The Liberals this week suffered the most predictable polling slump in recent history. Not only did they annoy centrists by having a leadership spill at all but they then annoyed conservatives by enthroning “Top hat” Turnbull’s chosen successor Scott Morrison in preference to the more reliably right wing Peter Dutton.
It was the worst of all possible worlds. It’s clear that it is now up to “Scomo” to attempt to use what little time he has in the big chair to try to salvage the wreckage left over from the Turnbull disaster.
So what has he decided to do differently from his predecessor? What changes has he made to try and win back the conservative base alienated by Turnbull and snubbed by his election? What bold points of differentiation has he made from the ALP opposition to show that even if the Liberals have failed in government at least they offer an alternative view for the future?
Well none really.
The Morrison government has announced that it will resist any internal pressure by its members to walk away from its commitment to the Paris climate change deal. Which means both parties will go to the next election agreeing that global warming is a danger that requires Australia to cut Carbon Dioxide emissions with the only difference being that the Liberals say that instead of strangling our economy quickly we should do it slowly instead.
Both parties are also saying that despite over half the population wanting to drastically reduce immigration the current bipartisan policy of basing our entire economic plan for the future around the assumption of an infinite amount of immigrants forever is just fine.
Apparently all we need to do is build more infrastructure (as if we have the money) and encourage migrants to move to the countryside so that every small rural town can enjoy the same multicultural diversity that so enlivens the public life of Lakemba, Cabramatta, Flemington and Springvale.
Morrison is on the record as fully backing a large migrant intake in order to bolster GDP numbers and also genuflects before the same altar of misplaced multicultural pieties as Turnbull when it comes to the vast and rapid demographic changes that have rocked our society over the past few decades.
So in other words on the only issues that really matter the choice being presented to voters is between two parties with almost identical policies, only one is chaotic and full of messy public infighting and the other is relatively united and favoured by the media class.
I know Bill Shorten isn’t much of a religious man, but if I were him I’d go to church, light a candle and say a prayer of thanksgiving.
Then I’d start choosing curtains for the Lodge.