Saturday, June 26, 2010

Julia Gillard PM

Julia Gillard was elected unopposed at a Federal Labor Party Meeting on Thursday morning. It was a coup orchestrated by "backroom johnnies". Among them were Mark Arbib (NSW), Bill Shorten (Vic), David Feeney (Vic), but others within the various factions were galvanised.

By the time Julia Gillard saw Kevin Rudd between 7:30 - 8:00pm, he was doomed. The numbers had already been locked in.

His live press conference at about 10pm saw Rudd at the best he had been for months. Plain-speaking, talked about his election by the people as Prime Minister; and about items he was going to put back on the agenda, including climate change/ETS; the mining tax. He was too late. Had he spoken like that, and had the government run with its agenda, his popularity might have continued, and he would still be Prime Minister. it should be noted, though, that we voters did NOT directly vote for him as PM; we voted for more Labor MP's than Liberal-National MP's. Rudd became PM because he was the leader of the party with the most representatives in Parliament.

A few points are worth noting about the process:
  • Liberal (Opposition) Leader Tony Abbott has criticised the process, describing Ms Gillard's election as PM as "political assassination". That might be, but is exactly what Tony Abbott did to Malcolm Turnbull, when he deposed Turnbull as Leader of the Liberal Party.  It is how most party political leaders obtain the position. Just ask any of the following from recent memory: Alexander Downer  (Liberal Party - deposed by John Howard); Bob Hawke (Labor - deposed by Paul Keating); Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal - deposed by Tony Abbott); Kim Beasley (Labor - deposed by Kevin Rudd). The comment from Abbott is hypocritical, and designed to hoodwink voters.
  • Kevin Rudd, realising he had no chance, did not stand for the leadership. The overwhelming vote, arranged for Ms Gillard, was not needed. Ms Gillard was elected unopposed. Rudd, in the end, ensured that there was no divisive vote, no acrimony within the party.
  • The Federal Labor Party must now be very careful that it does not become tainted by backroom deals in the same way that the NSW Labor Government has.
Already the polls show a significant swing back to Labor, and the Liberal Party Council is meeting today to try to plan how to overcome Julia Gillard's effect on voters. They are running scared. If Prime Minister Gillard chooses to have a Parliamentary sitting in August-September, it would only be to introduce legislation so she can go to the polls with "achievements". I doubt she will. My guess is that Julia Gillard might call an election for late August, or September. She would not have to have the scheduled August sitting of Parliament, avoiding the cheap point-scoring and tabloid headlines of Question Time; and it would give her time to soothe the few sores that Labor currently has: climate change; the proposed mining tax; and education spending. (already shuffled off to an inquiry for the Government).