Oh. My. God.

December 1, 2009 at 12:24 am (Uncategorized)

I simply DO NOT believe it. Wow. Tony Abbott – arch conservative – has just been elected leader of the Liberal Party, ousting Malcolm Turnbull by one vote. Joe Hockey was knocked out in the first round of voting. I don’t believe it! Are the Libs OUT OF THEIR PANICKED MINDS??? Look, I don’t really believe most people in Australia vote along traditional party lines anymore – certainly not in my age group – particularly not as the differences between the two parties have contracted in their ongoing fight to win ‘the hearts and minds’ of that big, amorphous, easily distracted slush of ‘Middle Australia.’ But I do think this one will divide ’em and divide ’em good. I wouldn’t vote for Tony Abbott if he were the only politician in the race. I believe pretty strongly the man’s a hypocrite as well as a bit of a nut. I am floored. I thought Hockey and Turnbull were the two genuine contenders; I didn’t take Abbott seriously for one second, and this leadership victory is like waking up in a deeply unpalatable parallel universe. I need to go wash my hands.

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10 Comments

  1. woo said,

    I confess to still not being properly au fait with Aussie politics, but judging by the reactions to this news in the office here, Tony Abbott is a shock result. And not a pleasant one.

  2. doctordi said,

    Woo, a shock result, all right. I am REELING. And not in a way that’s like dancing.

  3. Jenny said,

    I’m floored too. Absolutely stunned. But I also think it’s the best thing that could have happened. The fools have just consigned the Libs to long-term electoral oblivion. And almost certainly handed the Greens balance of power in the Senate after the election. Then Wong will be negotiating to toughen the ETS, not to water it down. The whole Liberal leadership soap opera has been quite mesmerising, and I’ve found myself trawling the internet for analysis. Oops. Better go. Lateline’s coming up!

    • doctordi said,

      Jenny, I see the ETS was defeated in the Senate today; it’s going to be very, very interesting to see how this plays out.

      Personally I think former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke has the quote of the hour. When asked what kind of Liberal leader he thought Tony Abbott would make, Hawke had one word: “Temporary.”

      It’s still cracking me up.

  4. Fugitive Pieces said,

    Well, I laughed, with a side helping of “WTF?” Australia makes English politics look faintly restrained and sensible. It’s not like the Libs ever had my vote, or are ever likely to. (One of my greatest joys post-election was getting hammered on whisky with Malcolm Fraser and telling him that John Howard had made me profoundly ashamed to be Australian. From the look on his face, he’d heard the line before. In fact, people were probably bailing him up in the street daily to tell him that. Ah well…if you’re going to be a boring drunk, bend the ear of someone who still feels a professional obligation to listen politely.)

  5. doctordi said,

    Fugitive, I nearly sprayed coffee all over the screen when the news headline came up yesterday – I am still in shock. No, they’ve never had my vote either, but if you look at Malcolm Fraser’s own thoughts on what the Liberal Party was formed/is supposed to represent, philosophically I find I’m not diametrically opposed, I have always believed in individual responsibility and in the importance of individual endeavour. And yet I also see that the Union movement was created out of a very real need to protect workers and limit exploitation; of course, those same efforts have resulted in a certain complacency in some Union-protected quarters, and some situations are now being exploited by the workers themselves. I would cite Sydney Ferries as a prime example of this. Oh, and the fact that Tony Abbott was one of Howard’s most fawning fans really says it all. It’s putting me off my dinner, all this Dark Age reminiscing…

  6. Fugitive Pieces said,

    Yup, you’ve pretty much summed up my (very hazy) thoughts on politics. We’re both clearly Centrists. What I find interesting about Malcom Fraser is the number of people who still hold a grudge post-Whitlam in 1975. I might have maintained my rage more impressively, had I been born a little earlier than 1974. It’s hard to get exercised about the political outrages that happened before you were potty-trained – mind you, I can get pretty bloody angry about the decisions made in the First World War, so go figure…

  7. doctordi said,

    Fugitive, I’m just sooooo disillusioned by politics and politicians in general these days. As a group, they depress me maybe more than any other single section of society. Yeah, the lingering Whitlam rhetoric is really fascinating… I grew up being told by one adult relative that he was a hero while another really wanted to have him lynched. Maybe you have my centrist roots right there.

    But people of a certain age still talk about him a lot, and always with either great fear and loathing or a kind of reverential awe. No one is indifferent. And I read a story in The Australian yesterday that went so far as to suggest Abbott is going to deliberately invoke the Whitlam era as an election strategy, by comparing Rudd’s spending with Whitlam’s and, you know, beating the particular drums that so terrify the demographic whose collective memory of Whitlam is of something verging on demonic.

    Crazy stuff. I also get really angry about WWI, particularly that bit about our young men and others being used as live bait, sent to their deaths by British generals casually moving their little colonial pawns about the board, safe in their tents and far from the Front. It still makes me sick.

  8. jactaylor said,

    I kind of like the result. Krudd should be feeling pretty secure right now, and he’s such a nice boy. That $9 haircut seems all the more charming. And, after all, like many of my fellow Australians, I wouldn’t vote for Tony Abbott if the world were flooded with piss and he lived in a tree.

  9. doctordi said,

    Unbelievably, Madam Jac, I’ve never seen “Krudd” before – this is a most unfortunate nickname… $9 – geez, is that seriously what a bowl costs these days….?!

    Abbott, piss, tree: quite.

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