Recently someone on the radio described politics in Western democracies as typically becoming banal popularity contests and sloganeering exercises. The last days of parliament for the Turnbull government were not edifying. If Turnbull had not succeeded in passing his ABCC legislation, the reason for his double-dissolution election, his leadership would have been in ruins. The legislation passed, but we have an ABCC in name only, effectively a rebranding of the current regulator, the Fair Work Building and Construction.
While that was going on the government spectacularly failed to pass the backpacker tax legislation until rescued by the Greens. Ben Eltham is right in suggesting that a badly wounded government is limping to the long summer break. Continue reading Malcolm muddles through