Last week was undoubtedly one of the most tumultuous seven days in Canberra, as the Liberal Party leadership challenge dominated the headlines and the minds of most Australians.
With Australians already distrustful of politics, Liberal Party infighting certainly did nothing to renew faith in the democratic system.
According to the survey gauging the growing impact of corruption on trust and confidence in government, 85 per cent of the respondents believe at least “some” politicians are corrupt and 18 per cent believe “most or all” are corrupt.
Around 62 per cent believe that politicians abuse their position to benefit themselves or their family, and trust and confidence in all levels of government fell last year to 46 per cent for federal and state levels and 51 per cent for local government.
“Continued slippage in the perceived integrity of federal officials clearly has a disproportionate effect on overall trust and confidence, nationwide,” said project leader Professor AJ Brown of Griffith University
Trust and confidence in politics took another hit last week.
As the leadership spill materialised, YourLifeChoices conducted a flash poll on who our members would like to see voted in as Liberal leader.
The results were surprising and may point to the fact that the Liberal Party is indeed out of touch with its constituents.
Although there were initially four potential leaders vying for the top job, once a petition of support for Peter Dutton was presented to Malcolm Turnbull, the former prime minister stood down, treating the petition as a vote of no confidence.
That left three: Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop.
Julie Bishop was the first to go, leaving Mr Morrison and Mr Dutton in the final round of voting.
We all know how that turned out.
Interestingly though, YourLifeChoices members did not agree with how these proceedings panned out.
When asked who would YourLifeChoices members vote for if they were in the party room, of the 954 who took part in the survey, 373 wanted Julie Bishop as the new PM (39 per cent), while 272 wanted Malcolm Turnbull to stay (29 per cent), 220 would have chosen Peter Dutton (23 per cent) and just 89 people were happy for Scott Morrison to be our new leader (nine per cent).
So, the least preferred option for the older Australians we surveyed is now the most powerful man in the country.
Once the smoke cleared from the leadership spill and Mr Morrison came out on top, we then asked our members if they thought he was the right choice. Unsurprisingly, if you take the first poll as a base, 52 per cent said ‘no’.
The latest Newspoll may also show the damage done by Liberal Party infighting, with the Liberals’ primary vote slumping to 33 per cent and the two-party preferred vote now 44–56 in favour of Labor.
While these results are a blight on the new PM’s first weekend on the job, YourLifeChoices’ members say he is still the preferred option over Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
When asked who YourLifeChoices members would prefer as Australia’s next prime minister, 54 per cent chose Mr Morrison over 46 per cent choosing Mr Shorten.
So, the numbers sway both ways, but more interesting were the responses from YourLifeChoices members about how they feel about the new leader and the state of Australian politics after this political fiasco.
The following comments are the various opinions of YourLifeChoices’ members and not that of the publisher. Some have been edited to keep to the point. If you would like to read all the comments made, head to our Scott Morrison becomes 30th Prime Minister thread.
“Next policy: corporate tax cuts! That’s not going away with this Government and it matters not who leads it. The really interesting observation will be if now that Turnbull is gone the Murdoch media will again go into propaganda mode to deny Labor government.” ~ MICK
“What a waste of energy, time and money, get on with the job of governing Australia, for the people. Bring on an election asap. This should not be allowed to happen, he was not voted in by the people.” ~ musicveg
“Good choice but would have preferred J-Bish.” ~ KIAH
“I don’t have a high opinion of politicians on a good day, but this has been disgraceful, and I think we need to tell them this has to stop. Maybe we should be able to have a say in who is the leader of the party. This is costing us all money and the focus should be on the big issues, not egotistical little boys throwing tantrums, which is basically what Turnbull did. Well now he has left himself with no choice, he has to go but I bet you he changes his mind!” ~ Ted Wards
“The people should decide this mess. We supposedly live in a democracy.” ~ Crowcrag
“What has gone down over the past week is disgusting! I sincerely hope that the Libs pay at the next election and it can’t come early enough. Bring it on!” ~ Robi
“Where’s the button for Penny Wong or Tanya Plibersek?” ~ jennyb
“This is a bigger argument, and the last people who deserve any say into our future are the Climate Deniers, which all of the Liberal Right wing are, who not only are technically insane, but don’t even care for their children, let alone our children.” ~ Lookfar
“Finally, the Liberal Party can move forward with more to the right. Back to its roots. Turnbull took the party too far to the left. Onwards and upwards and to the right!” ~ olbaid
“I am truly sorry Malcolm Turnbull was treated in this way by his colleagues. This shows sadly there is no place for centre right politics in the eyes of some. And if you have such tendencies you are turfed out. There is no doubt in my mind Julie Bishop is the best person for the job. None of the others have her global skills, her experience, her expertise in many areas and yes, her charm. Personal opinion: I have no doubt that the LNP will not lose many of their voting public because the majority of Australians have little regard for the Greens and Bill Shorten.” ~ Sophie
“What is needed is ‘good government’. We need intelligent policy based on what is best for Australia and Australians – decisions based on facts and evidence, and not influenced by private profit-priority/power-seeking interests. To achieve ‘good government’ we need all parties to be focused on coming together, and sometimes having to compromise to reach agreement i.e. not being divisive for the sake of point scoring. Both major political parties need to govern ‘together’ utilising respectful debate to win over their arguments. Such a government could possibly win back our respect. My concern, which is shared by all of my rational friends (both political party supporters), is that Tony Abbott and the out-of-touch far right will continue to disrupt any good policy going forward – good luck to you Scott Morrison – you’ll need it!” ~ Dollars over Respect
“I’d rather have an outspoken Dutton. At least he was and still is his own man. Far too many of these pollies today are there just for the perks lurks and retirement benefits.” ~ Warrior
“I would like to see any party in power who are in touch with the people of Australia, whose MPs don’t lie.” ~ Oldpom63
“Morrison conned Turnbull. He played his cards right, but let us not forget that as Treasurer, he was the architect of the big company tax cuts and could well resurrect them if the LNP is elected to government at the next election. He has also presided over ‘savings’ made from public institutions and welfare (bashing the less well off). In his time as Minister for Social Services he introduced legislation such as ‘wait for the dole’. Prior to that he was the very secretive Minister for Immigration and Border Protection who used phrases such as illegal immigrants to describe refugees arriving by boat, and has been in the spotlight for alleged breaches of human rights. Has this leopard changed his spots? And will the vultures from the extreme right wing of his party allow him a trouble-free run? The LNP is forever broken. I’m over them. The ALP will now get my vote for some time to come.” ~ The Black Fox
“Scott Morrison was the only solution to this et tu, Brute event. My dilemma is seeing my local member happily side with Peter Dutton. I have no say in who is Prime Minister, but I am very angry at the disloyalty of my own elected member. Given the Liberal Party can’t afford to lose one seat I wonder how many people feel as I do today.” ~ Rosret
“Both Morrison and Shorten are both very poor choices, in fact both Liberal and Labor (add Greens too) are bad choices for this country, especially for retirees – whom all three will attack.” ~ George
In all fairness to Mr Morrison, he may be well suited to the top job and we wish him well in his endeavours. Hopefully, he can restore some faith in our political system and over time, maybe even help with the plight of retirees.
And for all those who feel that Mr Morrison is not the best choice as our nation’s leader, we’ll leave you with Micha’s sentiment …
What do you think of last week’s drama? Has it changed your mind about your preferred party? Are you looking forward to the next election?