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76 responses to “Rudd: will he or won’t he?”

  1. Terry

    TONY Abbott has opened his biggest lead ever over Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister as Labor’s primary vote fell below 30 per cent for the first time in a year.

    With parliament entering its final sitting week before the election, the Opposition Leader now leads the Prime Minister by 12 percentage points after trailing by 30 points as the preferred prime minister when Ms Gillard became leader in June 2010.

    A 42 point change in preferred PM over three years would seem to be something of a record, against an opposition leader around whom there remain significant doubts.

  2. patrickg

    Geoff Kitney has an interesting perspective on the unions’ position on Labor leadership.

    Pfft Geoff Kitney has an interesting perspective that he stole whoelsale from Piping Shrike, who has been writing that exact same line since Rudd was replaced.

    Sad, either he’s literally years behind, or terrible plagiarist, or both.

  3. Charlie

    This real time reality TV show continues. What will the housemates do? Will the intruder make his move? Will Julia get voted out of the house? Will the green team add spice to the cook-off challenge? Will the country farmers find a wife – and tie the knot again? Is there a mole in the ranks? Stay watching for the finale of the biggest loser this week…

  4. amortiser

    Rudd cannot unite the ALP and he knows it. It has been clearly demonstrated that a significant portion of the ministry will not serve under him. Many trashed his management style at the time of his last challenge. A change to Rudd would be dysfunctional.

    Rudd should have been best advised to have retired at the last election for the sake of the ALP. Why did he not do that? Rudd is clearly intent on revenge against the Gillard forces and he is not too concerned about the level of collateral damaged that is caused in the process. He engaged in destructive leaking against the PM during the last election campaign and if anything his motivation to do similar damage in this campaign is steeled further. Rudd is bitter and twisted.

    The worst possible outcome for the ALP would be to suffer a significant defeat and for Rudd to win his seat. In such circumstances Gillard would most likely leave politics despite her promise to stay. Rudd would again seek the leadership and would again need to be rebuffed so that he gets the message once and for all and leaves the parliament.

    The best outcome for the ALP would be for Rudd to not nominate for his seat this election. If he does this it is likely it would be done at the eleventh hour. The ALP need to be mindful of this possibility so that they have a replacement candidate ready to go. With Rudd not contesting the election, this would finally remove the leadership instability that is destroying the ALP and its election campaign. That can only be a positive in a sea of calamity.

  5. Lefty E

    ‘A significant proportion of the ministry would not serve under him’

    You make that sound like a bad thing.

    Variants on this refusal to admit basic reality are journalists who claim that a blow-out of leading lights in the cabinet if Rudd returns will somehow be an electoral negative, the same assumption that leads Conroy to proclaim that he wouldn’t serve under Rudd as though it’s a negotiating weapon. They just don’t get it. They are the problem.

    http://www.pipingshrike.com/2013/06/control.html

  6. Paul Norton

    The worst possible outcome for the ALP would be to suffer a significant defeat and for Rudd to win his seat.

    This also appears to be the most likely outcome under the current leadership.

  7. Peter Murphy

    The best outcome for the ALP would be for Rudd to not nominate for his seat this election. If he does this it is likely it would be done at the eleventh hour. The ALP need to be mindful of this possibility so that they have a replacement candidate ready to go. With Rudd not contesting the election, this would finally remove the leadership instability that is destroying the ALP and its election campaign. That can only be a positive in a sea of calamity.

    So zero seats for the ALP in Queensland, rather than the four they have now. I can hardly see that as positive.

  8. Katz

    Priority #1 is denying Abbott control of the Senate. The prospects for avoiding this dwindle by the day.

    Rudd may be more popular than Gillard at the moment but the truth is that the ALP is so internally riven that were Rudd to be elected leader, it is more than possible that he will receive the same white-anting that Rudd has perpetrated on Gillard. Thus, the election of Rudd may not achieve much more than a temporary bounce.

    Thus we cast our eyes to the horizon for the advent of a credible circuit breaking leadership alternative. Yet none appear.

    Brace yourselves for an Abbott-controlled Senate.

  9. Paul Norton

    Brace yourselves for an Abbott-controlled Senate.

    As a paid-up member of the Greens and the NTEU I’m doing my comradely duty to try to prevent this scenario, and I will at least have the consolation of a clear conscience if it eventuates.

  10. Peter Murphy

    Evil and satanic Rudd (the power of Christ compels him) to blame for Labor disaster, says Gillard poll review. Here’s a flavor of the thinking:

    In February last year, Labor’s poll deficit also more than doubled from six points before the ballot – which Ms Gillard won easily by almost two to one – to 14 points in the month after the contest, according to the Fairfax-Nielsen poll.

    I was looking for the words “Labor’s poll deficit”, but couldn’t find them.

  11. Peter Murphy

    Sorry, I mean I was looking for the words “Labor’s poll surplus”, but couldn’t find them.

  12. Darryl Rosin

    This week must surely see the end of speculation as to whether Kevin Rudd will unseat Julia Gillard as leader of the Australian Labor Party.

    You must be new here.

  13. Fran Barlow

    Peter Murphy:

    So zero seats for the ALP in Queensland, rather than the four they have now. I can hardly see that as positive.

    Even allowing your premise, I can. At least the dark cloud would have a silver lining at, in practical terms, near zero cost. Whether the ALP falls 30 or 40 or 50 seats short of the LNP tally is moot. The final disappearance of R**d would be a help to them.

    That said, that the party chose folk of the ilk of R**d and Gillard speaks to a much more profound crisis than the disappearance of one person from the stage can hope to achieve. IMO, a larger loss would be better than a smaller loss, in part because it would show that their entire policy of pandering to the right was a failure not merly of ethical feasibility but even by sthe standards fo staying competitive. A reducion to a rump would leave almost nobody with any authority to defend the old rightwing populist usages. That would have to be a good thing for progress, surely.

  14. Fran Barlow

    Paul Norton:

    As a paid-up member of the Greens and the NTEU I’m doing my comradely duty to try to prevent this scenario, and I will at least have the consolation of a clear conscience if it eventuates.

    One may not like the world as it is, but if one has all one reasonably can individually and in concert with others to foster a better world, then what can any rational person do but seek to bring as much equanimity to the state of social arrangements as one can?

    With this in mind, an Abbott-controlled senate would exacerbate the tensions mongst the Liberals and give him no place to hide on policy. One would not wish this, but if it occurs, that is a silver lining.

  15. Tim Macknay

    I will at least have the consolation of a clear conscience if it eventuates.

    Well, that makes it all all right then.

    R**d

    [again]

    Seriously Fran, what is this “thou shalt dare not speak his name” shite?

  16. akn

    Rudd, will he or won’t he? Probably not. Anyone who can walk away from the great moral challenge of our times will vacillate endlessly and pointlessly. Rudd is not about to lead the party into the valley of the shadow of death in order to purge and thence to spend forty terms in contemplation prior to generating a born again ALP.

    There is no master plan.

  17. David Irving (no relation)

    Please make it stop.

  18. Mr Denmore

    I thought the ALP powerbrokers prided themselves on their realpolitik? What is the Labor Party for if it is reduced to a rump with no funding, no candidates and no viable platform?

    If it is merely to advance the interests of industrial union members then a rump is perhaps all it can expect given union membership in the private sector is in the high teens.

    On the surface, it still seems Rudd is their best chance to come out of the election with something worth salvaging.

    On the other hand, it is tough to accept that having virtually destroyed the party from within, Rudd is capable of building a new centre left post-industrial political force within its shell.

    Maybe we need to start all over again?

  19. akn

    Yes. Make it stop.

    We’d better start turning our attention to the Libs and especially the Nats; the personnel, the promises, the deals because as sure as hell the ALP has forsaken the people and will be of no help for the foreseeable future.

    Look to the environment movement for opposition and reasonably democratic and accountable methods of organising because the unions have had it. Look to the charitable sector, the progressive churches, the social movements for equality and rights in order to forge a broad front. We’re gonna need it.

  20. Fran Barlow

    Tim Macknay:

    Seriously Fran, what is this “thou shalt dare not speak his name” shite?

    My personal protest against about three-years of leadersh|t

  21. Lefty E

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/rudd-to-blame-for-labor-disaster-says-gillard-poll-review-20130623-2oqrk.html

    Hilarious piece this one. To summarise: Gillard forces know they’re heading to electoral disaster, but intending to hang on for internal victory, which they care more about than normal external goals of a political party. Laying groundwork for Rudd-blaming in wake of carnage.

  22. Liz

    The Rudd blaming works because it’s largely true.

  23. Chris

    On the other hand, it is tough to accept that having virtually destroyed the party from within, Rudd is capable of building a new centre left post-industrial political force within its shell.

    Does anyone think Rudd would be a long term leader of the ALP? Bringing him back is just a short term appointment to reduce the number of seats lost at the next election.

    LeftyE @ 21 – I think thats the big danger for the ALP – that post election they will attempt to shift all the blame for the poor result on Rudd and the media. There’ll be no consideration of the shift to the right being a fundamental problem.

  24. Mr Denmore

    Shades of the Black Knight in Monty Python.

    “Look you stupid bastard. You’ve got no arms left!”

    “Just a flesh wound.”

  25. Chris

    The Rudd blaming works because it’s largely true.

    Its also another case of the Gillard camp taking a scorched earth policy – to intentionally make the task for the ALP as difficult as possible if Rudd does return as leader. They want to ensure that a big wipeout will still occur.

  26. Jumpy

    So, if the polls are accurate and the greens support is steady on %9 and in the 2010 election they enjoyed almost %12, which green senators necks are on the chopping block?
    Given they will have far less preferences from the ALP this time.

  27. Jumpy

    Rudd PMship 3 December 2007 – 24 June 2010 ,FWIW.

  28. Fran Barlow

    Chris:

    Does anyone think R**d would be a long term leader of the ALP? Bringing him back is just a short term appointment to reduce the number of seats lost at the next election.

    It would be most unlikely to that. At best, the reasons for sweeping the ALP from power would need to be reconfigured. A new round of trolling would follow based on him promising he wouldn’t challenge, comparisons with “Juliar” made. Quotes from the previous leadersh|t battle would be adduced in favour of “dysfunctional ALP”. Then the video of him cursing all and sundry would get a run.

    What would be even worse would be if R**d were perceived as having saved seats. That would give the whole tawdry, banal, excruciating media circus a new lease of life and allow sections of the ALP to avoid addressing fundamental questions.

    No serious political party — well one based on pressing for an inclusive and socially just polity anyway — can afford to have policy or its leadership driven by attempts to game the system. That is the road to ethical ruin.

    The ALP, when next it confronts the polls after this disastrous loss must attempt to win on the merits of their policy or lose in the attempt. It must attempt to build a coalition of people committed to coherent, inclusive and socially just policies. Its structures ought to reflect this vision. This is the only way it can hope to be in charge of its fate. Speaking for myself, I’d much sooner support a party that lost arguing worthy things than that won arguing egregious things that left us hostage to people hostile to progress.

    Let the Liberals take care of serving ugly Australia, and let those who are civilised and care for their fellows look elsewhere to see their values pressed in public space.

  29. Jacques de Molay

    As much as I’ve disliked Gillard since she became PM I’ve never advocated for a return of Rudd for two reasons a) I can still remember what he was like as PM and to be honest he wasn’t all that much better than Gillard and b) it would make the ALP look like a fuckin shambles if they don’t already. NSW style.

    The geniuses within the party that replaced Rudd with Gillard have to suck it up and face the music. They don’t deserve anything less.

    Ideally at the up coming election I want to see the ALP flogged to within an inch of it’s life (the party has become morally & ethically bankrupt and needs to reform) yet the Greens & ALP still control the senate.

  30. Jumpy

    At the very least Rudd spent a year as opposition leader, a thankless and character building role, an apprenticeship if you will.
    Gillard never did and never will.

  31. Tim Macknay

    Ideally at the up coming election I want to see the ALP flogged to within an inch of it’s life (the party has become morally & ethically bankrupt and needs to reform) yet the Greens & ALP still control the senate.

    Why not also a pony?

  32. Lefty E

    Thats right Chris, with Rudd as scapegoat – there’ll be no contemplation of the fundamental problems the ALP face (union party with declining union membership base, NSWitis, dysfunctional factional culture in which internal goals trump external goals of elections, havent won a federal election outright in 20 years, except for when Rudd did it).

    And no contemplation of Gillard’s shortfalls – even if you want to be critical of Rudd, he has only been able to thrive in the vacuum of her inadequacies in political communication, the completely confused messaging (Gonski goes with higher ed funding cuts; mysogyny lines goes with attacks on single mothers; ‘Abbott’s a reactionary’ goes with baffling intransigence on gay marriage; awful asylum seeker policy to piss off the left, offering nothing the right cant get better from the LNP; bizarre muddled and befuddled media reform agenda launched the dumped; stupid insistence on budget surplus which completely undermines key economic argument for ALP – ‘we spent our way out of the crisis’ etc).

    All of which was apparently ‘Rudd’s fault’, LOL. And even the divsion and challenges – even these always required another condition: that some 40% of caucus wasnt convinced she was doing a great job. Is that really ‘Rudd’s fault’, or in fact their responsibility and judgement as MPs?

    Let the ass-covering begin!

  33. Fran Barlow

    Tim Macknay:

    Why not also a pony?

    I can’t speak for Jacques, but in my case, I’ve only a very modest backyard. 😉

    I take your substantive point however. It’s unlikely as things stand that there will be a radical difference in the pattern of voting in the House and Senate. Conceivably, some tactical voters may give effective preference to the Greens and ALP and yet vote out the ALP in their own seats. I don’t imagine, given the near certainty of a rout that there will be a good many tactical voters. They’d have to know that they were voting for an Abbott landslide, so if they were squeamish about that, but just wanted to teach the ALP some sort of lesson, they could vote ALP knowing they’d be beaten and not have to go to the dark side.

    As there are more Liberals standing for re-election there’s a rough chance of Jacques getting the last part of his wish, but not on the back of an ALP rout, IMO. 52-48? Quite possibly. 57-43? Entirely too optimistic. 60-40? The senate won’t even be close.

  34. akn

    Lefty E, that’s a succinct summary of ALP policy weirdness under Gillard. It’s been headless and incoherent, writhing around like a cut snake, still totally reactive to Howardism. The party lacks political nous; it should have purged the ABC and then gone after the Lib/Nat personnel up to their eyeballs in the Australian Wheat Board bribes to Saddam scandal as matters of urgent priority once in office. That they didn’t was naive and inept.

  35. Russell

    The captain should go down with the ship. Their tiny amount of credibility would evaporate with any last-minute move back to discredited Rudd.

    Everybody I speak to is sick of everything political, so the informal vote should be high. I will probably still vote 1 Greens in the Senate, just for Christine Milne (Scott Ludlam is probably doing something worthy though God knows what), but I will vote 2 for the Nationals.

    Their senate candidate, David Wirrpanda looks like a decent person, who will take votes away from the ALP and possibly the Greens too. If we have to lose every ALP candidate in W.A. to get rid of Garry Gray (and Joe Bullock) then so be it.

  36. Mr Denmore

    Yes, Lefty E has summarised it pretty well. The party is a basketcase. It has continually moved to the Right in the vain pursuit of the votes of those who voted for Howard, while taking the left for granted. It is run by out-of-touch factional hacks with no feel for politics beyond the internal politics of the party and is absolutely bereft of communication nous.

    That Martin Ferguson received a tongue bath from Abbott on the occasion of his parliamentary farewell tells you everything you need to know about what a compromised and hollow shell the ALP has become.

    I’m voting Green in both houses.

  37. akn

    Yep, Greens then ALP, oth houses. Then I’ll read the booth returns to see how many tens and tens of other Green voters there are in Drastic.

  38. Chris

    I take your substantive point however. It’s unlikely as things stand that there will be a radical difference in the pattern of voting in the House and Senate.

    I’m rather more optimistic about the Senate. My understanding is the historically people do vote strategically in the Senate to intentionally not give the the party they want elected a majority in both houses. Also for this election its not really that Abbott is wildly popular, its that Gillard and the ALP are wildly unpopular.

  39. patrickg

    The Rudd blaming works because it’s largely true.

    Work with whom, Liz? Not the voting public, clearly. It has never worked with them, sans a credible performance (and sadly, performance is required) from Gillard.

    A basic examination of the facts would surely dispute this contention – Gillard has had, after all, three years to effect something.

    That Martin Ferguson received a tongue bath from Abbott on the occasion of his parliamentary farewell tells you everything you need to know about what a compromised and hollow shell the ALP has become.

    I’m voting Green in both houses.

    Amen, on both counts Mr D. The bloody Fergusons et al typify everything wrong with the party. What’s worse, the bulk of them have some of the safer seats.

  40. Ronson Dalby

    Russell @ 32. Sen Ludlam is doing a lot of work on the communications front. He is presently the only politician that seems to be interested in the A-G’s data and phone retention plans, Internet privacy issues and the NBN.

  41. Nickws

    Here’s something from a state Labor MP.

    When, in 1986, as a new union organiser, I asked an established official why the management committee of our union branch was made up exclusively of men, when the majority of members were women, he replied: “We tried a lady once but she didn’t work out.”

    For much of the period since my winning office in that union three years later, I was part of a loose group of women in the ALP who both supported and were encouraged by Julia Gillard’s seemingly unstoppable rise to power. But now the stance of some of these women seems to be, ”We need to shore up Julia in case our opponents claim women in power don’t work out.”

    The Prime Minister played on this sentiment two weeks ago when she claimed that a Coalition victory in the September 14 federal election could foreshadow dark days for Australian women.

    Of course, the PM’s remarks were as much a warning to Labor faction bosses as an appeal to the electorate. Her message to faction leaders was that, if they moved against her, they’d be exposed as misogynists.

    So it’s time for women in the labour movement to say clearly that the Prime Minister’s departure in present circumstances would not, in itself, set back the cause of women. Women ask only to be judged by the same political rules as apply to men. And what’s political rule No. 1? We do what’s difficult but necessary to keep Labor in the game.

    On those rules, Prime Minister, it’s time for you to step aside.

    The looming carnage for Labor foreshadowed in last week’s Age/Nielsen poll was entirely predictable given the PM’s reprise of gender politics. While the women who respond to these issues are almost certainly already Labor (or Greens) voters, male voters hate this talk. Many in Labor are angry that the PM’s comments put the party’s support further at risk in what seemed like an attempt to shore up her caucus support.

    As things stand, Labor is heading for a devastating election defeat. Prime Minister, if you’re right and Tony Abbott and the Coalition harbour in their kitbag a farrago of anti-women policies, then the least you can do is to make sure that a viable Labor opposition remains in Parliament after the election to keep them in check.

    Prime Minister, no one doubts your own resolve and your appetite for the fight. Thanks to you, never again can a conservative claim that a woman hasn’t the bottle for the top job.

    But there’s a thin line between self-belief and self-indulgence.

    Take your remarks on abortion. Just suppose some in the Coalition really do plan to turn back the clock on abortion rights; is it only your prime ministership that stands between Australian women and a return to the bad old days? In fact, the Coalition would tamper with abortion law at its peril because, through four decades of political action, women have changed Australian political culture. The greatest marker of this change is that any attempt to roll back our rights would spark a rebellion among the majority of Liberal Party women. We ought do nothing to jeopardise cross-party consensus on this issue.

    Is it otherwise fair that you be asked to go? Probably not.

    You have borne, with patience and dignity, disgraceful personal attacks and slurs by every twerp and ”nutjob” who litters the Australian landscape. It would be natural to dig in, if only to deny these boofheads any satisfaction.

    But there have also been terrible errors of judgment. The cutting down of Kevin Rudd, at the outset, was probably the worst. The Rudd/Gillard governments have a very good record on the economy, climate change, health and education reform and, of course, disability insurance. Our dire position in the polls reinforces that Labor’s policy success has drowned, paradoxically, in a widespread perception of failure. And the government must take at least some responsibility for this perception.

    Finally, you should stand aside now because, at the end of the day, you deserve better than either of the alternative scenarios. If you stay, it is likely you will lead Labor to a devastating defeat. Alternatively, you’ll be deposed by those who put you in power. In that case it will fall to factional heavyweights – the usual suspects – to characterise your removal in, no doubt, a maelstrom of mixed metaphors and empty elegiac platitudes.

    When you became PM, you addressed the nation to spell out your motives and your plans. You told Australians that on some days you would delight and on others you may disappoint. In truth there have been, for too many voters, too many days of disappointment. But you should take the opportunity now to end your prime ministership with the pride and dignity that is clearly at your core.

    Recount your achievements and your disappointments in office. Tell us that for the good of the movement you love you are standing aside. Do it with the style, eloquence and dignity that have always been at your command. And go.

    Kaye Darveniza is a Labor MP in the Victorian Parliament and was a parliamentary secretary in the Bracks and Brumby governments.

    Dammit, she had the perfect opportunity to use Cromwell’s “BY THE GRACE OF GOD GO!!!!” for that last sentence, and she blew it.:-)

  42. Charlie

    So many words by Ms Darveniza in ‘The Age’ and not a criticism of Kr**d anywhere? Curious.

  43. leinad

    The revolving door at the top is a symptom of NSW disease, not the ailment itself. NSW disease occurs when a single, over-mighty factional tail loses to the ability to even pretend it isn’t wagging the parliamentary dog. By that criteria, the very people decrying NSW disease injected the federal party with an advanced strain three years ago.

  44. Liz

    Patrickg, Rudd blaming works in the sense that it’s largely, factually correct. He’s spent three years attempting to destroy the government. If you think making Rudd leader again will fix the ALP’s deep seated problems, then you’re wrong.

  45. Nickws

    Rudd was trying to destroy the govt for three years even as he was serving as foreign minister for half that time?

    Seems legit.

  46. zoot

    Jumpy @26:

    So, if the polls are accurate and the greens support is steady on %9 and in the 2010 election they enjoyed almost %12, which green senators necks are on the chopping block?

    I understood that all of the senators elected in 2010 are only halfway through their terms.
    Has somebody changed the rules?

  47. raja

    It’s hard to be positive about Julia Gillard’s performance as PM. Apart from the “First female PM, now isn’t that a thing!” angle and a couple of worthy policy achievements, it’s been a terrible mess. Every time I think that maybe she is just the victim of a Murdoch conspiracy, I’m reminded of obvious inconvenient truths like the botching of the boat arrivals issue.

    Whether she was a pawn or major player in Rudd’s 2010 removal, it played terribly in the electorate. Gillard’s still marked as the usurper, raised to power by schemers and plotters; Rudd, the rightful king, wrongly deposed. Before he’d even had one full term on the throne, at that.

    I struggle to credit Julia for her “achievements” in minority government, because, without that ill-judged change of leadership, I suspect the ALP would have recovered sufficiently to hang on and govern in its own right.

    Don’t get me started on the scorched earth approach of attacking Rudd publicly. Whose bright idea was that? Because it played terribly to the public. Kevin may well have been undermining and briefing and merrily leaking, but at least he had the decency to do it behind the scenes.

    I puzzle at the inertia shown by the ALP in the face of electoral oblivion. But they seem quite content, just so long as they can blame the defeat on Rudd. Would that make a thrashing and several terms in the wilderness worthwhile? The great party reform in the wake of defeat will be … keeping Kevin out?

    Whether Kevin Rudd is a good thing for the ALP is another question, but Julia Gillard is politically damaged goods. If he’s the only alternative, it’s past time they gave him his job back.

  48. Chris

    I don’t know how active Rudd was but he certainly didn’t call off the dogs.

    If the ALP were polling well in the first place and thought the latest term it would have been irrelevant. The only reason leadership is an issue now is because their primary vote starts with a 2.

    Having said all that, if you were listening to Question Time today, Gillard was magnificent in whacking the crap served up by the Opposition over the boundary

    Question time is pretty irrelevant these days as no one actually answers questions anymore, just sledges the other side or wastes time with Dorothy dixers that belong in press releases instead. And barring a huge opposition blunder it’s really just something a government can “lose” rather than ever win. I also really detest how both the LNP and ALP feel free to be quite verbally abusive to each other as long as they do it in a “parliamentary way”.

    If Gillard wants clear air now, she’ll have to call a spill and win decisively.

    She worked tactically very well against Rudd in the first spill this term catching him on the hop overseas before he was ready. The trouble is although she won it didn’t actually fix the fundamental problem. And that same flexibility in timing she voluntarily gave up when it came to the election date. She has been a much more effective opponent of Rudd than Abbott, but many of the ALP have forgotten who the opposition actually is.

    Problem now is that if there is a change, Labor will be proven to be shambolic and having Rudd at the helm may not be of any net benefit.

    Oh I think that the ALP are shambolic has already been well proven, but like you I don’t think a change now will make a huge difference in the big scheme of things. It’s too late for any meaningful legislative or policy changes. The only people it will affect are a few MPs as to whether they need to look for work and the pride and legacy of Gillard and Rudd. And the feelings of die hard Gillard and Rudd supporters – but either way there are going to be a bunch of really annoyed people.

  49. Paul Norton

    There is an interesting historical parallel and contrast between the present situation and the Hawke/Hayden leadership struggle of 30 years ago. Hawke, like Gillard vis-a-vis Rudd today, had a much better relationship with the Labor Party and labour movement than Hayden which he used to advantage, and was an easier personality to like and be close to. The difference between the two situations is that Hawke was also obviously more popular with the wider public, which made the leadership change an easy one for Labor to make and to go forward with, whereas today that the leader that Labor likes is the one the public loathes, and vice-versa.

  50. Jumpy

    zoot @49

    I understood that all of the senators elected in 2010 are only halfway through their terms.

    That is my understanding too, so, of the other half ?
    I think the greens hit their high water mark in 2010 and the sentiment of the electorate ( if the trend in the polls is to be believed ) toward the present hung government, of which the greens have take unprecedented influence in, is a negative one.

    They have tried to distance themselves from it with the ” walk away ” thing but I’m not convinced the people believe that based on their voting in Parliament. ( 50 odd pieces to be rammed through this week!,their previous distain but now embrace of the guillotine )

    We shall see after the Election.

  51. Tim Macknay

    I suspect that should Rudd become leader of the ALP the only way the GG wouldn’t call upon Abbott to act as PM would be if Rudd advised that we go straight to an election. From memory the earliest an election can be held in both houses is the second Saturday in August, ie August 10.

    So you reckon all the Independents would prefer Abbott to Rudd? Seems unlikely to me. Presumably there would be something of a flurry of jockeying between the Independents and Rudd and Abbott if Rudd became Labor leader again. But I don’t really see why the GG would presume that Abbott could command the confidence of the House.

  52. Katz

    The GG has no necessary reason to intervene unless/until supply is denied.

    But as I suggested in another thread, the GG needs to have no necessary reasons to perform or choose not to perform any viceregal act, except to issue writs for an election at the elapse of the term of the previous parliament.

    On the other hand, the GG is one brief phone call away from eviction from Yarralumla.

  53. alfred venison

    in canada, in december 2008, days before a no-confidence vote he was certain to lose, the prime minister of minority government, persuaded the governor general to prorogue parliament for a month. The coalition of parties moving the no-confidence motion dissolved in the interim and the minority gov’t survived. The manoeuvre was considered unprecedented & remains controversial in canada. –a.v.

  54. Katz

    The present GG appears to be quite astute. But for three months she may swear anyone — literally anyone — on to, or off, the Executive Council.

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 62

    Federal Executive Council
    There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor?General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor?General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

    ACT – SECT 64

    Ministers of State
    The Governor?General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor?General in Council may establish.

    Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor?General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth.

    Ministers to sit in Parliament

    After the first general election no Minister of State shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

  55. patrickg

    If you think making Rudd leader again will fix the ALP’s deep seated problems, then you’re wrong.

    I don’t think anyone will fix Labor’s deep-seated problems. I do think that, on balance, Rudd has a better chance of a better result than Gillard; I feel this is irrefutable, as it would be almost impossible for Labor’s vote to go any lower.

    I also feel that Rudd has long had, and voiced, an opposition to the faction system, and that as opposition leader and as PM he was one of – if not the first – to be factionally unaligned.

    As I feel that the factions are a huge, terrible drag on Labor in general, I view this as a positive thing, and as such, do feel that Rudd is likely to make more progress (not resolve, haha, by any means) on this front than Gillard – assuming if he did become leader that he wasn’t eviscerated post haste after the election.

    That’s the funny thing, the factions so desperately digging their heels in on Gillard to vindicate their stupid rhetoric prior to Rudd’s replacement, would be far better off installing him, blaming Labor’s (in my opinion) inevitable colossal loss on him, and then putting up someone more congenial to their agenda afterwards. Of course, by that stage, the Labor party will be reduced to a near-bankrupt stump, but that has never seemed to bother them during Gillard’s term.

  56. Katz

    Brian:

    I was thinking that if Gillard ceases to be leader of the ALP and is replaced by Rudd, then Rudd can’t become PM without being sworn in by the GG, surely.

    That’s true.

    A minister cannot be a minister without being sworn in as a member of the Executive Council.

    Practically, that means if a non-sworn person issues an order to a public servant, and that public servant acts on those unauthorised orders, the the public servant faces prosecution for sedition.

    As you may imagine, that predicament can be a very sticky one for the public servant.

  57. Chris

    Rudd is being advised by some close to him that it would be better to let the crash happen and then save Labor after the election. That assumes that he’d win against Shorten.

    Anyone know if the Rudd supporters (or probably more important the Rudd haters) are likely to still be in parliament after the next election?

  58. Katz

    I doubt that a defeated ALP Caucus will elect Rudd as Opposition Leader after the forthcoming election. My reasoning is that after September the ALP will want to close the books on this era of divisiveness by electing a new leadership.

    Therefore, Rudd’s last moments in the sun will between now and the election.

  59. alfred venison

    looks like its on:-

  60. alfred venison
  61. alfred venison
  62. Katz

    If Rudd wins, expect a speedy election.

  63. Chris

    Katz @ 70 – well that’ll be the big consolation prize out of all of this – at least it will all be over soon! Then the media can start on the Abbott/Turnbull leadership tussle 🙂

  64. alfred venison

    since gillard & abbott together plumb the depths of unpopularity in polls while rudd rides high, will abbott be challenged if rudd is elected labor leader? -a.v.

  65. mindy
  66. Tim Macknay

    Chris @71, whatever happens with the Labor spill, I can’t see the Libs putting Turnbull back in the hot seat. He might be the favourite of Labor-leaning middle class types, but he was never especially popular with voters or particularly effective against Rudd.

  67. Chris

    Tim @ 74 – it may look very different if Abbott is polling badly towards the end of his first term though. Then they’ll be looking for someone who appeals more to the swinging voter.

  68. Tim Macknay

    True. They may not pick Turnbull though.