Elias Pelcastre

New Prime Minister, new Australia?

Today, in the House of Representative’s Question Time, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull’s position on same sex marriage was called into question by Hon. Tanya Plibersek of the ALP Party.

A bill on marriage equality had been moved by the member of Leichhardt before the House of Representatives. MP Plibersek stated that the matter would only take half an hour of parliamentary time to vote on the matter.

“…it could be done by tomorrow,” she stated.

Despite being vastly popular on his stance for same sex marriage, Turnbull announced that he would stick with the plebiscite currently in place, which will mean a public vote after the elections. Mr Turnbull’s decision to side with his coalition’s standing policy is widely divergent to his past opinions on the matter.

The same is to be said for his policies on climate change. Whilst previously being a staunch supporter for stronger and more comprehensive climate change policies, Malcolm Turnbull has also stated that he will stick with the current policies in place.

The current climate change action maintained that Australia should keep its climate change goal set for the Paris conference, despite the Climate Change Authority’s stance that the government should be more ambitious in their goals.

One would think that an outspoken promoter would calling for a more proactive way of tackling the issue of climate change.

This is reminiscent of the change in policy at the beginning of Tony Abbott’s term. In that former stances that have been strongly advocated for in public have suddenly changed upon elevation to the position of Prime Minister.

One has to ask – is Liberal the new Labor? Is Turnbull the new Abbott?

It was at 11:22pm on the 14 September, when Hon. Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, following the ‘Lib Spill’ vote. It was a vote conducted suddenly and behind closed doors to the public, who without prior warning to follow the events, woke up this morning to an entirely new Prime Minister.

This cloak and dagger effect from Parliament in what has been dubbed by the media as the “Canberra Games”, where the main sport is ousting sitting Prime Ministers, shows that there is a long way still to go in terms of stabilizing the government and reconciling inner party divides.

TODAY show host, Karl Stefanovic, asked “Have we the people become irrelevant in this place behind me? It’s called the House of Representatives,” speculating that the members of parliament were more concerned with representing themselves rather than the people of Australia in last night’s turn of events.

Will Malcolm Turnbull be able to build a comprehensive policy and stand by his previous views on the various issues that Australia faces such as marriage equality and climate change?

Will he stabilize the government as he intends to do and start to redirect the attention of the House of Representatives to the people of Australia?

Only time will tell, and Mr Turnbull has an expected full term of office to do it.

Photo from Sydney Morning Herald