The last three years have seen a hung Australian Parliament, with a minority ALP Government controlled by the Green Party and independents. It has been the worst Parliament in living memory and in two weeks we will vote for a new one and perhaps move on.
I am a Liberal - but I do not like the Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott. His Liberal Principles are dubious; he has performed poorly as Opposition Leader; and over three years he has made no impact on a weak and pathetic government. He has sought - probably successfully - to allow poor government take three years to propel him into power, despite leading the party with the most seats in the House of Representatives.
Allowing poor government to continue, without forcing an early election, was weak political leadership and not in the best interests of stability in Australia. Malcolm Fraser or John Howard would have had this lot tossed out within eighteen months!
It gets worse. Abbott jettisoned his own support for a Carbon Tax, specifically to create a wedge between his Party and the ALP. Selling his principles for a ticket to The Lodge has always sat badly with me. Abbott's willingness to be unprincipled in pursuit of power was documented by Independent Tony Windsor and was a reason why the independents supported the Gillard Government.
Abbott went on to formulate a policy on climate change that is so blindingly weak that it might just as well not exist. Ignoring scientists warnings because of shock-jock show back-lash shows appalling leadership.
So does Abbott's obsession with creating a macho image.
Night after night, week after week we have seen image boosting techniques by Abbott: stacking cartons in food factories, swimming, running, cycling etc. and standing in front of the assembled tv cameras to tell us, v e r y s l o w l y, that he will stop the boats, abolish the Carbon Tax and bring the budget into surplus.
His words sound too measured, ponderous and parrotted, like a man trying to remember the exact words and slogans his minders taught him. He clearly tries to speak in soothing clichés which actually tell us nothing.
It's been all about image, not policies. It's phoney Tony.
If it's all about image, then the one which stands out most is that of Abbott standing with a crazed rabble waving banners proclaiming "Ditch the Witch" and calling Gillard "Bob Brown's Bitch." He thought that was ok but it was very poor judgement from Abbott and it reeks of sexism.
I cannot abide Abbott's hypocrisy over the marriage equality issue. He flicks the issue off, saying his Government will have more important matters to worry over. Not good enough, Tony. Governments need to multi-task. Homophobic discrimination is wrong and should be eliminated.
Other things bother me about Abbott. He is not a strong and capable leader like John Howard; and issues keep surfacing about his murky past, including booze and violence. He appears to be a compulsive liar and he has also shown signs of caving in far too easily to religious pressures.
None of the issues I have listed above qualify Abbott to be Prime Minister, so is Rudd the alternative?
Labor is a disunited rabble. They caved in to the independents and the Greens. They presided over disastrous policies, including border protection, the school hall fiasco and the home insulation travesty which brought premature deaths to four young people doing their jobs. They have changed Prime Ministers twice in the last three years and have recently restored the hopeless leader who "lost his way."
Labor are big-spending economic wreckers who have put Australia deep in debt and produced increasingly massive budget deficits.
Rudd is an arrogant man who treats his staff and others with contempt. He sooths his public image by appearing outside his church gate for the tv cameras every Sunday; and by trying to be smiley and quirky.
He is a failed Prime Minister. They got rid of him because no-one could work with him. When the shallow caucus changed their minds and brought him back, one third of the cabinet announced they would not work with him. Hypocritically, some others who said they could never work for him kept their jobs!
Rudd and Labor have only three things in their favour: the potential legislation for same sex marriage; and their efforts to act on climate change. The Liberal Party and Tony Abbott have failed dismally on these two issues!
The third issue is that the Gillard Labor Government was brave enough to create a Royal Commission to investigate Child Abuse in the Catholic Church and other Institutions. That Royal Commission would never have been countenanced by an Abbott Government and I have yet to hear him say the Commission will survive under his leadership.
I am a Liberal - but can I vote for a Party led by a shallow man like Abbott? Should I vote for the economic wreckers in the ALP, riddled with corruption within their NSW ranks, led by a narcissus whose first action after regaining the Prime Ministership was to make new rules to ensure the Party could never dump him again?
I cannot vote for the incompetent left-wing Green Party - even if I do agree with a couple of their policies, such as gay marriage and climate change.
The Independents are just as responsible for the dreadful state of Australian politics because of their self-preserving deal with Gillard to keep Labor in power for a full term, when an election was in the public interest. What a pleasure to see Windsor and Oakeshott retire!
For the first time in over forty years, I have no idea who I will vote for!