You can sense Australian politicians – or at least a good number of them – fuming at being cobbled together with the counterparts of other states deemed less worthy of the tag of “stable”. Take, for instance, entertaining Italy, tenaciously temporary about its leaders. “We said,” reflected a rueful Senator Derryn Hinch of the Justice Party, “‘how often they change their governments, how often they changed their leaders, what a stupid country and how irresponsible.”
The Italy of the antipodes (without the colour); a state so obsessed with leadership change that it requires a session of bloodletting every two years or less. This is a country incapable of keeping stable governments, a state where the party system holds true over democratic instincts. The pack mentality of committing parricide has come to the fore again, with Malcolm Turnbull facing the last hours of his prime ministership.
Turnbull has fought, setting his own expectations before the coup plotters: show that there is enough support for a new leader. Forty-three signatures were required, thereby outing the plotters. (At this writing, the forty-third signature has been obtained.) For such anti-Turnbull figures as Senator Eric Abetz, this was simply poor form: how dare the Australian prime minister ask who was being disloyal?
The other demand from Turnbull was getting advice from the Solicitor General on the eligibility of his executioner-in-chief Peter Dutton to continue…