World mastheads including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have been covering Australia’s leadership crisis. Picture: Supplied
World mastheads including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have been covering Australia’s leadership crisis. Picture: Supplied

World’s media reacts to leadership debacle

WITH many Australians confounded about what is happening in Australian politics this week, spare a thought for those around the world who are baffled by what one paper called our country's "political jungle".

Fox News was forced to run an Associated Press explainer on "How Australians dump their prime minister" so readers had a chance to work out how we so easily and frequently boot out our elected leaders.

"No Australian prime minister in the past decade has lasted a full three-year term before being dumped by his or her own party," the AP wrote.

"It's a new era of political instability that most Australians hate. Voters expect that they will get to judge their leaders at the ballot box. Many feel hoodwinked when they go to elections expecting one national leader, then later have another imposed upon them.

"Foreign governments are left wondering whether Australian leaders will be around long enough to fulfil bilateral agreements," the news agency concluded.

Fox News runs an explainer on how Australians are able to dump their prime ministers. Picture: Fox News
Fox News runs an explainer on how Australians are able to dump their prime ministers. Picture: Fox News

The BBC in the UK described the leadership debacle as a "political jungle".

"Welcome to the jungle" its broadcast piece began, complete with ominous music.

It points out that Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott in a leadership challenge. And that Abbott had taken over from Kevin Rudd who just months earlier had ousted Julia Gillard, who in 2010 had ousted Kevin Rudd.

"Yeah, we know, its confusing," the video concludes.

The Guardian's US edition took a far more pointed approach to its coverage, saying "Turnbull just showed what happens when 'ideology and idiocy take charge of energy policy".

The paper chose to run an opinion piece by Environment Victoria's Erwin Jackson which offered "A note to our prime minister: you can't have an energy policy that assumes that climate change does not exist."

The Guardian’s US edition ran an opinion piece on how the government’s energy policy has led to the leadership crisis. Picture: The Guardian
The Guardian’s US edition ran an opinion piece on how the government’s energy policy has led to the leadership crisis. Picture: The Guardian

The New York Times played a pretty straight bat on its coverage albeit comparing leadership challenges in Australia to a national sport where "where gambling websites were giving odds and accepting bets".

The New York Times played a relatively straight bat on its reporting. Picture: The New York Times
The New York Times played a relatively straight bat on its reporting. Picture: The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal spoke to Australian businesses for their take on the leadership crisis, with local businessman Geoff Freeborn in Peter Dutton's home state of Queensland who called it " an absolute farce".

"Ever since John Howard was prime minister [in 2007] it's been a complete shambles and Peter Dutton is not the answer. Up here we're all just sick to death of it," he said.

Sandeep Biswas, the chief executive of Newcrest Mining, also told the WSJ the political instability is not helping Australia's reputation as a sound investment destination.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to Australian businesses about what the leadership crisis meant for them. Picture: The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal spoke to Australian businesses about what the leadership crisis meant for them. Picture: The Wall Street Journal.

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