Australia’s Liberal Party ousts Tony Abbott

Timothy Kincaid

September 14th, 2015

TurnbullTony Abbott’s determined refusal to allow Liberal Party member to support a marriage equality bill is but one indicator of a managerial style that grated on fellow members and lost the respect of the public. And finally, Abbott’s power has broken. This morning the Liberal parliamentarians replaced Abbott as their party leader with Malcolm Turnbull, by a 54 to 44 vote. Upon being sworn in, Turnbull will become the 29th Prime Minister of Australia.

Turnbull (himself previously ousted as party leader by Abbott in 2009) is considered to be much more moderate than Abbott. He has indicated his support for same sex marriage and had called for a conscience vote in the last marriage effort. But what this means for marriage equality in Australia is, as yet, uncertain. (Guardian)

Malcolm Turnbull has promised a new prime ministerial style respecting the intelligence of the Australian electorate and explaining necessary policy changes after winning the Liberal leadership from Tony Abbott in a party room ballot by 54 votes to 44.

But Turnbull said the substance of the Coalition’s climate change policy and its pledge to hold a national plebiscite on marriage equality would not change. He declined to nominate policies that would be altered without first consulting colleagues because he was determined to restore a “thoroughly traditional cabinet government”.


September 14th, 2015

I think I am beginning to get the hang of this. Since his position is dependent on a majority in parliament, and his party only has majority through a coalition, and since the coalition party is against equality, Turnbull has to play politician and not rock the boat too much too soon, or he’ll end up in the same place as Abbott and Abbott’s predecessor. And since he was Abbott’s predecessor, he would have learned whatever lessons he needed to be an even better (read sleazier) politician. Not that people’s rights should be held hostage by politics or public vote, but I’m guessing LGBT Australians would seek marriage equality through some better means if they had it.


September 14th, 2015

The Liberals are worried that Abbott as the face of the party will hurt them in the next election. I personally hope that the Liberals lose and Labour gets a majority in the next election.


September 15th, 2015

Same question as with Grover Cleveland: what idiot decided, and on what grounds, that holding the same office more than once means you get counted as more than one officeholder?

Timothy Kincaid

September 15th, 2015


Turnbull was previously leader of the Liberal Party. However, that party was not in power at the time so he was not Prime Minister.

Mark F.

September 15th, 2015

If he allows a conscience vote on marriage equality, it will pass.


September 15th, 2015

Well, unsurprisingly Turnbull is going to force Australia to spend almost $140 million rather than let the MPs vote on equality. It shouldn’t be up to a vote, but it looks like he made some political promises not to allow a conscious vote which would have splintered the coalition. Frankly, I want to see the Liberals squashed even harder in the next election.

Mark F.

September 15th, 2015

If it has to be a vote, so be it. We won Ireland, we can win Australia.

Timothy Kincaid

September 15th, 2015

It’s always a vote.

Someone votes, whether it’s the populace, the legislature, or a panel of judges.


September 16th, 2015

Timothy K – I’m pretty sure Mark F. means a vote of the people or populace as you wrote. It was the populace that voted in Ireland and it makes me conclude that this is what Mark was getting at. In another news article I read it was pointed out that the PM will let the populace vote.

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2015


Yes a plebiscite was proposed under Tony Abbott. We were hoping that Turnbull would allow for an open vote in parliament but it looks as if, for now, that’s off the table.

And I realize that it appears as though I was arguing with Mark. That wasn’t my intent. I was just thinking that we sometimes say that our rights shouldn’t be up for a vote… but it’s always a vote by someone. It could have been said better.

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