Working Papers

Costello and the Deakinite Left

Peter Costello is arguing for a ‘smooth’ transition, but this presupposes that there is a case for a leadership change in the first place.  If such a case existed, he would have no difficulty mounting a successful challenge.  As Greg Sheridan notes:

The extraordinary thing about the Costello challenge is that there is absolutely no rationale for it beyond Costello’s petulant self-regard. There is no policy or political imperative for Costello to go forward. This challenge is about Costello, not about the Australian people. As Treasurer, Costello has been a lukewarm reformer at best. For years Costello was the last socialist politician defending Australia’s absurd, incentive-sapping top marginal tax rate. After a decade he managed to reduce it by 2 per cent.

Peter Costello entered parliament amid the purge of the Victorian Liberal Party’s Deakinite left in the late 1980s.  It is not a little ironic that Costello now appeals mainly to the left of the party room, who are the least troubled by his lack of policy substance.

posted on 13 July 2006 by skirchner in Politics

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