Abbott Ousted But Australian Progressives Declare: ‘Nothing Has Changed’
Though progressives and opposition parties it changes very little on the issues that matter, a revolt within the conservative Liberal Party today has resulted in the ouster of Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott as one of his top cabinet ministers, Malcolm Turnbull, took over leadership of the nation’s ruling coalition.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday. By a vote of 54-44, Abbott was voted out of power by his own conservative Liberal Party. Photo credit: Alex Ellinghausen
After letting Abbott know he would challenge him directly for the PM seat just hours before, Turnbull ultimately claimed victory after winning 54-44 in a dramatic leadership ballot in the capital of Canberra.
— Scott Ludlam (@SenatorLudlam) September 14, 2015
Though a multi-millionaire former banker and a prominent member of Australia’s conservative establishment, Turnbull’s ascent to leadership is seen as a rejection of Abbott’s most reactionary and far-right tendencies, especially on social issues, human rights and need to act more boldly on the impacts of human-caused global warming. As the News.com in Australia reports:
While Mr. Abbott was considered one of the most socially conservative Australian prime ministers in decades, Mr. Turnbull has been criticized within his own party for not being conservative enough.
Unlike Mr. Abbott, Mr. Turnbull supports gay marriage, wants Australia to replace the British monarch with an Australian president as head of state and backs a policy of making polluters pay for their carbon gas emissions.
However, despite some of those tendencies, Turnbull indicated in remarks delivered after his victory that he would largely maintain the party’s right-wing policy positions ahead of next year’s national elections.