Malcolm Turnbull appears on ABC panel show Q&A; on February 16, 2015.
Malcolm Turnbull appears on ABC panel show Q&A; on February 16, 2015.

VIDEO: Turnbull stuns audience, shows PM how it's done

IS THIS what the Australian Prime Minister should look like?

Appearing on ABC's Q&A overnight, Malcolm Turnbull - the man most likely to challenge PM Tony Abbott - glided effortlessly through prickly questions on leadership, the looming executions of the Bali Nine and the future of politics.

It left pundits this morning asking if his participation on the panel was a chance for the popular minister to show he has the chops to face the public scrutiny if he was given the big chair.


The show-stopper of the night was Mr Turnbull's address down the barrel of the cameras on behalf of the Australian drug smugglers currently awaiting their execution in Indonesia.

"If I can address this to the Indonesian Government - it is not a sign of weakness to spare the lives of these men.
"Yes, they have committed very terrible crimes.

"Yes, they knew that the death penalty was there if they were caught and found guilty.

"But it is not weak to spare their lives.

"It is a sign of the strongest love, the greatest mercy when you extend it to those who least deserve it.

"That is a sign of strength.

"President Jokowi can be so strong, so strong that he does not have to take the lives of two men but to give them life to continue to rehabilitate, to repent for the rest of their days."

Did that feel a little prime ministerial to you?



He also appeared to deftly handle questions on the dumping of "father of the House" Philip Ruddock by the Prime Minister saying it was a "Captain's call.

"But I have to say, I was very sad to see the announcement.

"Tony, you know, it was Tony's call, right.

"He is the one who has to explain it, but I just want to say I think Philip Ruddock is a great Liberal, a great parliamentarian and it was a very sad day for all of us when we learnt his services as the Chief Whip had been terminated by the Prime Minister.

"He is the boss. He is the captain, he can make the captain's call."

News Limited's Greg Sheridan - a close friend of the Prime Minister's - told the panel there was a "50-50 chance" of Mr Abbott holding the role until the next election.

The party would otherwise ask Mr Turnbull to lead, he said.

Mr Turnbull said - eloquently as ever - "Tempting though it is to venture into the minefield you are luring me into, I think I will pass on that one."

If this was a job interview, let's hope he doesn't pass if a position becomes available.


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