Fast Lane: A sad case of political attention deficit disorder

Fast Lane: A sad case of political attention deficit disorder

So #LibSpill is over for now, almost as quickly as it began.

Tony Abbott knighted Prince Philip on Australia Day and next thing you know he was about to lose his grip as prime minister.

“It’s on!” they said, but this morning the Liberal party room voted by 61 votes to 39 to retain Abbott as prime minister.

It was hardly a resounding victory for our shirt-fronting Prime Minister and the numbers suggests his tenure is now terminal.

There wasn’t even a definite challenger here.

This was a case of 61 votes for Abbott and 39 votes for nobody.

Ouch.

If I was a betting woman I’d be pretty confident that there will be another #LibSpill soon and this time Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop will actually square off against Abbott.

It’s worth remembering that back when Kevin Rudd challenged Julia Gillard in February 2012, Gillard won easily: 71 to 31.

Fast forward a few months with Gillard languishing in the polls and Rudd was back in the prime ministerial hot seat.

Grab the popcorn. If you’re interested in politics it’s sure to be entertaining and it gives those of us in the media plenty to write about.

But it’s not good news for Australia and it’s certainly not good news for the economy.

All this uncertainty is the last thing consumers and businesses need. 

We don’t want thrills and #LibSpills.

We had enough political switcheroos with Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. 

Business confidence is already low enough and continued leadership instability will play into this. 

Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business of Australia, told SmartCompany last week, small business owners are “lost for words” and “almost in shock that after years of leadership speculation [under the previous government], we’re seeing the same thing all over again”.

His words were echoed today by the Australian Retailers Association’s Russell Zimmerman who issued a statement calling on the government to regain focus and get on with the job of doing business.

“We need a sound economic path that improves productivity and certainty and it is imperative that the government learns from today’s events and does all it can to restore stability,” Zimmerman said.

“The ARA asks that the economy and small business are put at the forefront of the government’s action plan, and we also ask that the Senate does all that it can to assist with legislation processes moving forward.”

What we have at the moment is political attention deficit disorder where changing prime ministers has moved to an annual event.

What we want (and need) is solid, unremarkable, boring government.

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