Sunday, 23 June 2013

There was an extraordinary editorial

in "The Age" yesterday calling for the Prime Minister to resign. 
It is not the first time  - and it will not be the last - that a Prime Minister has been called on to resign. 
What made this extraordinary however was the fact that "The Age" is an unashamedly left wing paper and the Prime Minister is the leader of a left wing government. They were in effect asking one of their own to resign. 
The odd thing is that it is becoming increasingly clear that nothing will change if she does - nothing with respect to government policy that is. There will be no time for a new leader to put a new team and new policies in place. 
Those calling for the Prime Minister to resign are assuming what one  senior and experienced journalist called "a seamless transition" from one leader to another. It will not work like that.
If the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is returned then he comes with a busload of problems. It is not simply that he is not liked by many of those with whom he would have to work. He is also the architect of some of the policies that the electorate is angry about. 
There are politicians who have said outright they will not work with him. If they were to do so that will be used against them during the election campaign. 
The current Opposition has so much negative material about him from members of his own party they do not need any of their own.
If they handle that well then his present popularity would drop again - to a level where Labor would lose the election. 
Yes, the present opinion polls are based on present popularity - not on potential popularity in twelve weeks time. In our peculiar "compulsory" voting system - i.e compulsory attendance at the ballot box - there are many more people to keep happy than just the rusted on voters for one side or the other. 
Of course that assumes that the election date remains the same. There could be an earlier election to try and capitalise on the upsurge in the leader's popularity. It is still unlikely that it would work. It might lead to another hung parliament but it would take a much stronger leader to hold another one together. It may lead to a much smaller electoral loss with some of the old faces being returned instead of an array of "one-term wonders". Would that work? It may or it may not. They would still need a strong and popular leader to win at the next election. 
I do not know what will happen but I am fairly certain of one thing. If there is a switch they will of course lose the present Prime Minister. She may, despite statements to the contrary, leave parliament if she loses the election and her leadership but retains her seat. If "Mr Popularity" takes her place it is likely to be for just long enough to try and save electoral annihilation. He will then be deposed by someone who will be presumed to be able to pull the unruly mob together and make them work as a team. If he is deposed like that he will, once again, undermine the unity of the party.
It might be better to stick with the incumbent and concentrate on policies rather than people. I doubt anyone will listen to that. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting times, Cat!