11 votes

Leadership challenger Peter Dutton has asked for a second leadership spill and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused - ABC News (live thread)

7 comments

  1. Algernon_Asimov
    (edited )
    Link
    Malcolm Turnbull is currently speaking to the press. He's announced that he'll hold a party meeting tomorrow, with a leadership spill - and he, himself, will not be standing as a candidate in any...

    Malcolm Turnbull is currently speaking to the press. He's announced that he'll hold a party meeting tomorrow, with a leadership spill - and he, himself, will not be standing as a candidate in any ballot for the new leader of the Liberal Party. EDIT: He's waiting for a majority of Liberal MPs to sign a letter requesting the party meeting, but that's a foregone conclusion at this point.

    It's on!

    He says he plans to leave Parliament after he's no longer Prime Minister. He referred to something he's said before - that former Prime Ministers should not hang around in Parliament after they're voted out - and he made the remark that he sees no evidence that this is not true. Take that, Tony Abbott!

    6 votes
  2. [4]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Can someone provide some context for a poor confused American?

    Can someone provide some context for a poor confused American?

    5 votes
    1. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Where to start??? The Liberal Party currently holds government as the senior partner in a coalition with the National Party. As a condition of this long-standing coalition between the two main...

      Where to start???

      The Liberal Party currently holds government as the senior partner in a coalition with the National Party. As a condition of this long-standing coalition between the two main right-wing parties, the leader of the Liberal Party is automatically the Prime Minister and the leader of the National Party is automatically the Deputy Prime Minister whenever the Coalition is in government.

      However, the leadership of each party is purely an internal matter. The only people who vote for the leader of the Liberal Party are the Liberal Party members of Parliament (there currently 85 Liberal members of the federal Parliament). The "party room" (those 85 Liberal MPs) can get together at any time and vote for a new leader of their party.

      There are two main factions within the Liberal Party: the moderates and the conservatives. The current Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull, is a moderate. He deposed a conservative, Tony Abbott, a few years ago to become leader, as a result of an intra-party vote.

      The biggest sticking point between these two factions right now is climate change policy. The conservative faction is strongly against taking any action about climate change: many of them don't believe in anthropocentric climate change, and those that do believe in it also believe that the free market should take care of it. Meanwhile, the moderates believe that some action should be taken. This tension between the two factions has been going on for about a decade now, and has directly and indirectly led to Australia not taking any lasting action to stop climate change for that time.

      As Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has recently been proposing and negotiating a fourth-best scheme to act on energy policy and climate change (the first-best, second-best, and third-best schemes have already been scuttled over the past decade). This is a tricky process, requiring the agreement of the federal government, all six state governments, and the governments of the two self-governing territories. He nearly got there, but a small conservative rump in his own federal party room have dug their heels in and are fighting tooth-and-nail against anything which might reduce the free market's ability to mine and burn coal.

      This has now got to the point where the conservative faction are ready to remove Malcolm Turnbull as the leader of the Liberal Party and install a conservative leader - just to stop this climate change scheme. Tony Abbott, the former conservative leader, is electoral poison. Most of the Australian electorate hates him, which is one of the reasons that Turnbull was able to depose him as Liberal leader. Therefore, the conservative faction is lining up behind Peter Dutton, a senior minister, as their preferred candidate.

      Turnbull called a party meeting yesterday to try to put this issue to bed. In the party vote, he got 48 votes compared to Dutton's 33 votes. That's not a big enough margin for his opponents to consider that he has he confidence of the party, so they're now agitating for a second party meeting. In the meantime, some MPs who voted for Turnbull yesterday have seen the writing on the wall and have publicly announced that they're now supporting Dutton as leader of the Liberal Party.

      There's a surprise third candidate: another senior minister, Scott Morrison.

      Regardless: Malcolm Turnbull is now a dead Prime Minister walking. At the next party room meeting of Liberal MPs, he will be voted out.

      And, because the Liberal Party is the senior member of the governing Liberal-National Coalition, the new leader of the Liberal Party will become Australia's next Prime Minister (after going through some formalities with the Governor-General, who can not unreasonably withhold his approval of whoever the Parliament present him with as their leader).

      8 votes
    2. [2]
      Mindfury
      Link Parent
      Sorry, I was writing out a complete post that explained the conventions of Australian parliament and parties, but doing this at work and trying to keep up to date with the speed of new...

      Sorry, I was writing out a complete post that explained the conventions of Australian parliament and parties, but doing this at work and trying to keep up to date with the speed of new developments became futile and might get me in a bit of trouble tomorrow (I was writing for about half an hour and completely ignoring work).

      Considering that this will continue into tomorrow, I might write a primer on the whole thing tonight, borrowing heavily from @Algernon_Asimov 's post ITT if they're OK with it. Maybe could team up on it.

      2 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        My comment is public information. Do with it whatever you want. :)

        My comment is public information. Do with it whatever you want. :)

        3 votes
  3. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Even better: the government has now successfully adjourned the House of Representatives! I mean, it's only adjourning a few hours early of the planned adjournment at 5:00pm today, but still... the...

    Even better: the government has now successfully adjourned the House of Representatives! I mean, it's only adjourning a few hours early of the planned adjournment at 5:00pm today, but still... the fact that the government saw a need to avoid Question Time at 2:00pm speaks volumes.

    5 votes