still rife in Canberra. The Prime Minister is refusing to go. The would-be Prime Minister is (at present) refusing to challenge. (Whether he has the numbers to do so is anyone's guess but they must have been growing.)
The media is stirring up trouble - columnists like Mike Carlton in the Sydney Morning Herald are trying to demand change. Others are being a little more cautious - and rightly so. It is the media's role to report the news - not create it. That however is something the media in this country has long since forgotten.
There has been further comment about how a change of leadership this close to an election might raise some constitutional issues. There would be no issues of course except that this is a "hung" parliament.
So we have four more sitting days left in Parliament. There is still a chance that there could be a change of leadership but what will happen is anyone's guess at the present time.
The one thing however that is not really being discussed in all this is the actual issue of leadership. The media is seemingly fixated on getting a return to Rudd. The once the most unpopular Prime Minister is now seen as "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" Mr Popularity. It is unlikely he has changed so much that he would make a good Prime Minister although he might make an autocratic one if he could pull a team together. It is likely however that some MPs in his party would simply refuse to work with him. They do not see him as leadership material.
The media is similarly stirring up trouble on the other side. They would like to see a return to Turnbull, a man they see as being much closer to the centre. They have made it their business to constantly and consistently ridicule the present Opposition leader for such things as participating in charitable and physical activities. His religious allegiance is criticised as getting in the way of his politics although the Prime Minister's atheism has barely raised an eyebrow. Even his strong support for Australia's indigenous people has been reported in a backhanded manner. The result, as intended, has been that the Opposition leader is not popular either.
What good all this does I am not sure. Very little. Everyone makes mistakes but turning minor mistakes and stumbles into hanging offences simply to try and remove someone from office is not a good look. On both sides there has been too much invasion of privacy - and even political leaders have the right to some personal privacy. They also have the right not to be criticised or lampooned for their charitable activities or religious beliefs.
The Dalai Lama is currently in Australia. He was talking to 5000 people at our Convention Centre yesterday. He was diplomatic about such awkward topics as politicians and refugees. He made everyone laugh and he handed out the same sort of advice that I suspect the new Pope would also offer in the same circumstances. It was advice about the importance of respecting/loving one another. I suspect that might be one major reason why they command respect. If we respect each other there will surely simply be things that cannot go wrong?