Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President-Elect Donald Trump are just two sides of the same coin


When Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott and became Prime Minister of Australia, he did so on a huge surge of expectation of what he would be able to achieve when he came to power. Those expectations centred around a political agenda that effectively captured the middle ground in Australian politics.   The policies included action on such issues as marriage equality,  the Australian Republic, renewable energy policies, aboriginal reconciliation,  climate change and a humane approach to refugee policy in Australia

As a result of the removal of Tony Abbott and Turnbull’s ascent to the leadership, there was a huge surge in both his personal popularity and the electoral standing of the Coalition.

Since then, he has been unable to fulfil the expectations of a significant proportion of Australian voters. His personal popularity has slumped below that of the man he replaced and his party now languishes behind the opposition. He has also been captured by the right wing office party.

Donald Trump as one the US presidential race with a huge surge of expectation of what he will be able to achieve an office. These expectations centre around political agenda that effectively captures the right and far right of the American electorate. These policies include building a wall across the Mexican border, stopping Muslim immigration, jailing Hillary Clinton, re-establishing American manufacturing and dismantling overseas defence and trade treaties.

The people who elected Donald Trump have an expectation that he will put these policies into action and that they will be successful in “making America great again.”

Failure to do so, is likely to lead to a decline in his personal popularity and electoral standing similar to that of Malcolm Turnbull.

One of the catch cries that echoed through this campaign was ” Drain this swamp”. This refers to an expectation that somehow Trump will be able to clean out the much-despised political elite from Washington. There is no doubt there will be a night of the long knives amongst Republican representatives in both the Senate and Congress.

But Trump supporters should not be deluded about who was likely to replace anybody who feels the wrath of the newly elected president.  They will be ultra-Trump supporters and business associates.

It is also highly likely that there will be a resurgence and of and increasingly well-organised Tea Party  in both the Senate and in Congress and that Trump will become captive to their control of the political processes in the US.

Simply swapping the devil you know for the devil you don’t know.

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