Sometimes maintaining a consistent message can be difficult for a political party to manage in the early period following a leadership change. But sometimes, efforts to do so can just make the message itself seems internally incoherent. As long ago as  last June, the Liberal Party was demanding that “it’s time” for the Labor government “to take Japan to the International Court of Justice or the international Tribunal on the law of the Sea.”

Now Tony Abbott has stated that while it is still Liberal policy that the federal government should take the Japanese government to court over whaling, the Liberals wouldn’t do the same if they were in government. Whilst holding a government to its promises has a lot going for it, urging the government to do something that you believe yourself is a bad idea is a bit of a non-sequitur.

Or as the Liberal’s environment spokesperson, Greg Hunt, was forced to try to explain, “our policy is for them to fulfil their policy.” I presume this novel approach doesn’t apply in the area climate change policy.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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