Should Malcolm Turnbull make Marriage Equality his High Noon with Tony Abbott?

Malcolm Turnbull needs to have a showdown with Abbott sooner or later. Tony Abbott has been spoiling for a fight since his ignominious dumping from the prime ministership.

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And he still thinks he is popular enough within the party and in the electorate have a chance of winning his old job back. He’s not and he won’t.

A showdown over marriage equality would have immense political and symbolic value for Turnbull particularly if he were to win. And the chances are he would.

It would be his Gary Cooper moment.

And he needs a Gary Cooper moment.

It’s time for him to roll the dice. There are a whole range of factors that make this a very good time to do just that.

He is on a hiding to nothing in the polls. Shorten is probably going to win the next election.

So here are the arguments in favour of taking a stand.

  • Seventy percent of Australians want marriage equality. It would be an immensely popular move on his part.
  • He can call Shorten’s bluff and possibly wedge the Labor leader in his own party over the issue.
  •  If he calls for a conscience vote, he’s probably got the numbers on the floor of the House of Representatives.
  •  He may also strengthened his hand against the right within the Coalition.
  •  He can make Marriage Quality a test of his leadership,  “If I’m not Prime Minister, I will resign from Parliament. “The electors of Wentworth can than decide on the Prime Ministership of Tony Abbott”
  •  And if he wants to go out in a cloud of glory, he could cross the floor and vote with the opposition in support of marriage equality.

But don’t hold your breath.

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