EDITORIAL: Fatigue after week of playground politics

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media on appointments in his ministry, during a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard at Parliament House in Canberra on August 26.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media on appointments in his ministry, during a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard at Parliament House in Canberra on August 26.

If there’s one thing everyone across the political spectrum can agree on, it is that last week was one of an exhausting, yet mesmerising roller coaster of an experience. And the ride hasn’t stopped yet.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Libspill from which Scott Morrison emerged victorious as Prime Minister after a week of party infighting would cost taxpayers “millions of dollars”.

According to an analysis by Labor, this includes $45,000 from when the House of Representatives was adjourned on Thursday. We can all think of many other useful places that amount of money is needed. For example, the nurses’ union recently announced while there should be one nurse for every five patients at the South East Regional Hospital, there is often one nurse for every seven or eight patients. 

This is the type of matter that really concerns voters, not internal squabbles over leadership positions.

On the weekend Mr Morrison revealed his new cabinet, and it may surprise some that Peter Dutton, who resigned from his position in Home Affairs when he challenged Malcolm Turnbull, is back in the same ministry. Although his former super-portfolio will be split, with Mr Dutton focusing on cyber security, law enforcement, border protection and security agencies.

There is some poetry in this, that the man who twice asked those in his party to vote for him as PM – both times receiving support from patron senator for Eden-Monaro Jim Molan – is back in practically the same position he occupied before the saga began. 

The road ahead to the next election certainly looks to be a bumpy one for the Liberals, and Mr Morrison has an uphill challenge ahead of him to win back the population after his party’s performance. Because, after having six prime ministers in the last 11 years, the general public is tired of our major parties’ power struggles.

The most recent was summed up well by The Greens’ Senator Richard Di Natale, who had some choice words for the Liberal Party. 

“We’ve got people who can’t afford to pay their medical bills right now. We’ve got young people who are being priced out of an education. There are 100,000 people in this country who are homeless,” the senator said emotionally. 

“You are so focused on yourselves you have forgotten what the country elected you to do.” 

People suffering may wonder how they can ever manage to get their voice heard. 

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