Dishonesty And Deception: The Flimsy Nature Of Our MPs' Loyalty
How are we supposed to trust our leaders when they can't trust theirs?
It's been a few days of high drama in Canberra with leadership spills and turncoat loyalties.
Not only have 10 frontbenchers offered their resignations to the PM but some of his most trusted ministers have asked him to resign from the top job.
The most obvious example of shifting loyalty is that of Peter Dutton, former Home Affairs Minister and current leadership challenger.
On Thursday morning he called Malcolm Turnbull to say he believed the majority of the party preferred him as Prime Minister and he requested a party room meeting be held -- the second in three days.
Dutton challenged the PM for the top job on Tuesday and lost the vote 42-35, but what is more bizarre is what he tweeted on Saturday.
And this at about 8 am on Thursday, just five days and one leadership challenge after he said he supported Malcolm Turnbull.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has emerged as the challenger to the challenger. The ABC reported on Thursday that Morrison would take on Peter Dutton and contest the Liberal party leadership.
Morrison, a long-time Turnbull supporter, met with the PM on Thursday morning. Following the meeting Turnbull, Morrison confirmed that he stood by the PM.
Shortly after, news emerged that Morrison would challenge Dutton for the top job. Whether this move comes with or without the PM's support is unclear.
What was clear however, was the certainty with which Morrison supported Turnbull at a joint press conference with Mathias Cormann and the PM.
When asked if he had would ever "rule out any leadership ambition" on Wednesday Morrison replied;
"This is my leader and I have ambition for him."
Dutton isn't the only MP who's support for Malcolm Turnbull has gone soft over the past few days.
This morning Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, together with Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, went to see the PM in his office.
Soon after Cormann told reporters that he, Cash and Fifield believed the PM should resign.
"We have had a further meeting with the Prime Minister this morning, all three of us, to confirm that we believe that there should be a party room meeting to resolve the issue of the leadership of the Liberal Party," Corman said.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the leadership crisis desperately needs a resolution and a party room meeting is the means to achieve it.
"I believe that there should be a party room meeting. What needs to happen is this issue is resolved," Fifield said.
"We cannot allow this situation to continue. It does need to be resolved. These are difficult circumstances and what our focus ... is to endeavour to achieve a resolution as quickly as possible."
Michaelia Cash said she supported Turnbull in Tuesday's ballot, but has since realised the party needed a leadership change.
"I too have supported the Prime Minister since his election to office. I too supported the Prime Minister in the ballot on Tuesday," Cash said.
"I became aware yesterday that it was very clear that the Prime Minister no longer, in my opinion, had the confidence of the party room. I too met with the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon and I advised him of this, and I urged him to call a party room meeting."
Cormann also claimed that he has long supported the PM. In fact as late as Wednesday he affirmed his loyalty to Turnbull at a press conference.
Nationals MP Kevin Hogan said in a statement on Thursday that he cannot condone the Liberal and Labor parties "treating the office of Prime Minister as a revolving door."
He also announced that he would leave the liberal party to sit on the crossbench should Malcolm Turnbull lose this position as prime minister.
"I am announcing today, that if there is another leadership spill for the position of Prime Minister prior to the next federal election, I will remove myself from the government benches and sit on the cross benches," Hogan said in the statement.
"I have made this decision because my community is fed up."
Hogan's potential move to the crossbench would threaten the government's majority as they only hold one extra seat in the house of representatives.
Amid all the drama and the leadership squabbling, Nationals MP Darren Chester tweeted his frustration with Canberra politics, reminding MPs they should be focused on fixing serious issues that matter greatly to the Australian people.