New Australian Prime Minister lays out ambition to lead country for “at least a few weeks”

14 Sep

CANBERRA, Australia—in a closely-watched leadership challenge, Malcolm Turnbull today deposed Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, winning an election among the leaders of the Liberal Party. Turnbull then promised that he would “lead Australia into a brighter future, until at least October or maybe November.”

This is the third time in five years Australia has changed its head of government through an internal party challenge, without an election. As a result, there is relatively little patience from members of the public, most of whom are keen to become Prime Minister themselves.

“Look, give this guy a few weeks, but then the way I see it, it’s my turn,” said Susan Naffinch, head of the poultry department at the Lane Cove Woolworths’. “I’m thirty-three years old, and I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Australia’s frequent changes of government have caused uncertainty in some major policy areas. Since 2010, the country has had at least eight adorable animal mascots, starting with the kangaroo under Kevin Rudd, then the wallaby under Julia Gillard, then the box jellyfish under Rudd again, who then changed his mind to fried chicken, before losing to Tony Abbott, who went in rapid succession through the opossum, to the possum (“I didn’t realize the opossum was a different animal,” he explained), to the emu, and then Malcolm Turnbull, who chose money. There may have been other policy changes as well on things like human rights.

Turnbull released a statement in which he solemnly pledged to “really have a great time, and fly around all over the place, until I have to hand the keys over to someone else” right around Halloween.

Turnbull and Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott in 2014, during a period of a few days when neither one of them could remember who was Prime Minister.

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