Note exposes the real Turnbull
THE 43rd and final signature was also the most telling.
Warren Entsch effectively ended Malcolm Turnbull's political career when he added his name to the list of MPs requesting a second party room meeting and, by extension, another leadership vote.
It was the last signature Peter Dutton's supporters needed.
And underneath, Mr Entsch scrawled a deliciously venomous three-word message, twisting the knife in Mr Turnbull's back.
"For Brendan Nelson."
Dr Nelson was leader of the Liberal Party for such a short and miserable period that many of you have probably, and entirely forgivably, forgotten him.
When John Howard lost the 2007 election, the obvious choice to replace him - Mr Howard's treasurer Peter Costello - chose not to step forward, leaving Dr Nelson, Mr Turnbull and, before he pulled out, Tony Abbott as the only ones foolish enough to contest the Liberal leadership.
It was precariously close, with a final vote of 45-42, but Dr Nelson emerged with the dubious prize of squaring off against Kevin Rudd, whose true identity as a vindictive weirdo was yet to dent the giddiest honeymoon period in Australian political history.
Mr Rudd proved untouchable, and Dr Nelson's depressingly low preferred prime minister rating eventually stalled in the teens. But he soon discovered he was being stalked by an even more ruthless enemy within his own ranks - the man he had appointed shadow treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull.
"Turnbull pledged his loyalty to Nelson but gave him absolutely none. He simply refused to accept the decision of the party room, and the undermining began immediately," Paddy Manning wrote in his biography of Mr Turnbull, Born To Rule.
Just days after the party room vote, Mr Turnbull called Dr Nelson's chief of staff, Peter Hendy, and told him he needed to "get Brendan to resign in the next few weeks" because Dr Nelson was "hopeless".
"In his relentless campaign against Nelson, Turnbull took disloyalty to extremes," Mr Manning wrote.
Dr Nelson was gone within a year, hounded out by Mr Turnbull's merciless and destructive ambition.
"If you had any idea of what he said to me over those 10 months, you would be shocked," Dr Nelson told Fairfax journalist Peter Hartcher when he quit parliament.
"I thought he was demonstrative, demanding, emotional and narcissistic, using his wealth and charm for seduction, and always with a sinister threat just beneath the surface.
"Keating wanted power because he knew what he could do with it for the country. Malcolm wanted position."
Mr Turnbull played a longer game when Mr Abbott became leader, but again, actively agitated against him. There was never any question he would seek to seize the top job.
This all makes Mr Turnbull's little performance after he was turfed this week a bit too rich to swallow.
With a smile on his face but cold anger in his words, Mr Turnbull said Australians would be "dumbstruck and appalled" by his colleagues' disloyalty.
"Many Australians will be shaking their head in disbelief at what's been done," he said.
"To imagine that a government would be rocked by this sort of disloyalty and deliberate destructive action.
"Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott and others who chose to deliberately attack the government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the government, to bring my prime ministership down.
"If people are determined to wreck, they will continue to do so."
The architects of Mr Turnbull's demise do deserve to be condemned, chief among them Mr Abbott, whose infamous pledge not to wreck, snipe at or undermine his successor now reads like a sad joke.
But that staggering hypocrisy has been matched, if not exceeded, by Mr Turnbull himself.
If the then outgoing prime minister had any semblance of self-awareness, he would have left criticism of the mutineers to someone else.
Mr Turnbull had no problem with disloyalty when he was the one being disloyal.
He voiced no objection to tearing down a prime minister when it served his own ambition.
He wasn't the least bit bothered by wrecking and undermining when he was using those tactics to obtain power for himself.
So instead of whining, perhaps Mr Turnbull should have used his speech to reflect on what he had done to contribute to his own downfall.
There was no mention of his failure to give the government a compelling purpose.
Nothing about the policy thought bubbles that led nowhere.
Not a word about the bland, rudderless election campaign that reduced his government's majority to a single seat.
No recognition of the irony that he was calling his leadership "progressive" after years of pandering unsuccessfully to the party's right wing.
None of it was his fault, because as far as Mr Turnbull is concerned, nothing ever is.
This is not a defence of the rebels, whose stunningly incompetent coup proved to be not only ugly, but utterly pointless.
It resulted in the elevation of Scott Morrison, a man who will do little to change the government's policies or direction. The alternative, Peter Dutton, offered the visage and all the charisma of a potato.
A more honourable man than Mr Turnbull would deserve our sympathy for falling victim to such a gormless mess. This shameless hypocrite should receive none.