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Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Aus politics, the index card version

As usual blamebrampton has a sterling grasp of what happened yesterday so I should simply reshare her post:

Originally posted by blamebrampton at Aus politics, the index card version
So, this morning, your PM was Julia Gillard, right?
Correct.

And, this evening, it's Kevin Rudd?
Sort of. He is the new leader of the parliamentary Australian Labor Party and Julia Gillard has resigned the Prime Ministership in his favour, but he is only the Prime Minister designate at the moment.

So might he not be in the morning?
Eh, there are some complicated constitutional thingies that could see that happen, but they're not likely to take place, so I can't be arsed looking them up to make sure I get them right. He probably will be.

And this is the same Prime Minister you Aussies elected in 2007?
I'm only a part-Aussie, don't blame me! But yes.

And deposed in 2010?
Oh, that wasn't us, that was the ALP, his party, who turned on him because he had terrible polling figures and installed Gillard.

And now they've turned on Gillard and re-installed Rudd?
Yes.

Because?
Because Gillard had even worse polling figures than Rudd had in 2010.

Not because parliament and the mainstream media are a pack of sexist twats who couldn't stand being governed by a woman?
Well, a bit … but also because Gillard is a frustrating politician who is actually very very good at driving policy and designing legislation and building the coalitions to get it through a hung parliament full of gibbons, but who then can't seem to manage to communicate any of her plans or successes to the general public. So while she did an amazing job at passing legislation, she did a terrible job at conveying any of her messages to the voting public.

And then she turns around and gives a concession speech that is full of wit, personality, compassion and fortitude. Dammit, Gillard, where was that last week?

So those misogyny wars she started were just bollocks?
Oh, she SO did not start those! The coverage of her leadership in some quarters was staggeringly sexist from day one, and the Opposition's disrespect for her has been astonishing and appalling. There is no question that her misogyny speech was born out of anything other than genuine outrage and exasperation, and is one that most women in the Western world have felt like making at some point.

Never forget that while Julia Gillard was trying to shore up her numbers against Kevin, a woman named Wendy Davis spent 11 hours on her feet trying to prevent the state of Texas from legislating to control women's bodies. If you doubt that sexism is still entrenched in much of Australia, as it is in the UK and US, then you're Julie Bishop lying, or an idiot.

But what about what Tony Abbott says about it being outrageous the way she was rolled?
The way Kevin Rudd was rolled? The way Tony Abbott rolled Malcolm Turnbull? The way Turnbull rolled Brendon Neilsen? The way Kevin rolled Kim Beazley? Need I go on? Rolling leaders is an Australian sport. If only there were Test Matches in leader rolling, the upcoming Ashes wouldn't be such a dire prospect for everyone out here. (Except me, and all the other British expats who are wandering around cackling wildly at the prospect.)

But this is a terrible government, yes?
Not in terms of actual governing, they've actually been bloody amazing and Australia is in strong economic form and with wonderful new legislation regarding schools and disability insurance. In terms of PR, I admit they're a bit shitful.

What about the other leadership team changes, should we care?
No. Garrett is a much better rockstar than politician, Stephen Conroy tried to censor the internet and Wayne Swan is nearly as bad at mathematics as Joe Hockey. Although you can care that Penny Wong is now leader of the Senate, because that's BRILLIANT!

So what will Rudd do now he is back?
Be the dorky Ruddbot we all once loved. Travel all over the countryside shaking hands, saying 'programmatic specificity' and carrying suitcases through floods. Try to defeat Tony Abbott and win the next election then hopefuly get gay marriage legislation through. Sit up in bed at night looking at his business card, stroking the raised typeface where it says "K Rudd, PM", lovingly.

And will there be a Harry Potter version of this for the weekend?
Probably! I am very pleased that Mark Simkin, chief political correspondant for the ABC reported that Gillard and Rudd were like the Deathly Hallows, 'Neither can live while the other survives.' 

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And after all the white-anting Kevin Rudd did to get Julia Gillard out, he'd better win the election.

Admittedly he wouldn't have got as far if the media weren't totally looking for anything to hit Julia with, because Murdoch is shitting his pants over the NBN and/or media regulation.

And the shear misogyny of idiots like Alan Jones.

And I gather media regulation became such a shambles because it was kept secret to the last moment in fear of Rudd's supporters spilling it.

Really, Julia Gillard did fantastically against incredible odds. Her team may not have been the best communicators, but the media sure didn't want to listen to policy anyway.


I'm not a fan of Gillard but she did earn a lot of respect from me. I think she'll be remembered better by history than Rudd.

Never forget that while Julia Gillard was trying to shore up her numbers against Kevin, a woman named Wendy Davis spent 11 hours on her feet trying to prevent the state of Texas from legislating to control women's bodies.

And Wendy Davis will probably succeed (as well as getting a following toward becoming Governor). The filibuster heard round the world!

Try to defeat Tony Abbott and win the next election

The issue that is most likely to lose the election for Rudd is electricity prices. We got a nice letter from our electricity supplier today informing us of yet another massive increase in prices. Rudd talking about the politics of hope isn't going to impress people who are trying to figure out how to pay their electricity bills.

That's entirely possible - but the increase in electricity prices is something that's occurring anyway (regardless of carbon pricing) as the companies have to replace infrastructure.

The only way they'd come down under an Abbott government is if the Federal government directly subsidises the energy companies - which, as they're state based, might be unconstitutional.

That's entirely possible - but the increase in electricity prices is
something that's occurring anyway (regardless of carbon pricing) as the
companies have to replace infrastructure.


Unfortunately for Labor it doesn't matter who's responsible. It's the sort of thing that people blame the government for. Infrastructure has always needed to be replaced. People don't understand why suddenly that means that prices go through the roof. Whichever government happens to be in power will always get the blame. Unfortunately for Rudd the skyrocketing electricity prices coincide with Labor's time in government. It might be unfair but that tends to be the way it goes.

The carbon tax has made it worse because it gives the electricity companies carte blanche to increase prices as much as they like, knowing that the government will cop the blame.

A September election was always a bad idea since it comes just after people have paid (or tried to pay) their winter electricity bill.

John Quiggin has a piece in the Guardian about the sharp rise in electricity prices. I grossly oversimplified.

Edited at 2013-06-29 01:29 am (UTC)

John Quiggin has a piece in the Guardian about the sharp rise in electricity prices. I grossly oversimplified.

The Guardian. LOL.

The problem for governments is that the voters tend to see things in simplistic terms. They don't want to understand complicated explanations. I imagine the Coalition will push this issue pretty hard. It makes political sense for them to do so. Sometimes governments just happen to be in office at the wrong time. People tend to get angry when something like this happens and they can't lash out at those who are actually responsible, but lashing out at the government is easy.

So what will Rudd do now he is back?

The problem with Kevin Rudd is that the more one sees of him the more one tends to dislike him. He always appears smug which irritates people. The smart move for Labor would be an August election, before the voters have time to remember why they didn't like him the first time around.

This was a victory for the bullies. Labor pushed the reset button, and the bullies won.

Rolling leaders is an Australian sport

It can be entertaining to watch. Rolling a leader a few weeks before an election is a new twist. If the gamble comes off we can expect to see more examples. A last-minute leadership change to take advantage of a new leader's honeymoon period with the electorate could become standard procedure! Malcolm Turnbull might even be fancying his chances.

It promises to be an interesting election. I'm no fan of either side so for me it will just be pure entertainment. I'm inclined to think it's an even-money bet at this stage.

If Rudd does win I wonder how long it will be before the knives are out for him again? He's not lacking in enemies. He'll be watching the opinion polls pretty obsessively.

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