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Australia(Un)stable ground: Can the Liberals avoid an epic defeat?

18:06  06 december  2018
18:06  06 december  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

Comment: Will Morrison drag the NSW Liberals down with him too?

Comment: Will Morrison drag the NSW Liberals down with him too? Forget the line about no federal implications from Victoria: Scott Morrison is rapidly running out of time to avoid a federal debacle, and he might kill off a good government in NSW along the way.

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(Un)stable ground: Can the Liberals avoid an epic defeat?© Jo Gay The Liberal's catch cry of a stable government is being used against it, as the party flounders towards an election.

As the last sitting week in federal parliament for 2018 ends, the Liberal Party is in a "pretty volatile state".

The minority government has become more minor, it has lost control of the floor and the change in the Prime Minister has raised eyebrows with foreign leaders at the G20 in Buenos Aires.

But how far does it need to go to recover, and can it?

In this week's episode of Please Explain, we explore the issues that have led the Liberals into an "existential crisis".

Nine's political editor Chris Uhlmann tells host Tory Maguire that the party is asking itself if it has hit rock bottom.

The industrial relations minister says Liberals are seen as 'homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers'

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The Liberal Party and New Democratic Party reached an accord to form a minority coalition government. The Bloc Québécois agreed to provide support on confidence votes, thereby enabling the coalition a majority in the Commons.

"This is a party, this coalition of Liberals and Nationals, who no longer understands what it is any more and the population has no idea what it is any more. It's in a constant quest for its mythical base," he said.

Is the only way to fix this a period in opposition? And can the Labor Party hold it together for a May election?

(Un)stable ground: Can the Liberals avoid an epic defeat?© Alex Ellinghausen Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

At a party room meeting on Monday night Morrison got the Liberals to agree to new rules making it harder to dump a sitting prime minister.

But Sydney Morning Herald politics editor Peter Hartcher questions the role of leadership in the party, citing a recent opinion piece by Tony Abbott that inferred leadership wasn't just based on ideologies.

"That was an admission that it's not just an ideological difference beween the different wings, the bad blood from the September 2015 coup now deepened by the absolute poison over the August 2018 coup means that it is very much about personalities as well and I think that is a very, very difficult thing to resolve," Hartcher says.

Matthew Guy resigns as Victorian Opposition Leader after Liberals' election battering

Matthew Guy resigns as Victorian Opposition Leader after Liberals' election battering Matthew Guy resigns as Victorian Opposition Leader after Liberals' election battering

Liberalism : Liberalism is a political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing individual freedom to be the central problem of politics. Underlying the liberal belief in adversariality is the conviction that human beings are essentially rational creatures capable of settling their political disputes through

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Host and national editor Tory Maguire suggests there's no way the party will be able to fix the lack of female representation before the next election.

"How are they supposed to go to the electorate in May next year and say we are representative of you when they could end up with as few as five women in parliament if it goes the way the polls are saying," she says.

Uhlmann says the Liberals are also facing a problem with women voters between the ages of 18 and 50, who are turning away from the party.

'There are now three women, I think, in the lower house in Victoria, there are more Davids in the Liberal Party ranks than there are women in Victoria (Liberal Party)," Uhlmann said.

(Un)stable ground: Can the Liberals avoid an epic defeat?© AAP Saved by Scott Morrison's intervention ... Liberal MP Craig Kelly.

Sydney Morning Herald and The Age's chief political correspondent David Crowe explains that rather than keeping quiet, Labor is taking risks.

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"The government is in such a mess in many ways that Labor can go out there with big policy ideas," he said.

And this upheaval is leading to Australians losing confidence in democracy.

Hartcher says the Museum of Australian Democracy presented research that showed in the past 11 years trust has fallen from 80 to 40 per cent, with other research suggesting a third of the electorate would prefer a strong leader who didn't need to go to elections, or in other words, a dictatorship.

"This is a measure of the failure of the political system. The two main parties are actually really lucky that no minor party has come up with the magic formula and taken power from them," he said.

kin, Phoebe's Fall, Bold Businesses and the Real Footy Podcast.

Turnbull's killer blow for ScoMo: Ousted leader hopes to trigger early election by telling Liberals to block PM's plan to keep controversial MP in his seat.
Ousted leader Malcolm Turnbull has spectacularly interfered in Scott Morrison's plan to keep a controversial backbencher in his seat. 

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