Tony Abbott stays. Not happy Jan.

angryI just watched Phillip Ruddock announce that the Spill motion in the Cabinet was defeated in a secret ballot. Quite substantially too. So the Mad Monk stays.

For those unfamiliar with Australia politics, the Prime Minister is not chosen by the electorate. He, or she is chosen by either the Coalition Cabinet [Liberals] or the Caucus [Labor]. The Cabinet [and Caucus when Labor is in power] is made up of those elected representatives who have been invited to ‘front bench’ positions in the Ministry – i.e. positions of power such as Treasurer, Foreign Minister etc.

As the Cabinet [and Caucus] elect the Prime Minister, they are also capable of unelecting the Prime Minister. One way of doing this is to call for a Spill motion. Essentially this means that a majority of Cabinet Ministers are dissatisfied with the current Prime Minister and vote to have the position opened up.

If the Spill motion succeeds, anyone is free to put their hand up as a potential Prime Minister [including the current one]. Cabinet then has another vote to decide which of the possible candidates will be the next Prime Minister. And sometimes, the previous Prime Minister ends up being re-elected to the position.

Sadly, this particular Spill motion was defeated. As a Labor voter I’d far rather see Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister than Tony Abbott, but for the moment at least, we don’t get a say in the matter.

Fortunately for us, I don’t believe this Spill motion will be the end of the matter. When one third of the Coalition government is unhappy with the Prime Minister, that discontent doesn’t go away just because the other two thirds dig their political heels in.

My prediction is that after a period of ‘walkee lightly lightly’, Tony Abbott is going to go back to being just the way he has always been. After all, why shouldn’t he? Didn’t he defeat the Spill motion?

As discontent builds, both in the Coalition and in the electorate, things will come to a head again. We saw it with the Rudd/Gillard debacle, and I believe we’ll see it again in the Abbott government. Either way I can’t see Abbott’s government being voted back in at the next election.

cheers on this sunny Monday morning,


p.s. and for younger Aussie readers, the ‘Not happy Jan’ came from a very funny, and very popular TV commercial. The phrase sort of crept into the national lexicon for a while. For us oldies, it’s still there. 🙂


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

14 responses to “Tony Abbott stays. Not happy Jan.

  • Stephanie Allen Crist

    A minority of voters tried to oust Governor Walker a few years back. It was a really expensive campaign that failed to oust the governor. Then, when the election came ’round again, they thought for sure they could “lick ’em” in the regular election, but once again they failed.

    In contemporary politics, it’s easy to confuse LOUDNESS and FREQUENCY with size. This is a myth that is perpetuated by contemporary media, at least in the U.S. But being loud frequently doesn’t change the fact that you’re a minority group, especially if all your frequent loudness is based on self-interest that doesn’t appeal to (or actually offends) the majority of voters. (Basically, what happened is that Governor Walker stood up to unions that considered themselves “untouchable” and he won.)

    I’m not saying that the situation is the same for you, but if you want to get enough of the other 2/3rds on board with the change you want to see, then you have to make it relevant to them.


    • acflory

      It always boils down to self interest, doesn’t it? Time will tell where there true self interest lies.


      • Stephanie Allen Crist

        I don’t think it’s purely a matter of self-interest; it’s more a matter of relevance. If it were simply self-interest, then programs to support those who would otherwise live in extreme poverty wouldn’t exist. While it’s in the self-interest of a society to provide for all members, it’s not necessarily in the self-interest of individual tax-paying members of the society to support programs that achieve that end.

        Relevance is a different thing. You make something relevant by connecting it to their lives and their interests; a parallel instead of a direct connection works almost as well as appealing to the direct connection that addresses self-interest.


  • EllaDee

    Apparently “good government starts now”… Bloody Tony and his gang simply keep talking the talk… It brings to mind an aberrant husband who makes all the promises in the world that sound good, when caught out tells everyone what they want to hear, and keeps doing what he pleases. And the “family” who don’t want a scandal keep covering for him. Australia has become a dysfunctional family rather than a democratically governed nation!
    I do like your crafty idea to keep Tony as leader so he can be voted out… I just don’t know if I can stand it that long. I may have to disconnect myself from the media for the duration.


  • Lily Lau

    Thank you for the Happy Jan explanation, made me wonder for some minutes till I found it!


  • metan

    Aaargh! I was listening to the news, hopeful, then blah. Bloody Tony, still clinging on. I think we all know he’s just going to keep doing what he wants, just not announcing it as a ‘Captains Pick’ anymore. He’d already promised to be more consultative a long time ago but that didn’t seem to take effect.

    Even though we don’t have a presidential system he keeps telling us he’s the leader who was elected! No, the people in his electorate elected him, we all voted for some person representing our local area! I wonder what the outcome of the election would be if we’d been called upon to vote for a party AND a leader within that party?


    • acflory

      “I wonder what the outcome of the election would be if we’d been called upon to vote for a party AND a leader within that party?”

      Yes! The Libs would not have gotten in, that’s what would have happened. Mind you, I have no idea who would have gotten in, but still.

      I’m actually taking this as a good sign that Tony will keep the electorate hating him right up to the election. Am I mean? mwahahahaha!


      • metan

        They still might have got in, I expect there were many people who voted against his personality, rather than for any policies.

        I hate that they give us a pile of policies coming up to an election, then say because they were voted in the people clearly agree with every one of them. We might not agree with any of their policies, but there might be something from the other guys we can’t agree with at all. We know it is all false promises anyway…. Grrrrr…..

        I don’t think he’ll last too much longer, he will stumble again soon (his submarine promise maybe) and the edge of the cliff is already crumbling under his feet. I’m just waiting for the “aaaaaaah” SPLAT.


  • davidprosser

    I heard part of his speech from beforehand where he said the Australian people don’t like political upset and prefer stability and this had started over something silly. I wasn’t sure whether it was a plea to the electorate or perhaps an attempt to sway the Government. I’m certain there will have been some political favours done and there will probably be some new names in Ministerial posts soon.
    Like you I doubt is party will get another chance, or certainly not under him.
    I’m certain Gordon Brown replacing Tony Blur here as an unelected P.M. helped make sure Labour went out at the elections.Good Riddance. I hope you get rid of the thorn in your side in due course..
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


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