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Don’t blame the system, blame the appalling people it allows in

Crikey readers respond to the flaws of the Westminster system and the role of the media in the leadership spill.

As leadership mania continues in newsrooms and studios around the country, Crikey readers are taking the opportunity to get some thoughts off their chests. There was much to say about Guy Rundle’s look into the health of the Westminster system, which many are losing their patience with. Elsewhere, readers responded to Alan Jones’ role in the spill (by Gabriella Marchant) and the newspapers’ pick for leader (by Emily Watkins), voicing understandable frustration at both. 

On the role of the Westminster system 

Julian writes: The constant leader changes are not a symptom of Westminster System failure but of a greater problem — Abbott. All the leadership changes we are talking about were the result of Abbott’s machinations, aggression, policy idiocy and incompetence, other than the first deposing of Rudd.  Rudd was due to Rudd being a dud, and all subsequently are due to Abbott. You should remove a leader when they are not functional — this is a strength, a feature, not a bug. It happens we have had two very bad leaders in recent years — Rudd was hopeless, and absolutely needed to be removed, so it was done. Gillard was then shafted by Abbott and Rudd, Turnbull by Abbott, Abbott by Abbott, and now Turnbull by Abbott again. We need to view this for what it is.  The failure of our politics is not the fault of the Westminster System itself, but the ease with which truly, exceptionally appalling people can game it.

Cropje writes: It never ceases to amaze me that even in these increasingly routine periods of crisis-level dissatisfaction, nobody ever seems to think about the obvious option of convening a constitutional convention, leading to a new constitution worthy of 21st-century, not late 19th century, Australia. Why aren’t progressive parties advocating this, aside from the fact it would be anathema to many vested interests.

Genevieve Barlow writes: Given the push to get rid of Turnbull is coming from QLD and, from what I can work out, the southern states would prefer him to Dutton, is it really the federation that’s failing us?

On Alan Jones’ news problem

zut alors writes: I am no fan of Chris Uhlmann but full credit to him for calling out the sordid would-be-players & mischief makers in the media. The events of the past two days in Canberra are sensational enough without accelerant being added to the mix.

Arky writes: Jones just got a bit giddy at what he was being told by sources, I’m sure. He’s not a journalist, he’s a propagandist, so this shouldn’t be a shock, Uhlmann is an outrageous hypocrite who only cares now about this behaviour when it is aimed at his golden boy Malcolm and didn’t care when it was and is aimed at the ALP. Including aimed at the ALP by him on the renewables issue. When “lefties” bash News and 2GB we’re ignored, but when Uhlmann does it, now it has credibility? Do me a lemon.

On the newspapers’ pick for leader 

TheRabidHamster writes: The beauty of answering this question is that now 85% of the papers are all owned by the one wrinkled old American … so at least you don’t have to wade through lots of differing opinions now.

Arky writes: I hope not to be told again in the near future by journalists that the mainstream media in this country is mostly unbiased and just reporting the facts. Apart from that, it’s simple. The News Corp papers under orders from Rupert Murdoch wants Turnbull out and a proper right winger in to keep the Liberal Party doing what Rupert wants (even if they have to lose the next election in the process, which was likely to happen regardless). Fairfax and most of the rest pine for Mr Turnbull and wanted whatever gave him the best chance of survival (such as rushing off to a snap election), they will now back Morrison or Bishop ahead of Dutton. The West Australian backs the WA candidates because WA. All of this was 100% predictable. They haven’t changed their stripes in years.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name.

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