Oz Election Thread #5 - Rudd's Labor (redux)

Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 05:40 pm
So very sad to have to do this (it should be MsOlga) but here it is for the few who give a rats any more.

Kevin Rudd ousts Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Kevin Rudd has ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard as leader of Australia's Labor Party.

He won by 57 votes to 45, in a leadership ballot of Labor lawmakers.

The change comes ahead of a general election due in September, which polls suggest Labor is set to lose.

This is the latest twist in a long and bitter rivalry between the two politicians - but it could be the last as Ms Gillard has said she will now leave politics.

"I will not re-contest the federal electorate... at the forthcoming election," said Ms Gillard, Australia's first female prime minister.

"What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that, and I'm proud of that," she added.

Kevin Rudd has exacted revenge on Julia Gillard, his one-time friend and deputy who ruthlessly deposed him in 2010. Ever since he was removed from the prime minister's office, he has sought to destabilise her leadership. This has been a very personal feud.

For Ms Gillard, it's a dramatic reversal. Three months ago, when she last called a leadership election, her rival could not muster enough support to mount a credible challenge.

In the meantime, the Labor government has slipped even further in the polls. Labor is not only one of the most brutal political parties in the world, but also one of the most calculating and pragmatic.

Its parliamentarians might not necessarily believe they can win the forthcoming election against the conservative opposition. Many already believe that's a lost cause. But many calculate Mr Rudd will at least prevent an electoral wipe-out, and maybe help save their own seats.

Wednesday's leadership vote makes Mr Rudd the leader of the Labor Party, but not yet prime minister.

Ms Gillard must first write to Governor General Quentin Bryce stating that she is resigning before Mr Rudd can be sworn in.

Despite their bitter rivalry, Mr Rudd praised his predecessor, describing her as a woman of extraordinary intelligence, with great strength and energy.

"Julia, as prime minister and prior to that as deputy prime minister, has achieved much under the difficult circumstances of a minority government," he told a news conference after his victory.

Mr Rudd is more popular with voters than Ms Gillard, and many believe Labor will perform better in the election under him.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Tony Abbott called on Mr Rudd to name an election date, arguing that it should be sooner than 14 September - the date set by Ms Gillard.

"The Australian people are yearning to make a choice. The Australian people are well and truly over this low and dishonourable parliament," he told a news conference.

Limiting losses?
Wednesday's leadership test was the third faced by Ms Gillard since she took office in 2010. She herself ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says Mr Rudd has exacted his revenge, after three years of him and his supporters mounting a destabilisation campaign targeted very much at her.

The ballot followed months of speculation over the party's leadership, and came after a day of drama that saw Mr Rudd's supporters push for a vote.

Julia Gillard thanked Australians for their support
Shortly before the vote, a key power-broker, Bill Shorten, switched his support to Mr Rudd, saying Labor stood a better chance in the polls with him.

Many people do not think Mr Rudd will win the election but he may mitigate the losses and shorten the time Labor could spend in opposition if the party loses, our correspondent says.

A poll published earlier this month suggested that three cabinet ministers would lose their seats at the poll under Ms Gillard's leadership, but would retain their seats if Mr Rudd was leading the party.

A shake-up in the cabinet is expected following the leadership change.

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan has already quit because of Mr Rudd's victory. He has been replaced by Rudd ally and transport minister Anthony Albanese.

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Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 06:35 pm
Meanwhile, opposition leader Tony Abbott

Is Tony Abbott one of Howard's junior war criminals or is he from a different party altogether?
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 07:06 pm
Definitely a former lieutenant of Howard's . In fact the shadow cabinet is entirely made of remnants of that former ministerial team.
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Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 07:25 pm
Thank you, Hingehead, for picking up the discussion of Aussie politics after MsOlga. I am a bit of a political junkie, following elections around the world. I appreciated the kindness the last time around in explaining the nuances of that election. There was little coverage in our media.
This time around it appears to me that Gillard has been thrown under the bus in favor of Rudd, whose task is to minimize the size of Labor's defeat.
So Tony Abbott is the next PM?
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 07:58 pm
I follow Australian politics primarily through ABC coverage that's available overnight on our CBC radio. This series of threads has always helped fill in the details/provided nuance.
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 08:54 pm

It would seem so although in personal preference terms Abbott is not well liked - in fact a recent poll on the youth radio station JJJ the voters 'created' their own choice in for preferred PM (ignoring the names listed) and it got 30% of the ticks - it was 'Anyone but Abbott'.

In pure policy terms Labor is streets ahead - but the Murdoch press is largely pro-liberal (and the 'big end of town' is the same - look up Gina Rinehart for an example) and never push Abbott for policy detail. What they have released seems very contradictory.

For example
Coalition will 'cut the carbon tax for big business'
but will also 'implement paid maternity scheme that pays mothers their normal weekly wage for nine months after birth of child and make big business pay for it through a tax'

will 'reduce the govt deficit'
but will also 'retain the new tax free threshold and houshold subsidies currently funded by the carbon tax that they will get rid of'

will 'reduce govt interfence in business'
but will also 'pay big polluters "rewards" for reducing carbon emissions with taxpayer funds'

That said the Labor government has done some really dumb things some of which you read about in the papers but others you know about if you have friends in the public service.

Rudd was certainly brought in to reduce the size of the loss - but the game may have changed, it will be interesting to see where the polls go and if the Opposition gets skittish.

I have a side theory that if in fact the Murdoch press isn't taking sides (I've posted elsewhere that I think they back Abbott because he'll deliver a stillborn NBN which will keep Murdoch's interests in online delivery profitable) and what reporting and editorialising we get is just lazy journalism looking for sensational topics (reporting rumour not facts), there is a chance that they will now turn to Abbott's personal unpopularity and shadow Communication minister Malcolm Turnbull's much larger personal approval rating and feed leadership rumours on the conservative side - which as we've seen becomes part of a feedback process that might distract from Labor's woes.

That said I believe it would be highly unlikely that Abbott would lose the leadership prior to an election - but that may have electoral consequences, because just maybe Rudd's popularity will drag the ALP over the line - but I think in that scenario there is nothing the Coalition can do - they lose more votes ditching Abbott because it will look like a cynical vote grab (which somehow the Rudd appointment isn't being cast as - which I don't understand).

The current thing to look for is a rescheduling of the election (a new PM has the prerogative of changing the date set by the outgoing one - 14th September). If Rudd pushes it back to late October early November the opposition may be caught out by not wanting to release the policies they promised in time for Sept 14 because of the added time for scrutiny. Then they will look like dicks who are hiding something.

On the other hand Rudd may bring election forward if he thinks his approval rating can only drop - but then the Coalition can say 'we were planning for Sep 14' but it will still sound hollow because:
a) Sep 14 was announced at the start of the year, for the first time 9 months ahead of time (usually it's about 9 weeks)
b) They have been pushing for a new election ever since a hung parliament was first determined. How stupid do you look not being ready for something you've been fighting for for three years?

So a very long answer to 'Will Abbott be next PM?'

To which I could have said odds of 3-1 on, but volatile in this market.
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Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 08:57 pm
Is that Breakfast on ABC24 Beth? Michael Rowland, La Trioli and PK? We're probably watching it together at the same time on opposite poles.
Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 09:16 pm
It varies.

Tonight's schedule shows that we're getting ConnectAsia from RadioABC


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Reply Mon 1 Jul, 2013 11:44 pm
The latest on the blank cheque the coalition is asking you to sign:

Tony Abbott's policy gap: what's on the Coalition's 'figure it out later' list?

Lenore Taylor, political editor
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 2 July 2013 13.51 AEST

We are spending a lot of time talking about Kevin. But we also need to talk about Tony’s policies – the ones we know about, but particularly the ones we don’t know about, and probably won’t when we cast a vote.

The Coalition leader has been travelling the country with his “Real Solutions for all Australians” plan, which looks reassuringly like a big book of policies, all chunky and nicely bound, but is actually a much less definitive collection of goals and priorities, with very little detail.

In purely political terms, it is understandable Tony Abbott has decided not to interrupt Labor’s internal brawling with any more policy initiatives since his industrial relations and broadband policies were unveiled. Oppositions always release their policies at the time of their own choice, which for the most important ones is usually during the election campaign.

But Abbott has also said clearly there are a long list of policies he will not announce in detail before this poll, but will think about afterwards. Having attacked Kevin Rudd in 2007 for “hitting the ground reviewing”, the Coalition has a “figure it out later” list easily as long. Here’s some of it:

• Education funding. The education spokesman, Christopher Pyne, has said the Coalition wants to repeal Labor’s Gonksi funding package, roll over the existing system for two years and in that time strike a different funding agreement with the states. It is difficult for the Coalition to develop an alternative policy while details of the government’s policy continue to change and it remains unclear how many states will sign funding deals, but nevertheless, it seems parents will vote at this election without knowing how much money the Coalition is promising to spend on education beyond its first two years in power.

• Tax policy. Abbott has said he will repeal the carbon and mining taxes and promised a “modest” company tax cut, with the size and timing still uncertain. He has also said he will have a white paper, a full review of the tax system, with any subsequent decisions to be taken to the next election.

• Climate change. Business is desperate to know how the 2009 Direct Action policy will actually work, but usually emerge from meetings with the Coalition spokesman, Greg Hunt, with few answers. Hunt has promised a white paper after the election to flesh out the details, with legislation to be finalised within six months of a Coalition term.

• Renewable energy. The Coalition has promised a review of the 20% renewable energy target in 2014, even though it was already reviewed by the Climate Change Authority just last year. Some in the Coalition are demanding that it be scrapped altogether. More likely, say senior sources, it will be wound back a little, because its promise to deliver 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy by 2020 is working out to be more like 25%, due to falling electricity demand. Bottom line: the renewable energy industry is not sure what will happen to the target under the Coalition.

• Federal state relations and Coag. In his budget-in-reply speech, Abbott promised that within two years of a change of government, working with the states, the Coalition would produce a white paper on Coag reform, and the responsibilities of different governments, to ensure that, as far as possible, the states are sovereign in their own sphere. The objective will be to reduce and end, as far as possible, the waste, duplication and second-guessing between different levels of government that has resulted, for instance, in the commonwealth employing 6,000 health bureaucrats even though it doesn’t run a single hospital.”

• Financial system. The shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, has said he will have a “root and branch review” to improve competition in the banking sector.

• Spending. The Coalition will announce savings in the lead-up to the poll but it has also promised a “commission of audit” after the election, to review government spending "top to bottom", rein in waste, identify where taxpayer funds should be spent and start "with a clean slate" on government spending. That’s a pretty broad brief.

• Northern Australia. The absence of a northern Australia policy would not normally be notable, but Abbott recently released a “vision” to have a white paper on the development of the north. The “vision” said the white paper would look at most of the ideas being vocally advocated by mining magnate Gina Rinehart and the Institute of Public Affairs, but in terms so vague and non-committal it is unclear whether the Coalition intends to actually do them, or was just trying to appease its powerful backers.

• Industrial relations. The Coalition’s policy promises only minor changes to the fair work laws, but will ask the Productivity Commission to undertake a “comprehensive and broad” review of industrial relations policy - with the results to be taken to the next election

• Car industry assistance. We know the Coalition will cut $500m from the budgeted car industry assistance between now and 2015. It says it will have another Productivity Commission inquiry into what assistance should be provided after that and how it should be spent. Given that the industry says ongoing assistance is essential for its survival, that leaves a large question mark.

* Childcare policy will be the subject of yet another Productivity Commission review. The terms of reference ask for policy to be assessed against the working hours and needs of modern families, and leave open the possibility of government rebate being extended to in-home nannies. That all sounds good, but we also know spending will be constrained so the results remain unclear.

* Competition policy. The Coalition has given mixed signals on competition policy, saying both that the existing laws are too onerous and that small business needs more protection against large competitors. Competition law will be the subject of another “root and branch review” after the election.
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Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 01:10 am
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Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:52 am
I give a rat's.
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:17 am
Excellent! I have onions and a casserole dish.
Reply Fri 5 Jul, 2013 09:20 pm
Well, as my contribution to this thread - which isn't too much in relation to policy, I have the following things to add about the upcoming election :

- I, and very few people I know, liked Julia Gillard
- I, and few people I know, like Tony Abbott
- despite his record, Kev is likeable
- Turnbull is also likeable
- I hope Hockey never becomes leader - his behaviour after Rudd became PM the first time was deplorable, childish, and spiteful

Ie. I'd love to see a Rudd Vs Turnbull contest, but that's unlikely to happen.

On Govt over the last few years :
- Minority govt is always the most difficult situation to govern from.
- The greens weren't compatible with Labor, and in my opinion, the greens did themselves a lot of damage with many of the comments they made on non environmental issues.
- that damage extended to Labor too
- During this time, the Libs had an almost 'we'll say no to everything' policy, which is quite a selfish policy.

On the election itself :
- I hope that the Libs don't win by a landslide. Landslide victories almost always lead to bad govt (possibly worse than minority govt victories)
- I'd be rather surprised if Labor won. They certainly couldn't have under Gillard.

On the State of the budget :
- it hasn't been too bad. (if anyone needs an explanation, that's fine, but I'd suggest you look up ABS federal revenue statistics for the last 2 decades first)
- it's going to be a tough road ahead for any govt.
- interest rates nearing rock bottom are worrying me, for :
- there may yet be another world recession, and sometime in the next 15 years, a depression.
- if there are no interest rates to stimulate the economy (and while it's tough at the moment, it's no where near as bad as it can be), then the stimulus comes from lending.
- the problem with borrowed stimulus is that it benefits companies, and the tab is picked up by the taxpayer. Effectively, taxpayers subsidise business...the larger the bill, the greater and longer ongoing the subsidisation

On the boat people issue - I rather liked the Malaysian Exchange idea. It would actually have stopped the problem altogether (my view of the problem is not that they are coming to the Australia, but that they sail past many other countries to come here - meaning they aren't true refugees).

And secondly on that issue - I do wish that either govt would come up with a working 'integration policy' for true asylum seekers. One that, among other things, does not include them moving to a suburb where all the others from their original country reside - for allowing this actively works against integration.

On Ford closing shop :
- no country on earth does not protect some industries (the only developed country to ever try a totally free market, NZ, went backwards under that policy)
- industry is wealth, for at the end of the day, wealth = assets (money is a representative form of assets), and assets are produced through production (though money is produced in a broader way).
- other than production, it comes down to skills, knowledge and service (a specialised form of labour) to generate monetary wealth.
- the govt has been granting millions of dollars to keep Ford & Holden producing local vehicles, which costs all taxpayers. The careful reintroduction of some import duties would help save industry, along with the skills and knowledge that such industry possesses.

On Education Reform :
- I would love to see reform that takes eduction to the very basics : teach reading, writing and maths very well. The rest, quite honestly, is icing - but icing on a soggy rotten cake doesn't work (so get the cake right).
- I would love to see reform that separates the 3 r's, making them primary to all pre tertiary education, and any other subject be allocated time from the remaining time slots available.
- teaching children their 'rights' only gets them in trouble, as they think they know all about their rights and challenge people based on this (for the challenge is usually done in a disrespectful way; and often - having only been taught the basic concept of 'rights', they don't comprehend the full implications, leading to errors in judgement). Anyone old enough to predate this stupidity knows that parents taught their children respect, rather than rights...which worked many times better for both society and the children themselves. That is to say - this should be done in the home, not at school.

Hah, there's lots of other things I'd like to see in politics, but ah well.

Reply Fri 5 Jul, 2013 09:38 pm
I would love to see reform that separates the 3 r's,

I see all this complaining about education from adults, who it seems, can't spell themselves - 3 r's indeed.

Reply Fri 5 Jul, 2013 10:03 pm
Rolling Eyes Obviously not a comment on the concept.
Reply Fri 5 Jul, 2013 10:17 pm
No, just a little joke, V. I guess it fell flat.

I actually really enjoyed reading your take on things. I know squat about Aussie politics but nevertheless it was an enjoyable read.
Reply Sat 6 Jul, 2013 12:46 am
Thanks. I figured you were probably trying to make a joke, but ah - yeah, it was a little flat Razz

I'm probably what you would call apolitical in terms of political party 'loyalties'.

I also don't buy into political correctness in politics. I believe in respect, rather than political correctness : political correctness doesn't address problems because 'that's racist', or 'that's offensive', or 'you should be nicer' - rather, we should always be respectful - while addressing problems.

Political correctness also often calls for the majority to respect the minority, but it rarely calls for the minority to respect the majority. Comparatively, a respect based approach expects respect in both directions. And an accusation of being disrespectful, if you disagree - is met by respectful consideration of your reply (PC yells you down with negative labels, and stifles debate on important problems)

I say these because, once you understand them - some problems become obvious, and your view of politics and right & wrong starts changing. You start to see brainwashed people, and manipulative people, and ugly systems protecting ongoing problems, hiding behind PC.

Because of those things above, and also because of my understandings of world economics & foreign policy - I'm not a fan of our 'system' of world society and global business side of government. These globalised systems also affects a lot of our domestic policy.

My belief is the current system is essentially corrupt. It is designed to create an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor. The odd thing is - I don't see how anyone can truly stop it - without all the major govt's agreeing to do so (which will never happen).

---> lot's of other views too, but hey.
Reply Mon 8 Jul, 2013 09:08 pm
It's funny Vik - it often strikes me that the phrase 'political correctness' is used to disparage things that I would call 'respect', but by people who couldn't fecked to show respect to the group concerned (pick one of : women, indigenous, ethnic minority, disabled - you get the picture).
Reply Mon 8 Jul, 2013 09:17 pm
A number of independent outlets are pushing two items that the MSM won't touch (including the ABC)

One is the ruling judgement against Brough in the Ashby/Slipper case and the embroglio that says Hockey was involved in a meeting where Clive Palmer was asked to shell out for Ashby's legal costs - Hockey denies, Palmer confirms.

Two is 'Battlerorts' http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/tony-abbotts-battlerorts-scandal-goes-mainstream/ where Tony Abbott has been caught out charging the taxpayer for $10k expenses used to promote his 2009 book 'Battle Lines'. Abbott was contacted by the Commonwealth about the breach and he paid back the money. Seems of no consequence doesn't it?

Except that Peter Slipper was reported to the Australian Federal Police for the same offence, for an amount of $900, which he also offered to pay back (there is a protocol for this) the difference being Slipper was anonymously reported to the AFP before the Commonwealth could contact Slipper about the breach. So who reported him in breach of the protocol - AND - why isn't the MSM reporting the Abbott breach?

This from Facebook (third hand)
... librarian at a school in Abbott's electorate. Traditionally, local members donate money each year to schools in their electorates, so books can be purchased for prize giving. Abbott donated copies of his book. The school binned them, and he probably used it as a tax write off.
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Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 12:25 am
It's funny Vik - it often strikes me that the phrase 'political correctness' is used to disparage things that I would call 'respect', but by people who couldn't fecked to show respect to the group concerned (pick one of : women, indigenous, ethnic minority, disabled - you get the picture).
What you say is quite true, though comparatively not as when as people 'toeing the pc line'.

The reason that PC has also become a negative label is that it has gone overboard :
- stifled legitimate debate
- started unecessary arguments, mudslinging, character assassination and job loss over what often amounts to poorly chosen words,
- created a need to 'not offend any group' (which seems to be done by supressing the major groups customs)...rather than purely being respectful (which may still offend some)
- etc

PC has such weight behind it that many people are coming to believe it's propaganda.


As an example of PC 'brainwashing' (ie buying the propaganda until it becomes in ingrained belief) :

Many people believe it's wrong to find major fault in a religions beliefs. In another thread, I stated that I find Islam to be a dangerous religion, and stated each & every reason, all as far as I know true, and none of them actually challenged as false by anyone (I also posted numerous links to news articles from many papers, and links to websites backing up what I said) :

A very intelligent person (Setanta, who is intelligent, despite many blind spots, and numerous times stooping to abusing people he disagrees with) argued black & blue that :

- christianity was violent for a long time, so how can I have a problem with Islam...my reply was that I have often pointed out the violent inclinations of the bible, and yes chrisitanity was violent (especially during the crusades) and one religions violence does not excuse any other religions violence - neither are okay. Set could accept that, despite it being completely logical. It is very likely he wouldn't accept it because accepting that (one religions violence does not excuse another religions violence - neither is okay) would undermine a dearly held PC belief regarding religion (and it fits in with the rest below).

- and Set called me hateful. I stated that recognising a great white shark as dangerous does not mean you hate the shark (for I don't hate Islam - I just recognise it as dangerous). Despite this, Set was of the firm belief that you can't be critical of a religion and find it dangerous without being a hater. This is completely illogical, and can only be PC brainwashing.

- he called me a bigot. In that thread (it's still at the top of the religion forum I think) I had pointed out the historical violence of Islams founder who ordered his followers to convert by the sword (bit more complicated than that), the behaviour of todays followers who still follow his example (following the complexities just mentioned), the % of extremists, the % of militants, the % of sympathisers the list of terrorist attacks, the civil wars where Islam gains a major foothold, the attempts to impose sharia law etc.

Not one example or statement I made was factually challenged by Set (or anyone) <excluding that it's dangerous, for he obviously does not find it so>

Yet Set was stuck to his beliefs - that it is impossible to find a set of religious beliefs to be bad or dangerous without being bigoted - (dictionary def) thaving or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others:. There's no logic in such a belief. So again, it is PC brainwashing. And this is an intelligent person who holds these beliefs.

edit : that's a very shortened version of what I posted. It misses many points as to why I find it a dangerous religion.

That of course is just one example.

Another example would be, before the last 5 years in Australia, in relation to the multi-culturalism policy. Because anything ever said against it was 'racist', no debate was ever made on the value of properly integrating numerous diverse cultures into Australia society, some so different that conflict was entirely forseeable. It wasn't until a number of riots and violent episodes started becoming more common that they started admitting that 'multiculturalism was failing'...

....but it's not that multiculturalism is doomed to failure - it was the lack of ability to raise and debate the problems, which inevitably led to no proper integration policy, and an expectation that the respect to all go one way that lead to the problems multiculturalism in Australia faces.

It is even written into law that you can't discriminate against a white Australian male (excluding on age & religious grounds), but you can against any male who is : coloured, from a different culture, from a religion. So the law allows discrimination from minority towards the majority - that is PC.

I prefer just 'respect' because it's not a label with connotations (good or bad). It is, rather simply, understood.


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