16 September 2010
One of the few issues that really fired people up during the election campaign was broadband.
After all, it was really the only significant and tangible promise to emerge from what became a race to tight-a&$e bragging rights.
On that count, Tony Abbott's internet plan won hands down. A mere $6 billion, compared to Julia Gillard's $43 billion National Broadband Network.
But there were serious doubts over the Coalition's plan delivering anything more than a band-aid that would have to be ripped off (ouch!) and replaced in the near future.
In the drawn out negotiations that followed, that point proved crucial in sending the Independents, particularly Tony Windsor, Gillard's way.
"You do it once. You do it right. You do it with fibre." Windsor said.
Now broadband is proving to be a key battleground again.
No sooner had the ink dried on the undertakings signed by Julia Gillard's new ministers at Government House, than Tony Abbott was talking up the possibility of a Government baton change in the near future.
To do that, he'd have to woo both Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott into the somewhat treacherous act of switching teams and supporting Tony Abbott for Prime Minister.
But with the NBN already being rolled out and the Independents already committed to its success, that seems like a monumental task.
So perhaps not surprising that Malcolm Turnbull has been given the responsibility.
It could be because of his obvious talent, intelligence and communication skills.
It could be because he is something of a tech-head and a serial "Tweeter".
Or it could be that he was dumped as leader, replaced by Tony Abbott and still has ambitions of, one day, becoming Prime Minister.
By setting him up with a task that, at first glance, appears doomed to ultimately fail, the chances of him returning to the leadership are all the less likely.
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