A double dissolution is the only answer

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The Turnbull Rap (image courtesy @rkeyserling)

Instead of getting off to a roaring start for 2016, Malcolm Turnbull is limping into the New Year, crippled by the #malevolent forces within his government and more bad judgement on his part. Historian David Gibson says a double dissolution is the only answer.  

FEDERAL PARLIAMENT is now having its Christmas-New Year recess though, for its protoganists, it is anything but a recess and an unexpected joy for "political tragics".

We can say that stellar personal approval ratings notwithstanding, the Turnbull honeymoon is well and truly over and with memories rekindled of the Liberal Party blood-letting of earlier generations; TV’s The Killing Season is at best looking like one of those "careful what you wish for" moments.

In the upheaval that has followed the creation of a Turnbull Government (for it has all the signs of a seismic after shock), the question being asked of the wise heads in Canberra is…how has this all gone wrong?

For Malcolm Turnbull, where corpuscles compete with votes to maintain his political animal persona, he has failed his first test, viz. his political antennae is broke! After all, just how many political ambushes can one survive?

Firstly did defeated PM Tony Abbott retire gracefully to the "back bench" or, better still, retire from politics. He did not! Did his demoted Ministers accept the umpire’s decision and move on. They did not! Tony Abbott needs to be offered a Life Peerage…and quickly and, in case you are wondering, he would not be the first!

Then there is stood-aside Minister Brough. Just who was it who appointed a man with very public and unresolved baggage to his Ministry? Malcolm did! And then there is the Madfarlane matter. Who had the political naivety to remove a Minister with a catholic knowledge of his portfolio who had remained religiously silent to all other matters outside said portfolio, and not even sense that aforementioned dumped minister would try to appear in another shade of Conservatism? Malcolm did!

And now the overweeningly ambitious Minister Briggs has fallen on his sword and my political nose tells me that – try as the Turnbull Government might seek to shut down further debate – there is more of this story to come.

With Christmas meant to be a time of bonhomie and goodwill, at least two of these political crises (both of Malcolm’s making) will continue to fester, gnawing away at his once unenviable political judgement and there is but one way – the only way – in which he can bring it to a stop and that is a double dissolution of the Parliament. A trigger or triggers must be found.

Yes, there will be collateral damage. Good men and women will be swept aside but for Malcolm Turnbull, he is determined that the "born to rule" mentality that is his very raison d'étre will prevail. For a man who once considered giving it all away, this is, after all, not the way it is supposed to end.

You can follow David's blog Talking History with David Gibson or follow him on Twitter @BrisHistory.

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