The Liberal Party rank and file are the Howard Party, committed to the protection of strong social institutions and economic reform. If Turnbull wanted to be the voice of the minority of voters who identify as socially liberal and economically conservative, then he would be best to found his own party Don Chipp-style where he could have an influence in the Senate. Of course we all know that Turnbull joined the Liberal Party to become Prime Minister.
If Turnbull is willing to dismantle the Liberal brand for his own ego, how then is he any better than Bill Shorten? The truth is that Turnbull and Shorten are similar beasts. They were both celebrity candidates chosen for plum seats and earmarked for high office before they entered parliament. They both have powerful friends on both sides and they both climbed over the carcasses of more than one leader to get where they are.
The notion that Turnbull, a man who declared he would be Prime Minister regardless of which party he joined, is trustworthy while Shorten is unhinged is naive. Shorten is best summed up by Tony Abbott as being 'nothing if not a political pragmatist' and, if given the choice between introducing a radically left-wing agenda or gaining re-election, you can bet he'll go with the latter.
The Liberals had better check themselves before they wreck themselves. If the prospect of a Shorten government means focus-group driven policies, spin and deceit then the only alternative is authenticity, courage and principle.
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