I think it is time for our MPs to take stock - to take a good hard look at the situation in which we find ourselves. It is up to them, in particular, for at least three reasons.
First, under article 10.5 of the Federal Party constitution, no one can stand for leader unless proposed by at least ten per cent of our MPs.
Second, it was a group of our MPs who forced Charles to resign, which under Article 10.2 triggered the leadership election back in the winter of 2005-2006.
Third, a good proportion of our MPs proposed Ming, and when other candidates entered the contest, argued in Ming's favour that he would be a "safe pair of hands", and persuaded the membership to choose Ming, though not by an overwhelming majority.
In short, a heavy responsibility lies on our MPs.
I am just an activist with no real say in all this - just as I had no say in whether Charles ought to go, and had limited information on which to cast my leadership vote (though I had more information than average, because I had sat on the Federal Policy Committee for so long: at least I knew the candidates a little). But if I have any influence at all, I want to use it now to say this.
The truth is that in the hard world of national politics Ming has had 18 months to gain acceptance as a potential Prime Minister by the general public, but he has not gained it. And I do not believe he is going to gain it by doing a bit of work on his approval ratings. We can argue until we are blue in the face that it is ageist to criticise Ming, but it is not a question of his age. It is a question of his energy levels, of his charisma or lack of it, of whether people are at ease with him, whether they feel he understands the country's problems and their own problems, above all whether he has the mix of qualities to run the country well, the toughness to withstand the sustained stress and pressure of the job, to be good in a crisis or in the series of crises that it is part of the job to cope with. It is a question of the whole man, the whole image, whole myth, even, of a human being considered by others as their potential leader.
I was among the loyal activists who wondered why, if Charles was unsuitable, the Parliamentary Party had not said or done anything to prevent him from being re-elected unopposed earlier in 2005. And I wondered why, if Ming was more suitable, he had not stood for the leadership either earlier in 2005, or in earlier leadership contests.
To go on indefinitely working for our success I need to be sustained by the belief that we have a leader who is a potential Prime Minister.
Is it not time that our MPs moved to propose someone new?