Liberal’s self-destruction rages on
The Liberal Party's program of self-destruction, which began with the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull last August, is speeding up.
The government's structure has been wrecked by the instability of three prime ministers in four years.
It is now difficult to keep count of the senior figures and backbenchers heading out the door, in what will be seen as an exodus to avoid the Coalition's humiliation at the May election.
Following Mr Turnbull we have seen that revolving door used for the departure of substantial front bench experience in Julie Bishop and Kelly O'Dwyer.
And today there are strong expectations that Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Industries Minister Steven Ciobo are set to quit too.
The haste to leave can be traced back to the even more unseemly attempt to make Peter Dutton prime minister.
It was an episode of political pratfalls and arrogance, which has continued to infect the government with instability.
And the world has been watching.
The G20 summit of the biggest industrialised economies will meet in Japan in late June. If Labor's Bill Shorten wins the election, those 20 leaders will have to familiarise themselves with Australia's third prime minister in 10 months.
The aftershocks of last August haven't faded.
Malcolm Turnbull went for reasons that the government still cannot explain.
Julie Bishop was angry at her party after receiving just 11 votes in that leadership showdown.
Kelly O'Dwyer has made plain her condemnation of so-called bullying associated with the week of crisis.
Mr Ciobo, whose anticipated departure has given him a higher profile than he had as a minister, was a backer of fellow Queenslander Dutton in the leadership mess.
Presumably he would not be going had Mr Dutton won.
Mr Pyne supported Mr Turnbull and since August has privately expressed exasperation over the behaviour of some of his colleagues.
If he and Mr Ciobo decline to stand at the May election, they will represent two parallel streams of frustration created by the mess last August.
The departures don't mean the instability and frustrations will end though.
Tony Abbott, an ongoing source of considerable leadership agitation during the brief Turnbull years, will stand again, as will one of his henchmen and fellow NSW Liberal, Craig Kelly.
However, Mr Kelly had to be rescued from being dumped by his own branch in Hughes by party intervention.
They had not wanted him as their candidate.
And Mr Abbott knows he will have to produce a major effort to survive in Warringah.
Nobody has emerged a winner from the events of last August, particularly Scott Morrison, who does not seem to even be attempting to try to deal with these damaging sequences of events.