Turnbull has snubbed the Liberal membership base, too. His perfunctory performances at fund­raisers and crabbiness when grassroots members want a selfie with him only compounds his disconnect from the party.

In 1996 centre-right voters, many of them working class, felt abandoned by Paul Keating’s big-picture embrace of symbolic agendas and moved to John Howard and the Liberal Party. Eleven years later, many voters who enjoyed the economic prosperity and cultural leadership of Howard grew complacent, decamping to Kevin Rudd and Labor because Rudd promised to be Howard-lite. Today there’s nowhere for political orphans to go except to the fringe or to the donkey. …

On Wednesday morning Turnbull gloated about a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage plebiscite, ­refusing to pay due respect to more than 4.8 million voters, who included Liberal members, who voted No and paid lip-service to freedom of belief.

hat-tip Stephen Neil