By Lyle Shelton/ @LyleShelton
Australian politicians have again treated the nation like a failed Pacific Island state, launching yet another coup to topple a serving prime minister.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott was cut down by one of his Liberal Party cabinet ministers, Malcolm Turnbull, in a party room vote brought on Monday.
Abbott, a conservative, visited the Heritage Foundation in 2012 when he was leader of the opposition.
The Australian prime minister has changed five times in five years after the Labor Party also deposed a serving prime minister, Kevin Rudd, in his first term in 2010.
Like the United Kingdom, Australia has a Westminster parliamentary system where the prime minister is not directly elected by the people but rather by his or her party colleagues.
If the polls are bad, the colleagues get spooked and the axe comes out.
But there were other factors.
A major one was the issue of same-sex marriage. Abbott, a social conservative, had been effective in holding back a relentless campaign to change the definition of marriage in recent years.
Emboldened by the Irish referendum and then the Obergefell decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Australia’s same-sex marriage political movement went into overdrive cheered on by a campaigning media.
This pressure culminated last month in a marathon six-hour debate behind closed doors in the ruling Liberal-National coalition party room to try and resolve the issue.
Abbott emerged from that meeting announcing the coalition had decided to use its numbers to block the introduction into the Australian Parliament of yet another bill to change the definition of marriage.
Instead, a people’s vote known as a plebiscite would be held sometime after the 2016 election, kicking the issue into the long grass (putting the issue off) and blunting the momentum of same-sex marriage lobbyists.
This infuriated supporters of Turnbull, a prominent advocate for changing the definition of marriage, leading to further white-anting (erosion) of Abbott’s leadership.
This has wrong-footed the same-sex marriage lobby and the Greens Party who thought a Turnbull prime ministership was their ticket to bringing the issue back to the parliament before Christmas.
Despite the circumstances of his axing, Abbott’s two-year prime ministership will be judged by history as one of substance.
In a gracious concession speech, Abbott said:
“Poll-driven panic has produced a revolving-door prime ministership, which can’t be good for the country, and a febrile media culture has developed that rewards treachery.”
He quoted from the first Christian sermon preached on Australian soil the day after the First Fleet carrying English convicts landed at what is now Sydney in 1788.
“The Reverend Richard Johnson took as his text, ‘What shall I render unto the Lord for all his blessings to me?’
“At this, my final statement as Prime Minister, I say: I have rendered all and I am proud of my service.
“My love for this country is as strong as ever and may God bless this great Commonwealth.”
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
There is “a time to be silent, and a time to speak”. (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Now is the time to speak, so please speak up and defend children, truth and freedom. Craig Manners
“What the world needs most is a voice that courageously speaks the truth, not when the world is right, but a voice that speaks the truth when the world is wrong.” Fulton Sheen