In response to Even children have depth perception, wizman commented at June 15, 2012 9:54 AM:
i caught you on 720ABC in the afternoon talking about liz constable and her replacement (you and peter kennedy would be a great state politics double act). anyway, with christian porter leaving, will a backbencher get 9 months to show some promise or not? when liz constable goes and assuming barnett wins again at the state election, does the "new member" who may or may not be delivered by parachute get a free ride into cabinet, or again does barnett trust a backbencher? if he continually overlooks the elected members doesn't this just reinforce the opinion that there is no talent, or is it just barnett's "incompetence as leader" at work again?My response:
Firstly, thanks. I admire PK and would love to work with him (WABN and ABC: Hint! Hint!)
I honestly hope Mr Barnett takes a bit of a calculated gamble by throwing a couple of backbenchers in the deep end, but I really don’t think he will. He reinforced that yesterday in Parliament in an answer to a question without notice – he made way too much of the fact that he has had a “stable” cabinet, effectively making yet another rod for his back. He is a very conservative man who prioritises stability in the public sector.
Unfortunately, that causes two big problems:
- Retiring Ministers are very problematic at elections. Norman Moore will be in Parliament for a few months after the election (because the LC doesn’t change until May 2013), so that one is not a drama. However, how on earth is the Government going to articulate its Education election promises when their spokesperson can’t speak for the party (because she’s independent) or the future (because she won’t be part of it)? I’m guessing that’s another role the Premier will probably take on in the caretaker period before the election.
- The other, which I think is the biggest problem and one that Mr Barnett is not fully cognisant of is the huge morale problem brewing in the back bench. Imagine being a 2nd or 3rd term Liberal backbencher who has played all the games and done as you were told for the last 8 or 12 years and hearing the Premier cite Independent and National MP’s as evidence of his available talent. Good leaders are inclusive and lay out a growth path for their ambitious subordinates – and Colin fails to do that over and over again. He needs to remember what happened to Natasha Stott-Despoja and Kevin Rudd – both very popular with the public, but rolled by their immediate constituents – their subordinates – because they weren’t making them feel valuable.
Colin’s reluctance to take a punt on anyone new is not evidence of the depth of the talent pool. It is, however absolute evidence of one of Colin’s worst qualities, which will be his downfall in spite of his many good ones.