New Liberal party leader

Note for American readers. In Australia, the Liberal party is the major conservative party. The new leader is only slightly right of center -- but he does have a "Sarah Palin" as his deputy. He has been rather "Green" in the past but there are signs he is wavering on climate change

Malcolm Turnbull says his leadership of the Liberal Party will promote opportunity and fairness. Mr Turnbull toppled Brendan Nelson as Liberal leader in a ballot in Canberra this morning after the former leader last night sprung a surprise leadership spill. "It's a great honour and privilege (and) humbling to be elected to the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party," Mr Turnbull said at his first press conference as leader.

The millionaire lawyer turned merchant banker said he had been raised by a single parent, renting flats and struggling to earn money. "I don't come to the position of the leader of the Liberal Party with a lifetime of privilege behind me," Mr Turnbull said. "I know some Australians are doing it tough ... even in times of prosperity people are doing it tough. "We are a party of opportunity and ... this is a land of opportunity. "But we need to have confidence, we need to have leadership, we need above all to have the opportunities to do well.

"And that is the great difference between our side of politics and Labor, because we believe that government's role is to enable each and every Australian to do their best, to exercise their freedom of choice to do their best.''

Mr Turnbull also welcomed his partnership with Deputy Leader Julie Bishop. "Julie Bishop is a very dear friend of mine, we have worked together over many years, we know and trust each other very, very well indeed.''

Mr Turnbull won this morning's ballot by 45 votes to 41, Chief Opposition Whip Alex Somlyay said. Mr Turnbull - who was the party's treasury spokesman - lost a leadership ballot by just three votes to Dr Nelson late last year.

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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