This article was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on August 22, 2018.
I recently returned from four years serving as Australia’s ambassador to Israel, a country known for its fractious politics and unstable, coalition governments. During my term, I dealt with only one Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. But I served four different Australian prime ministers – Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
To lose one prime minister may be misfortune. To lose two may indicate carelessness. But to cycle through four prime ministers in four years, and be on the brink of yet another defenestration of a sitting prime minister, suggests something more profound – a structural flaw at the heart of Australian politics.