Advertisement
Features

Australia purges another prime minister

Scott Morrison – a man unknown to almost half of Australians – has become the nation’s new prime minister.

911-Turnball-634
Scott Morrison: leading a country that doesn't recognise him

Scott Morrison a man whom almost half of Australians had never heard of, according to an April poll has become the nation's new prime minister, following a coup on Friday that saw the Liberal party dump Malcolm Turnbull and usher in Morrison by 45 votes to 40.

The "turmoil" has left Australians "stunned" by the "antics of their political class", says Roger Maynard in The Times. How could a "stable nation with a strong economy, low unemployment and abundant natural resources" get through six prime ministers in 11 years?

Advertisement - Article continues below

The electoral system is often blamed. General elections are held at least once every three years and voting is compulsory, leaving MPs "constantly twitchy about opinion polls". Unlike Labor MPs, who are subject to different rules, Liberal MPs can "sack their leader at any time". Perhaps Australians are "victims of our own success", says Richard Glover in The Washington Post.

With only "distant memories" of troubled times, "Australia has produced a political class free to indulge its own worst instincts". And with the rise of career politicians, a "hyper-partisan political culture" has evolved in which your job, not your constituency, takes priority, adds John Howard in the Financial Times.

There was also, however, a "serious policy issue", says Maynard. Turnbull's left-of-centre policies, particularly on climate change, upset right-wingers in his own party, who "foresaw oblivion" at next year's general election. His government's popularity had slumped, creating an opening for Turnbull's rival, Peter Dutton, to strike.

In the end, Dutton's "extreme views" cost him the job, but Morrison faces an uphill battle, says Jonathan Pearlman in The Daily Telegraph. Restoring party unity will be hard, and the ruling Liberal-National Coalition is "widely expected to lose the next election". In the meantime, the nation "finds itself ruled by another unelected leader".

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
South Africa faces a big economic storm
Emerging markets

South Africa faces a big economic storm

Recession hit South Africa has been the fifth-worst hit country in the world measured by the number of coronavirus cases. The local stockmarket has so…
7 Aug 2020
Is the bond market wrong about inflation?
Government bonds

Is the bond market wrong about inflation?

The bond rally suggests that markets are sanguine about inflation, but the gold rally suggests inflation is a real threat.
7 Aug 2020
The charts that matter: gold finally sets a new record high 
Global Economy

The charts that matter: gold finally sets a new record high 

As gold surges past its previous high, John Stepek looks at how it's affected the charts that matter most to the global economy.
1 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back
Income investing

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back

The value of dividends paid out by UK stocks has plummeted this year as companies “rebase” their payment policies. But things could soon start to look…
6 Aug 2020
Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?
Gold

Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?

With the price of gold shooting through $2,000 an ounce, the yellow metal looks unstoppable. Things are so bullish, even Aim-listed junior gold miners…
5 Aug 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?

MoneyWeek's latest "too embarrassed to ask” video explains what a real return is and why it's so important for investors.
5 Aug 2020