HERE’S a cheering thought for those who’ve been indulging in a bit of self-pity since our most recent prime ministerial coup.
If you look at a couple of the major democracies of the western world, you’ll realise it could actually be worse.
Head-shaking and nose-wrinkling about the state of federal politics in this country has become a national pastime since the knifing of Kevin Rudd set off a decade of instability that still shows no sign of ending.
Watching one PM after another get knocked off – as well as the attendant theatre before the coup – has turned even the most hopeful of many of us into cynics and sapped trust in the complex machinery of government.
But for real instability, real uncertainty, we need only look at our great friends America and the United Kingdom this week.
In the land of the free, where President Donald Trump tweets and polarises in equal measure, the US Government shutdown has passed its 25th day and is careering towards a full month.
That's 25 days where many government employees haven’t been paid – a situation unfathomable here in Australia – as the Democrats and Republicans bicker over the president’s wall on the border with Mexico.
The situation got more sobering this week, if that was possible, when it was reported that the shutdown was now having a drag on the economy.
And yet a resolution still seems no closer.
And in the UK, which voted in 2016 to extricate itself from the European Union, politicians gathered in London this week to comprehensively prove that they are still not agreed on how that extrication will be managed.
Only a couple of months before the UK is due to leave the EU, there is still no deal, no plan and no agreement – except that everyone can’t agree.
Oh, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May is now considered a lame duck even though she’s only a year-and-a-half into a five-year term.
“I understand that to people getting on with their lives away from Westminster, the events of the past 24 hours will have been unsettling,” Ms May told reporters this week.
It’s not often these days that Australians can look to their federal parliamentarians as a model of sober stability. But this week, in the shadow of events in the US and UK, was one of those times.