Some people look back on John Howard as the last decent PM we had. There is an element of truth to this HOWEVER most people conveniently forget that up to around 2000 Howard was viewed as a complete loser. A man out of his depth. Very easy to pressure.
Depending on your point of view 11/9 or Tampa ( the one I prefer) changed all that. His latent lack of self confidence disappeared overnight He became self assured.
His handling of tamps while morally challenged was politically brilliant. When the 2000 election looked like turning in the last week His 'leak' to the Australian turned the attention back to Tampa and he won with ease.
Why have the four since he was PM failed.
Well for a start they never had the luxury of staying as long as PM as Howard. This is very important.
although in most instances it might not have mattered.
Well let us examine each.
Kevin Rudd came in with the best record as an Opposition Leader anyone had ever see.He had one great weakness which we only found out about once he left. He was very poor with people. ( This leads me to believe his Christianity is a facade). He also never followed up on programs he initiated.
This is strange because why did not Cabinet ask questions?
As a politician he followed Howard the wrong way. His change on climate change was poorly explained and followed an understanding of the electorate by people who clearly did not have a clue.
He never tried to explain away the 'pink batts' program which as we found reduced house fires ten fold.
Julia Gillard clearly never had any self confidence whilst in the job. She reminded a lot of the early John Howard. Like Howard she was good in Parliament whilst not Leader but suddenly lost all her mojo when becoming Leader and became average in Parliament. She clearly could negotiate with the best of them however she had no political smarts nor did anyone she relied on . She clearly could not sell a cold beer in a pub on a hot day.
The only question is if she had the luxury of leading her party as PM as long as Howard would she like Howard improved? We will never know.
Tony Abbott was never liked nor trusted by the electorate. On becoming PM Abbott acted as though there was no such thing as the Charter of Budget Honesty and PEFO never existed. He then went back on his most important promised when the first budget came out. He was road kill from that time forward. He understood this and never learned from his mistakes. He proved as bad as Stanley Bruce in the office.
Malcolm Turnbull became PM because the Liberals could see he was the only was they could win the next election. however Turnbull never had political smarts at any time in his life and certainly not when he became PM. He acceded to the conservatives in the party not understanding the only reason people wanted him to be PM was to rid themselves of Tony Abbott and what he stood for. The electorate never wanted a Abbott lite as PM
This leads us to Bill Shorten who seems to be an enigma. At times he shows great promise by not being a small target and having controversial policies that are beneficial to the economy. At other times he acts like Abbott used to criticising without any suggested ways to improve the situation.