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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Trouble In The Liberal Party; Turnbull to Nelson: Toughen Up

Posted by Atilla89 on December 1, 2007

Apparently, Brendan Nelson, Leader of the Opposition Party, gave a very depressing speech when he was given leadership to the party (read the whole thing from The Australian here). Indeed, one Liberal MP describes it as:

It was the most depressing, downbeat thing,” one MP said. “Talk to anyone in the partyroom; his speech in the partyroom was unbelievable. His voice was breaking. It was a very strange thing. He burst into tears. We were horrified that he sounded like that. If you gave a speech like that in your first press conference, well, these things define you. He couldn’t do that again. If he talks like that again it’s all over.”

I find this very interesting, simply for the fact that earlier I had said that I thought Turnbull would be best for the Liberal Party because he is more moderate (and the public have shown a shift to the more moderate parties/left side of the political spectrum) and because he has that much more charisma. This helps him to look like a leader and a candidate for Prime Minister. Of course it was not to be. Anyway, apparently, Malcolm was quite angry at Nelson because of this speech.

Turnbull was not. “That speech was funereal,” the multi-millionaire MP exploded, attacking Nelson’s rather sombre acceptance of the Liberal leadership. “You can’t do that again. You have to sound like the coach at half-time talking to a grand final team. You’ve got to toughen up.

I agree with him, a strong face is needed, not some depressing speech that tearfully thanks everyone in the room. Furthermore, I also want to note that it was quite a tight race between Nelson and Turnbull.

Nelson has been charged by the party with rebuilding the shattered Liberals, taking the leadership after John Howard’s humiliating defeat on Saturday and Peter Costello’s refusal, one day later, to step into the role. But less than 24 hours into his leadership victory, which split the party in a tight vote, 45 to Nelson and 42 to Turnbull, the post-ballot clash between the contenders was the talk of Liberal circles.

That is a very close margin, however some of the reasons that were believed to have cause this (which also stopped Turnbull from getting the top job) were:

Turnbull came tantalisingly close to the leadership. His numbers men, including Victorian senator Michael Ronaldson and Queensland’s Steve Ciobo, were convinced he had the support of the partyroom. But he blew it in an interview on the ABC’s AM program when he canvassed his views on Kyoto, Work Choices, gay rights and an apology to the Stolen Generations.

One Response to “Trouble In The Liberal Party; Turnbull to Nelson: Toughen Up”

  1. […] out of the Liberals, if you haven’t been following, it was Turnbull. Now just recently Turnbull criticised the opposition leader, Brendan Nelson to toughen up, I’m still not over that yet, I mean who wants a weak opposition leader (especially if they […]

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