Malcolm and The People: Home after the honeymoon

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Memes circulating about Malcolm Turnbull's rudderless Government

The honeymoon is over and the Australian people are now back home, looking sideways at their smarmy new gadabout spouse, writes managing editor Dave Donovan.

LAST WEEK, we saw Newspoll move to 50-50 two party preferred Federally. Apparently.

Of course, I always take polls run by Rupert Murdoch with a veritable boulder of salt. But nevertheless, the honeymoon is over and the Australian people are now back home, disconsolately unpacking their bags, in a big house, looking askance at their smarmy new gadabout spouse, who is flitting hither and tither, and doing nothing of any consequence.

Despite this, I expect the next Newspoll to show, quite counter-intuitively, despite the disunity and chaos we have seen this last week, a small rebound for the Government. We've seen this script before.

Murdoch, doubtless, would much rather see his former employee, Abbott, in power, rather than a former competitor.

I say "former" employee, although some may say current. Abbott, of course, still writes for The Australian; still doing his bumbling best to burnish his busted legacy, cause trouble for Turnbull and, perhaps, plot a course back to the Lodge. Dog help us if he succeeds; but surely – surely! – he will not.

Speaking of succeeding, the Opposition have been quite successful in presenting a coherent, sensible tax policy in recent days. There is no doubt the Australian property market Ponzi scheme needs to be dismantled and the endless list of Australian tax rorts removed.

Labor have also, I think sensibly, opposed the changes to voting rules in the Senate, which are supported by The Greens and Nick Xenophon, meaning they are a near certainty to be passed, unless something quite unanticipated happens. Whilst no-one wants to see more table-cloth ballots, a great many people do not vote for the major parties and they are likely to be effectively disenfranchised by this change. There has to be a better way.

Of course, if the voting changes do go through, Turnbull will be obliged to call a double dissolution election. That's because he won't be able to get legislation through the Senate for three years with a cross crowd of crossbenchers blocking his every move. That double dissolution looks likely to be called for July 2. 

One person who won't be contesting that big double D election is Ashbygate AFP investigatee Mal Brough, who announced that he had decided not to recontest his seat of Fisher on the Sunshine Coast.

Sydney bureau chief and book author Ross Jones suspects he was sacked. Perhaps.

But still, I wonder whether perhaps there is big Ashbygate news in the pipeline. A charge from the AFP, maybe? We live in interesting times — and in hope.

You can follow managing editor Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz.

Get up to date on the Ashbygate saga with Ross Jones brilliant investigative exposé. Find out more about the Ashbygate book at independentaustralia.net/ashbygate-book.

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