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.