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The Masked Liberal: Dissolution? make mine a double

The Masked Liberal: Dissolution? make mine a double

Friday 22 April, 2016
Winter is coming. But before that happens, we might have a new PM. Or at least the new-old one. What lies ahead is 70-odd days of the dirtiest jousting of all. Election politics.
The story starts here...

I’d have welcomed this two months ago, primarily because it would have been a gentlemanly pursuit and not the three o’clock at the flagpole schoolyard squabble it now is. But here we are. Dissolution is correct, and make mine a double.

Only Alanis Morrisette could grasp the irony as our political Lazarus was defied by a politician named Lazarus. Cruel reality has thrust the broom handle into the spokes of Turnbull’s fixie. The juxtaposition (ha! big word!) between Malcolm’s canonisation, where he could no wrong, to the seventh circle of political hell, as a carbon copy of the “devil incarnate,” has been stark. As the paint on the mask has peeled somewhat, those who listened to him now don’t, because they feel their expectations have not been met. Palms under jaws have moved to fingers in ears.

What will power this election is desperation. Bill Shorten will strive to be what he never was, a viable option, and Turnbull must regain what he was: the only option. But therein lies the solution. While Labor may best the Libs, Shorten won’t best Turnbull. In the months since the spill, while the preferred party lead has dwindled back to even, the preferred PM barometer has stayed strictly Mal.

As Turnbull should have called the election sooner, Labor should have replaced Shorten.

If Labor were to replace Shorten at this late juncture, it’d be a bold move, one that might make them a) less stable or b) to be seen as less stable. As my roommate/nemesis “Labor Boy” points out, many Laborians are proud of their comparative stability.

But as the Google points out: from pride, comes the fall.

Under that logic, the man Malcolm has to beat, is himself. While he can easily keep Bill at bay via a hand on his forehead, he must delicately repair the mirror with the other.

Which will be a tricky proposition, as evidenced by the vitriol toward Turnbull’s recent moves. Not just the ABCC reform but his tax reform plot and the jet speed rail link between Sydney and Brisbane. All have been met with an “I’m not listening” shake of the head. Turnbull needs to overcome the “yeah whatever” nonchalance of an electorate who now just want to see two schoolkids punch on.

But that same audience still mostly votes with their gut, or by personality. If it comes down to whoever can present their point better, it’ll be Billiam who’ll have to explain the ripped shirt to mum.

“Surely not, Masked Liberal,” you may (or may not) yell. “We’ve learned a lot in the last eight months,” you may state. “We now see him for who he really is,” you may conclude.

Perhaps, but yeah, nah. What worked for Malcolm will work again.

How? Think of it this way. While people have been burnt by Malcolm, he has that strange ability to have you let him burn you again. He’s that one partner you keep going back to. The dangerous one. The one you can never hold, but long for the challenge. The one that you know will hurt you, and do it anyway. Bill Shorten is the safe partner you date years later, and wonder why you didn’t earlier. “He seemed wrong at the time!” How would you rather spend your time? A series of exciting impossible dates, where you work to disappoint him, or the ho-hum, “you’re amazing” usual-place platitudes, where you smile, but think of the ex in bed?

You can always settle later on.

See you on July-whatever.

Masked Liberal, awaaayyyy!

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