Thursday, 24 June 2010

In an hour or so from now Australia could have

another world first - a female Prime Minister. As I type this the ALP is gathering in Canberra to vote on the leadership. Rudd, Gillard or someone else?
Australians went to the last election believing that the leaders of the respective parties would, if the parties were elected, be Prime Minister. That meant that, were he to be re-elected, John Howard would stay on as Prime Minister. If he lost the election then Kevin Rudd, as leader of the ALP, would be Prime Minister. That is the way the electorate believes the system works. It is the way they believe it should work and, on the whole, want it to work. Die hard voters on either side will of course say "Go with the person you believe will be the most likely to win the election." Those really in the know will say, "Go with the person in your party to whom the media is willing to give the most positive press."
Kevin Rudd had an extraordinarily long media honeymoon. Even when he did do wrong and it simply had to be reported the reports would end up buried somewhere in the middle of the news or after page three. Editorials said very little. Lately that has not been possible.
He was, according to the media, done for when he back-flipped on the Emissions Trading Scheme. I suspect he was done for when Aussies saw him trying to be a big boy on the world stage. We know our place in the scheme of things. We are not a major power but he was trying to behave as if we were one. That lessened rather than increased our potentially considerable influence in the Pacific and caused our influence in Asia to grow even less. It has all done a lot of damage. I rather doubt that a change of leadership at this point is going to mend relations quickly. It could take a long time.
The interesting thing this morning will be, who goes to the G20 meeting- anyone? It would, at very least, have made sense to wait until that was over.


Sheep Rustler said...

Of course by now we do have a female Prime Minister. I am pleased, for the first female etc, but a bit sad that support for Kevin Rudd died so quickly. He didn't back-flip on emissions trading, he couldn't get through the hostile Senate, but he never made political capital of that. He has been hit hardest by reactions to the mining tax, I think. And I hate the fact that a Labor PM could lose his job because he wanted to tax the richest people in the country. Ont he other hand I think our new PM is very competent. And her 'annointment' has robbed the Liberal Party of 90% of its planned election advertising, so she would be well advised to go the polls ASAP. Plus that would remove the feeling, well known in Victoria, that the leader is someone who received no public mandate for leadership. As the Chinese say, may you live in interesting times!!

catdownunder said...

I feel he did backflip on the ETS. If he had really believed in it he would have insisted on a double dissolution.
As for the mining tax, it was ill conceived. He should have consulted the industry first and then announced something much more flexible. One small outfit here ('mining' salt) would have gone out of business almost immediately - surely an unintended consequence?

Sheep Rustler said...

I agree that a double dissolution would have been in order. And as for the mining tax - can't pretend to know much about mining but I believed that it was a tax on profits, and a reduction in company tax, and as my husband pays a huge amount of personal income tax for daring to earn a decent salary, I do feel that companies should be taxed on their profits. I think one of Kevin's probl;ems was an inability to seek (or take) advice from a wide range of competent people.

Donna Hosie said...

The whole thing has really shocked me. The brutality at the way Rudd was stabbed in the back now has me seriously considering where to place my vote in the next election.

I want a leader who doesn't mislead, lie; one who isn't hideously disloyal.

Is that too much to ask?

catdownunder said...

I suspect it is far too much Donna. Julia went to school here - to the high school just across the railway line. There are plenty of people in the district who know her personally. Yesterday there were a good many comments - even from die hard Labor voters - to indicate that she has been that way since her school days.
Does not surprise me - but then it was a Labor PM who directly intervened to prevent my employment.