A major question that will confront us all on July 2 will be whether to vote for the party led by Malcolm Turnbull. James Allan and I really have had an exchange of letters over this issue that have now been published at Quadrant Online. It goes without saying that no one will vote for Malcolm Turnbull. The question is should one vote against Labor. That is, which of Malcolm with the 43 plus the Nationals or Bill Shorten and the Labor Party with Tanya and the rest is less worse than the other. This is how Jim starts his letter to me:
I have one question for you. If you see all decisions as snapshots – one-off calls between two choices on the current table – then here’s what follows. Presumably you will always opt for the least bad choice (and I grant you that Turnbull is less bad than Shorten for us small government, right-of-centre types), without an eye to longer-term consequences. But my query is, what’s wrong with a longer view?
This is how I begin my reply:
Let me begin with a story I have told before, which I wrote about just before the spill that replaced Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull:
When I used to work in Canberra, our offices backed onto the Liberal Party headquarters, and I was asked one time, even before Malcolm entered Parliament, what I thought about him. My answer was that if I was in the constituency that would decide the fate of the next election, and my vote was the one that would put him in or out, that I would hesitate about which way to go. That was then. Today I would have no doubt.
Since the post was titled, “I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull” you can see which way I would have gone. You can find the whole thing at the Catallaxy blog via the link above, so I do have some history in thinking about these issues:
But that was then.
There are no good answers, but you can read his and mine at the link.