Prime Minister Gillard’s Christmas
There is nothing to depress Prime Minister Gillard in the political landscape as the year ends. The alarums and excursions in the parliament …that’s what happens living without a majority. Every week in a hung parliament has the potential for a blow-up, a mini- crisis. But this brings Tony Abbott no closer to an early election or a handing-over of the baton. And his task of maintaining backbench morale is even more acute than her’s, given the restless impatience of the Liberal party room and its jostling personalities like Robb, Hockey, Turnbull.
As I’ve argued before, the danger to the government of inaction – for example, on climate change – is going to be greater for the most part than the danger of perceived inaction. To go down to defeat fighting for some policies Whitlam-style would be one thing. To be cast out of office by a contemptuous electorate because they thought you stood for nothing would represent a long-term problem in the very survival of a Labor Party.