Turnbull’s Freshman Year as Australian Prime Minister

Oh Malcolm…

Should we be singing an ode to your successes on your first anniversary as Prime Minister or should you get you the new iWatch so you can keep an eye out for the time left on your place.

Apple has just launched its new iPhones in as many years but don’t forget Australia has had its fair share of new or second-hand Prime Ministers in the past decade too.

For Malcolm Turnbull the game is 1 to 3 against Bill Shorten having lost Jamie Briggs, Mal Brough and Stuart Robert from his frontbench due to scandal.

Perhaps the only win (or what could be considered more of an own goal by Labor) is Sam Dastyari’s resignation over the Chinese cash for comment scandal.

Even though Bill Shorten backed Sam Dastyari after knowing that the axe had to fall, it will not be as grim for Labor as it was for former Prime Minister Tony Abbott having foolishly stood by Bronwyn Bishop for over a fortnight.

The Coalition government will try to juice the Dastyai scandal for more than its worth but come next week, Australians will be asking what Malcolm Turnbull has actually done in a year.

Let’s be honest, not much really…

Having followed Australian Politics through successive Prime Ministerial changes, it’s hard to say that Turnbull has been the change maker that many voters expected him to be upon ousting Tony Abbott a year ago.

The Liberal Party says that some of its 2015 achievements include the ideas boom, regulating credit card surcharges and funding some public transport projects.

We have a government that seems to be lacking vision especially if it is strong on ideas and innovation.

Oh, let’s not forget the major Senate voting reforms that allowed Pauline Hanson to make her political comeback.

Most of the things that are listed as recent achievements of the Turnbull government are actually remnants of the Abbott government.

Let’s not forget that the Defence White Paper, Chinese Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the anti-domestic violence campaign and release of children from immigration detention commenced under Abbott.

It really seems that so far the Turnbull has been a talk-fest of ideas with little actual achievements.

We’ve seen talk and squabbling within Cabinet over taxation, superannuation, negative gearing, free speech and same-sex marriage.

Climate change seems to have fallen completely off the agenda despite Turnbull once being seen as a progressive leader on the issue.

Yes, it is fair to say that the public’s expectations of Turnbull were probably too high when he rolled Abbott but that cannot be the government’s reasoning for a lack of achievement.

If truth be told the Coalition government has succeeded in being further examples of poor federal leadership, opinion poll riders and short term thinkers.

Along with the thinest of majorities, a restless backbench with a conservative insurgency, a volatile Senate and lack of an inspiration agenda, we must ask did Turnbull just become to stop Bill Shorten from being Prime Minister?

Roydon Ng is a freelance journalist, blogger and web designer based from Sydney, Australia.

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