What’s Wrong With Australian Political Debate?

Well, didn’t Malcolm Turnbull hit the nail right on the head with his description of the deficit of trust in Australian politics.

Not just because he because he was interpreted as having taken a swipe — multiple swipes, actually — at the man who supplanted him as leader of the federal Opposition. The media reports left the clear impression that when Turnbull said “trust deficit” he actually meant Tony Abbott.

Actually, what he was criticising was something broader. It was the devolution of the whole political process. It was a very thought-provoking speech.

But, here’s the interesting thing. The examples he cited to show the lack of civility and honesty in political discourse overwhelmingly related to the behaviour of the political right.

Let’s get the Abbott stuff out of the way first, because the immediate focus of reportage of Turnbull’s September 5 George Winterton lecture at the University of Western Australia was, of course, how his words reflected the tension between the man the Liberal Party wants to lead it — Abbott — and the man most Australians want to lead it, Turnbull.

And that was fair enough. As evidence of the degradation of political debate in this country, Turnbull cited several examples clearly implicating Abbott — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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