A MONTH - even a week - can certainly be a long time in politics.
It does not seem so long ago that the Coalition parties held seemingly impregnable strangleholds at both state and federal level following thumping victories at the last elections.
Now, however, the landscape has dramatically changed.
Suddenly Barry O’Farrell is yesterday’s man in NSW and the man who fell into the premiership, Mike Baird, is left overseeing a party being torn apart by the taint of corruption.
While there was some public sympathy after a bottle of wine - albeit a very expensive one - led to Mr O’Farrell’s undoing, that sympathy is draining quickly as more and more Liberal MPs are swept up in the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry.
The enduring irony might be that while Labor figures including Ian Macdonald, Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi were ICAC’s greatest targets, Liberal figures such as Mr O’Farrell, Chris Hartcher and Michael Gallacher might prove to be its greatest scalps.
Federally, too, the Libs have only themselves to blame for plummeting support.
After campaigning for three years on Julia Gillard’s broken carbon tax promise, the new federal government has taken just over six months to create its own broken promise mess.
Treasurer Joe Hockey might call an increased burden on high income earners a deficit levy, but to the rest of the population it is just another tax. And one that targets the Liberal Party’s core constituency, at that.
As with the fury of Ms Gillard’s carbon tax promise, it does not matter to many voters whether the new course of action is the right one or not.
What matters is that they are tired of seeing politicians promise one thing during an election campaign and then deliver something different once elected.
If Mr Abbott is committed to the deficit levy, he should take it to the next election - just as John Howard did when he changed his mind about a GST and just as Ms Gillard should have before trying to introduce a carbon tax.