Our comment based on fairly comprehensive political watching, including stint at 2 question times in the public gallery last week:
Academic and big media writer Peter Van Onselen is surely wrong today to say a reform of the Liberal Party is not overdue. Turnbull is the man to do it, while Hockey is not nearly strong enough and would be destroyed, just like Peter Garrett has been bent out of all shape by the ALP. Hock would be captured and leader in name only.
Fact is Howard having been thrashed in the 2007 election especially on climate is trying to re fight that election, as per recent conservative press images.
Like Thing from The Swamp he is trying to drag the Liberal Party back down there with him in a link chain with Tony Abbott. Big mistake.
PR veteran Gavin Kortlang on Sydney ABC radio last week made the point from the NSW 1989 victory against Barry Unsworth ALP - 'there were rusted on Libs who preferred to lose against the ALP back then than change and win under Greiner'. How pathetic is that?
Same in November 2009.
If Joe Hockey wants a good outcome for Australia and the Libs in the medium to long term he ought to let matters take their course in the way of capitalist creative destruction. Don't be the sacrificial peacemaker. As Turnbull has said 'the climate war' will continue until it is resolved. The current CPRS is no resolution as everyone knows. Let Abbott run win or lose. Let Minchin block support in the Senate for the current CPRS and cross the floor etc.
This CPRS has lost the critical support of the Australian Conservation Foundation last week - hardly reported in big media - forcing a desperate adjustment with 45,000 ha national park in East Gippsland to get them back. The sunrise Green Party are right to say the CPRS is a formula for failure on climate safety, regardless of bias of Insiders compere Barry Cassidy.
The Construction Union within the CFMEU has disaffiliated from the ALP as you know from last Wednesday's question time. In other words the ALP are shedding their base as much as anyone.
Let Howard and Co lose the next election on climate with bigger Green representation in the Senate following and make your run then. It's not just about your career Joe, or current discomfort, it's about your patriotism, and good policy outcomes. The current CPRS is a rabid dog.
Conversely a change in policy is gaining support according Mark Neeham, NSW Liberal Director, to quote "After the events of the last 48 hours you may be interested to know that the number of voters calling offices asking to join the party, as a result of Malcolm's and the party-room decision on our approach in tackling climate change, is more than double the members who have resigned" (Sydney The Sun Herald, p7 29 Nov 2009).