Dear Malcolm, break the chain

Your popularity is in tatters, and your Prime Ministership is hanging by a thread.


I hate to go all schoolteacher on you, but you failed to live up to your potential. Big time!

I shouldn’t have to tell you this because you are no doubt paying advisers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to do this, but here is what you need to do, as soon as possible.

You need to call a press conference at Parliament House, and you need to stand up and … apologise.

Apologise for, and explain, the deal you cut to become Prime Minister. The deal that’s preventing you from governing in a manner expected of you.

You need to come clean on what you promised, and to whom.

Admittedly, we know you made a deal, and we have a pretty good idea what it is about, and with whom.

Nevertheless, you need to be frank with the Australian people. You must explain that you had cut that deal knowing Australia was in dire need of a new, competent leader, and you had done the only thing you could to help the nation, within the confines of our antiquated party political system.

Then you need to declare that the deal is over.

The deal is over because you realised you cannot govern for all Australians, and do what needs to be done while you are beholden to particular factions of your political coalition.

Factions that hold their own interests, and personal political glory, over and above the best interests of the nation.

Remember your words to Lenore Taylor of The Sydney Morning Herald in 2012, and try to live by them:

I am here to do things I think are worthwhile. I am always careful that the political positions I take are consistent with good policy. I would not want to be prime minister of Australia at any price.

You need to ask for the forgiveness of the Australian people for your mistake, and for their support to fight and overcome the factional powers of your party.

And remember, conservative politics do not, and should not, equal reactionary policies, nor cultural and social stagnation.

If you do the above, one of two things can happen.

You could finally start to govern the country in a manner we know you are capable of, and you could work on remaking this nation into a leading information economy, and a beacon of equality.

And this is not just about marriage equality.

This is about running our country competently and effectively.

This is about restructuring and growing our economy, addressing climate change, dealing with our offshore detention centres and immigration policies generally, improving our social cohesion, and advancing our culture, in a manner that will benefit all Australians in the long-run.

Your popularity would soar. The disagreeable factions of your party would have to swallow the bitter pill of losing their political gambit. But, as all good politicians, they would most likely go along grudgingly, because they all know which side their bread is buttered on.

The Labor opposition and the minor players in the Senate may resist you. But if you do the right thing by the Australian people, the Australian people would take care of you at the next election.

You could go down in history as one of Australia’s best, and longest-serving, Prime Ministers – and we desperately need one of those.

Of course, the people you would have walk away from to do all this could instead be infuriated, and conspire to get rid of you as leader almost immediately, to replace you with someone who will continue to tow their line. That would be a calculated, and very realistic, risk.

You would still be the winner though, even in that scenario, because you would go down as the man who, eventually, stood up for his principles and came clean with the Australian people, and was undone by unscrupulous, self-interested factional hacks – and finally, it would be officially on the public record who those people are.

You would practically be guaranteed legendary status in the history of Australian politics, but your party would probably lose the next election – spectacularly.

But at least this circus of a revolving door of ineffective leaders, started by the Labor party a few years ago, would hopefully be brought to an abrupt end.

And it must be brought to an end in the national interest.

My firm belief is that to be a successful leader in 2015 – perhaps at any time – you have to be able to bring people with you by respecting their intelligence in the manner you explain things.
Transcript: Vote on the Liberal Party Leadership, Malcolm Turnbull (15 September 2015)

If you can’t do what needs to be done – do the country a favour and resign, because Australia needs leadership, not another three years of whatever what’s happenig right now is.

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