Home > Oz Politics > How Gillard could have won for Labor (repost)

How Gillard could have won for Labor (repost)

June 5th, 2013

I see from my Twitter feed that the viewpoint I expressed a year or so ago is becoming more widespread. Of course, it’s too late now for anything but damage mitigation.

Repost follows:

How Gillard could win for Labor

By resigning gracefully. If I were advising Gillard on how best to secure her place in history, I’d suggest waiting until the 1st of July and then making a speech along the following lines

The carbon price, legislated by my government is now in place. It will soon become obvious that the scare campaign run by Mr Abbott and the Opposition has no basis in reality and that our plan will achieve cost-effective reductions in carbon emissions, while making most Australian households better off. I am proud of my government’s achievements in this and other areas. Nevertheless, I recognise with sadness that I am not the best person to take this message to the Australian public. I have therefore decided to resign the office of Prime Minister and advise my Labor colleagues to support the return of Mr Kevin Rudd to this position. Mr Rudd and I have had substantial disagreements over matters of managerial style, but we are agreed on the need for a Labor government with Labor values, and on the need for action in key areas including the carbon price, the mineral resource rent tax and the successful management of the Australian economy. I will give the new PM my enthusiastic support, and work for the re-election of a Labor government.

Would this work? I’m not really sure. But given Abbott’s failure to achieve any popular support at a time when Labor has plumbed unheard of depths of popular support, it would have to be worth a shot. At a minimum, it would help avoid the Queensland-style wipeout that is currently on the cards. And if it worked, history would certainly look kindly upon a PM willing to give up the job for the sake of her party and, more importantly, in the best interests of the country.

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  1. Geoff Andrews
    June 5th, 2013 at 13:30 | #1

    I am in 100% agreement.

  2. Hermit
    June 5th, 2013 at 13:43 | #2

    No no no. Rudd = loser.

    Bob Katter get ready for my vote so it could be a Queensland thing after all even though I don’t live there. I and many others will not vote for any party that has either Rudd or Abbott as leader. FWIW I think Gillard is one of our better prime ministers who had the misfortune to live in times when people believed hard problems had simple answers.

  3. Tony lynch
    June 5th, 2013 at 13:52 | #3

    Dear Hermit,

    I think you mistake yourself for the electorate.

  4. Ian Milliss
    June 5th, 2013 at 13:53 | #4

    I’m with Hermit, would never vote for Rudd or Abbott and I too think Gillard has done pretty well in the circumstances. After years of avoiding them I’m actually going to help the ALP in this campaign but if Rudd gets back in I’ll actively campaign against them, go and help Greens or an independent. The people like you propping up Rudd’s tedious narcisism have simply helped Abbott.

  5. Ikonoclast
    June 5th, 2013 at 14:12 | #5

    Gillard conspired with the mining bosses and right wing union bosses to dump Rudd and continue to give mining bosses a free pass from a reasonable MRRT (Minerals Resource Rent Tax). Gillard is a traitor to the working people of Australia and a stooge for the capitalist classes.

  6. m0nty
    June 5th, 2013 at 14:49 | #6

    Gillard has already won for Labor, in that Abbott is going to fail to repeal her policies, as Fraser failed to repeal most of Whitlam’s reforms. Gonski is perhaps the only one that Abbott will successfully nobble in his first term; the rest are either already part of the Liberal platform, or will be protected by Greens in the Senate. And even Gonski seems inevitable now, we just have to wait for the budget position to recover and it will be on the table again.

    Rudd succeeded in shifting Labor to the right to wedge the Libs. Gillard has succeeded in shifting both parties back towards the centre. That will be her legacy. Labor’s policies are strongly popular and will remain so, it’s just the leader who everyone seems to want to get rid of.

  7. Disenfranchised
    June 5th, 2013 at 15:10 | #7

    I would never vote for Abbott or Katter’s Party and certainly not K. Rudd. The caravan has well and truly moved on as far as he is concerned. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In Gillard, Labor certainly has a tough leader. Labor needs to take the fight to Abbott on policy. If they are going down, then at least go down swinging, and not with a whimper. Meanwhile could someone please lock Joel Fitzgibbon in a cupboard.

  8. June 5th, 2013 at 15:36 | #8

    the ALP could never win the forthcoming election as Ishow today.

  9. Jim Rose
    June 5th, 2013 at 16:56 | #9

    Have you forgotten that they dropped Rudd because he was more toxic with the voters than Gillard. Rudd has lost his credibility by backing down on his signature issue.

    Rudd then finished himself off by not having the courage to challenge earlier this year.

  10. June 5th, 2013 at 17:16 | #10


    The ALP was going to win the next election comfortably under Rudd

  11. ralph
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:21 | #11

    Nooooo – not Rudd please. He created the original perception of chaos for Labor with his procrastination and predilection for micro-management as PM and then followed that up with his sniping, leaking and destabilisation once out of the Lodge. I would rather have Combet or Shorten who can at least communicate.
    I agree, lock Joel Fitzgibbon in a cupboard along with Martin Ferguson.

  12. rog
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:56 | #12

    @ralph These expressions of Rudd horror are a result of media story telling, all the hallmarks of pre invasion propaganda. Kicking Rudd out split the ALP vote giving the LNP a majority for free. Irrespective of Rudds competence the voters don’t like to be usurped by a secret committee, the ALP have only themselves to blame for losing democracy.

  13. Ray
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:41 | #13

    Julia Gillard’s refusal to leave looks similar to Bill Clinton’s intransigence after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. His name was mud through which the Republicans dragged it up to the 2000 election, poisoning the rest of his party’s agenda. If he wasn’t such an egotist he would have let Al Gore step up. He didn’t and the presidency was crippled, and then George W Bush was elected.

    Likewise in Oz – Gillard refuses to go, obscuring her government’s substantial achievements (NDIS, carbon price) (along with the “Stop the boats” lie), and then in comes a jock*

    *GWB and his brother Jeb once beat Chris Evert Lloyd and Pam Shriver in a tennis match – The “W” stands for “Walker”, as in the “Walker Cup” for golf.

  14. Alan
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:43 | #14

    @Jim Rose

    Can you point to these polls you are quoting that show Rudd as less popular than Gillard?

  15. Robert in UK
    June 5th, 2013 at 19:58 | #15

    I actually think Rudd could still win from here. Abbott is badly unpopular, and there are LNP state governments to make a Federal labor government more attractive, but Gillard ann co have certainly done some real damage to the Labor brand.

  16. Fran Barlow
    June 5th, 2013 at 22:35 | #16

    I could never vote for Rudd, and if were returned as leader my regard for the ALP would be even lower than it is now. As disgusting as Abbott undoubtedly is, if Rudd were to return I really would probably prefer a complete rout to a small loss.

  17. Fran Barlow
    June 5th, 2013 at 22:35 | #17

    OK … strike out “really” in the above.

  18. TerjeP
    June 5th, 2013 at 22:40 | #18

    I will not vote for any party led by Abbott, Gillard, Turnbull or Rudd. So for a change I agree with a lot of you here. I suspect we may disagree when it comes to preferences. 😀

  19. John Salmond
    June 5th, 2013 at 23:10 | #19

    exactly, and doing things is what government (left government) is about, though the pundits on the sidelines tend to forget it. Gillard, falling way short of the best, has done great, even without allowing for her precarious parliamentary position. And she can still win the election. Rudd = admission of panic, and reversing a correct decision

  20. June 6th, 2013 at 00:14 | #20

    Maybe Rudd would win, but as a rusted on Labor voter, I’d be tempted to vote for someone else if he is the leader.

    I like Julia, and felt that until recently the government was going ok. Now i think they are victims of a campaign of relentless negativity, and are jumping at shadows.

    Still, it will be a bad time for the Libs to govern. Things don’t look good, and I reckon they could end up a one term government.

  21. June 6th, 2013 at 01:35 | #21

    On refugees: ALP = LNP
    On Illegal wars of aggression: ALP = LNP
    On Climate Change: ALP = LNP
    On Murdoch Media Domination: ALP = LNP
    On Neo-Liberalism: ALP =LNP
    On Torture, Censorship, Domestic Spying, Internet Censorship, Habeas Corpus: ALP =LNP
    On Free-Market Being Put In Charge Of Public Health & Education: ALP = LNP

    As a “rusted on” human I can’t abide any of them. Rudd was screwed, but he was just as neo-con as the rest of them.

    Are any of you seriously suggesting we have a real democracy just because we get to freely discuss whether we would like our arsenic coarsely or finely ground?

  22. John Quiggin
    June 6th, 2013 at 04:57 | #22

    Questions for those asserting they would never vote for Rudd.

    1. Are you claiming you would abstain or merely that you would not give Labor a first preference?

    2. If you just mean first preference, do you understand the voting system? Except in the rare cases where an independent might win, it doesn’t matter who you preference first, as long as you put Labor ahead of Liberal

    2. If you really would abstain, how do you justify allowing an Abbott victory simply on the basis of personal dislike? No one I’ve seen has made a case that Gillard is substantially better than Rudd on policy.

    To be clear, I will preference Labor ahead of Liberal and, if I thought Gillard had any chance, I would be supporting her (or rather, attacking Abbott) with enthusiasm, despite her terrible policy positions. Since the government is obviously doomed with Gillard in charge, I’m allocating my effort elsehere.

  23. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 06:38 | #23

    @John Quiggin

    Are you claiming you would abstain or merely that you would not give Labor a first preference?

    I will be voting using the Langer method, as usual. Nobody, will in practice get the benefit of my vote at Federal level (which is why OPV would be better). To be fair, I was going to do that anyway, though if Rudd had been returned I’d have added the descriptors like “ludicrous” and “farcical” to the existing ones {conservative, craven, unprincipled, pro-business, vapid, xenophobic and nasty}

    If you really would abstain, how do you justify allowing an Abbott victory simply on the basis of personal dislike? No one I’ve seen has made a case that Gillard is substantially better than Rudd on policy.

    In my case, the change would be moot, since I was planning to vote informal anyway. OTOH, it’s hard to stomach the idea of expressly rewarding the Murdochracy’s trolling of the regime. If you give into bullying whenever it is powerful, do your principles amount to anything at all?

    It seems to me that Rudd, and then Gillard had already done that, so the vote was meaningless anyway, but voting for a returned Rudd would simply underline one’s acceptance that in practice, the leadership of the country was a matter of the whim of the dirty digger.

  24. rog
    June 6th, 2013 at 06:55 | #24

    Gillard supporters should remember that at the last election Gillards popularity was not sufficient to form Govt and has not improved over the term of govt. On what basis does Gillard deserve to lead the next Govt?

  25. Ikonoclast
    June 6th, 2013 at 07:21 | #25

    The long term plan would be to vote for Greens and Socialists and preference Labor 2nd. Each time the Green and Socialist votes lift they gain credibility and new blood. Over time, they could gain critical mass and be able to form a left coalition government. If you keep voting for right wing Labor, extreme right wing Liberal or informal you are pepetuating the current mono-polar neoliberal ideology and dysfunctional, society destroying, economy destroying, people destroying, environment destroying, hope destroying neoconservative capitalism.

  26. Disenfranchised
    June 6th, 2013 at 09:00 | #26

    @John Quiggin. John I would vote informal rather than vote Labor, if they were to make Rudd leader. To do otherwise, would be to reward Rudd for his treachery during the last federal election campaign, which possibly cost Labor majority government. To vote Labor under those circumstances would be to reward Rudd for his destabilisation of the Gillard government. Having observed Rudd over this period, I have come to the conclusion, it has, and always will be, about Kevin. The fact that Kevin is calling for his backers to “pull their heads in “now, probably has to do with the realisation that his own seat could be at risk. Labor needs to put the Rudd destabilisation and their many self inflicted wounds behind them, rise above the noise and static, and have a conversation with the people as to what sort of country they want to live in over the next decade. Replacing Gillard talking head with Rudd talking head will not cut it. The public are not that gullible.

  27. John Quiggin
    June 6th, 2013 at 09:17 | #27

    “to reward Rudd for his treachery during the last federal election campaign”

    Say what? You do remember what happened a few months before that. On this score, it’s hard to remember any aspiring leader who has displayed loyalty to the incumbent. It’s always a silly basis for voting, but even more ludicrous in this case.

    “Labor needs to put the Rudd destabilisation and their many self inflicted wounds behind them, rise above the noise and static, and have a conversation with the people as to what sort of country they want to live in over the next decade. ”

    This is delusional. The election is lost, and no one is interested in a conversation with the current government.

  28. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 09:42 | #28



    Everyone who is

    a) left–of-centre
    b) dissatisfied with the range of vaguely plausible outcomes after September 14

    In divisions where no Green/soc|alists or credible independent could win

    elects to Vote 1 Green/soc|alist or similar and then follow the Langer method, putting all the repulsive folk equally last.

    They campaign strongly for Greens, soc|alists. Oakey and Windsor in seats where they are a rough chance. If they don’t live in the seat, they donate and support the local campaigns

    They write to the press post-poll.

    Likely consequences:

    A lower house in which there are no/very few ALP members
    Informal votes at around 28%
    Voting pattern establishes pattern of primaries in favour of Greens/soc|alists and others damned by Murdoch.
    Greens are the opposition, but mostly outside of parliament
    ALP unable to resist fundamental reform since the bearers of the old “elect a Labor-branded* spiv” have been removed from parliament and the rationale would have collapsed.

    As repulsive as an Abbott regime will be, given that this is certain, at least in this scenario, one could hope for something better. The maxim here is that if a perfect solution is not available, then one should act to implement the least imperfect solution that entails no serious wrong. This leaves people with clean hands and scope to argue for a better world.

    I rate the chances of large numbers of people acting in concert in this way as poor. Sadly, most people succumb to blackmail.

    * these days, you need a magnfying galss to see “labor” on the signs, and also a knowledge that blue signs don’t indicate Liberals.

  29. June 6th, 2013 at 09:56 | #29

    Excuse me but the first piece of treachery in the election was from the (NSW right)advisors who trashed Rudd in terms of national security.

    Rudd then returned serve.

    This again highlights how poor political nous both the advisors have and the politicians they serve have

  30. June 6th, 2013 at 10:13 | #30

    I may be mistaken, but I believe Langer votes are considered informal. Perhaps you guys should check before voting that way.

  31. Hermit
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:38 | #31

    To pick up on a vibe already alluded to whoever wins gets a poisoned chalice. A spell on the sidelines may be a blessing to serious politicians. While I accept Pr Q’s claim that a minor party vote could be wasted I would like to see a number of of fruitloop candidates elected, independent or minor party. The Abbott government would then struggle with two realities, the fact their ‘serious’ policies are unworkable or unaffordable and an oddball parliament.

    When Abbott sweeps to power the boats will keep coming, the climate will keep changing and the cost of living will keep rising. By 2016 if nothing happens in the meantime voters might wonder what happened to the good times they were promised. The conservative media might even turn on Abbott with the same ferocity they have shown to Gillard. I would think forums such as this will be merciless towards the LNP government. Almost a case of bring it on.

  32. Ikonoclast
    June 6th, 2013 at 10:49 | #32

    According to Wikipedia;

    “A Langer vote is a vote marked “1, 2, 3, 3 , 3. . ., etc” (or in a similar manner) in the Australian electoral system. It was widely publicised by Albert Langer,[1] an Australian political activist, as a means of limiting votes to the voter’s preferred parties, and thus avoiding the statutory instruction to mark the ballot paper by indicating a valid ranking of preferences to all other parties and candidates.”

    “The Langer voting method was made invalid by amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act on July 17, 1998. A Langer vote is now classed as an “informal” (invalid) vote.”

    Thus to vote “Langer” mode is to vote informal at the Commonwealth level. Voting informal is pointless and an abdication of one of your responsibilities as a citizen of a constitutional democracy. You need to choose a “least worst” cascade option for your preferences and channel your primary vote away from the people-betraying neocon duopoly of Labor and Liberal and towards a genuine Green, Socialist or Social Democrat option. This would be one way to generate change over time.

  33. Troy Prideaux
    June 6th, 2013 at 12:14 | #33

    The proliferation of opinion panel television where guests from ideological interest groups are the “educators” for large fractions of the electorate is a bad thing IMHO. The fixation of our MSM to focus on anything but objective intellectual reporting of policy is a tragedy for our nation. The influence of News Ltd on political and public debate is a bad thing IMHO.

  34. Romanoz
    June 6th, 2013 at 12:17 | #34

    Gillard should pass the Prime Ministership to Kevin Rudd!
    I think thats called a “hospital pass” in League!
    I see you agree with Peter Hartcher of the SMH that its just a question of personalities.
    Hmm, the ALP now adding personality politics to identity politics.
    As I’ve said before, Gillard’s mistake was to involve the insula rather than the prefrontal cortex when she back-flipped on the carbon tax.
    One is amenable to argument, the other is toxic to it!

  35. Daniel
    June 6th, 2013 at 12:38 | #35

    Again this mock Gillard speech is hilarious, I am just glad that the Liberals are so stubborn that they continue with Abbott. The whole debate that Labor still has a chance is due to the blind faith the Liberals have in this obviously bad appointment.

    Again I am not that relieved, as I do not like the qualities of our ‘more than likely’ future PM…. urgh, Abbott.

  36. Daniel
    June 6th, 2013 at 12:44 | #36

    This is delusional. The election is lost, and no one is interested in a conversation with the current government.
    If Abbott ever decided to have a conversation it would be interesting to see what he would say, but his decision to stay away from Q&A is concerning. If he cannot handle a TV show, how will he handle international debates with ‘work hardened’ leaders.

    By interesting, I mean to the level of interest a person with no charisma and coughnopoliciescough can generate

  37. DavidR
    June 6th, 2013 at 13:08 | #37

    Gillard resigning will be like Rudd squibing on the ETS, or the current Labor MPs whinging about possible electoral loss and packing up their offices; its defeatist. And a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The headlines the next day would not be kind; and the fourth estate would go in for the kill on the Labor party. There would be much kudos and much back-patting about how they had it right all along these past three years.

    It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees. The Australian public expects as much out of their politicians, to fight for what they believe in. To change leaders again and again would be to learn no lessons from NSW and would be the dumbest move that could be made.

  38. alfred venison
    June 6th, 2013 at 13:17 | #38

    the people who removed rudd, supposedly because of his poor polling, are now polling worse than rudd was when they removed him: irony jostles with hypocrisy.

    the “good gov’t that lost its way” line is a barefaced lie – rudd was unjustly & groundlessly removed to appease the big miners. i will never forgive (1) the people who responded to the corporate pressures rudd was standing up against by initiating his removal, and (2) those who allowed themselves to be put forward as tools to effect it. they put their country second.

    those who gained their position through their own past disloyalty, and have failed thereafter to better advance their cause than the guy they removed, are in no position to call for loyalty. -a.v.

  39. Troy Prideaux
    June 6th, 2013 at 13:21 | #39

    Gillard and Swan held a political gun to Rudd’s head to drop the ETS, he had no choice. The question is (given the level cabinet dissent against him) what was the primary purpose of that exercise? To weaken his electoral support to set up a leadership spill or was it an attempt to gather some lost electoral support from conservative segments of labor or was it purely that Gillard never believed in pricing carbon?

  40. crocodile
    June 6th, 2013 at 13:40 | #40

    As another one of those poor unfortunate souls that is unimpressed by either major parties and assuming Tony Abbot will win all I can say is that he’ll look pretty silly when the boats keep on coming and those electricity prices don’t come tumbling down.

  41. Disenfranchised
    June 6th, 2013 at 14:48 | #41

    @ John Quiggin #27 Rudd has had two chances at the leadership, both provided courtesy of Julia Gillard. The first he lost badly, the second he failed to run. The course of action you are suggesting John, I believe would be seen as an act of desperation, rather than a new beginning, by the voting public, and marked down accordingly.

  42. Mel
    June 6th, 2013 at 15:26 | #42

    Why so much negativity? Abbott is unlikely to win with a margin big enough to sustain a coalition government for more 5 or 6 elections. Labor or its replacement will possibly be in with a chance of re-election as early as 2030. This may seem like a long time but it if you occupy the time between then and now with winery tours, fishing trips and home renovations it will go fast enough. Cheers.

  43. Tony lynch
    June 6th, 2013 at 15:32 | #43

    @Ian Milliss

    Hermit thinks he’s the electorate, and Ian thinks I’m the one who behind Abbott killing Gillard in the polls! This is a party and its dwindling crew’s grip on reality?

  44. Tony lynch
    June 6th, 2013 at 15:35 | #44

    And for Fran it’s all about herself – her feelings! So better a rout than anything else! One is tempted to say, are you guys for real? But tragically, it seems so.

  45. Ikonoclast
    June 6th, 2013 at 15:58 | #45

    @alfred venison

    Hear! Hear! Well said! Sums it up perfectly. How people can support disloyal traitors and corporate capitalist toadies like Gillard and her backers is beyond me.

  46. alfred venison
    June 6th, 2013 at 16:13 | #46

    beyond me, too, ikonoclast. -a.v.

    rudd’s removal has corporate-instigated party-executed coup d’etat written all over it.

    they don’t go through the governor general anymore, they certainly don’t seize the town hall.

    they control media enough to make it look like party process, while, between elections, they effect regime change with the lights on.

    the corporate attack ads against the mrri stopped the same night rudd was removed & the spin we live today began. -a.v.

  47. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 16:38 | #47

    @Tony lynch

    And for Fran it’s all about herself – her feelings! So better a rout than anything else!

    Voting is an individual act. While we can attempt to persuade others to adopt our protocols, the only person for whom we can be completely responsible is ourselves.

    If we are to persuade others of the need for a better world, we can’t be joint authors of a dysfunctional world. Our standing to argue the case would fall to zero. Our hands must be clean and stay that way.


    Voting informal is pointless and an abdication of one of your responsibilities as a citizen of a constitutional democracy.

    Amongst our responsibilities is to avoid voting for people we regard as contrary to our values. In addition, coerced voting is a caricature of democracy, and to dignify it with one’s participation would be unethical. The 1998 amendments are a clear attempt to coerce support for the major parties. We are obliged to resist bullying, especially when it concerns a civic responsibility. When, as in this case, the bullying is at the behest of Murdoch, it’s utterly egregious to submit meekly. Historically, people have shown a willingness to jeopardise their lives resisting bullies. Here, some people don’t want to surrender a vote.

    There is no ‘least-worst’ option offered. Unless you live in Melbourne or possibly Lyne or New England, your formal vote, however it begins, will elect a man or woman committed to locking up and brutalising vulnerable people including children merely to appease the angts of bigots on the margins of the major cities, in the hope that those bigots can satisfy themselves that vulnerable people not yet here will continue to live in squalor and oppression.

    If people want to become parties to that enterprise, that’s a matter for them. I never will.

  48. Ikonoclast
    June 6th, 2013 at 16:51 | #48

    @Fran Barlow

    Well, Fran you set yourself such a high standard you can never vote again, in any polity. Also, you must immediately commit to uncompromising revolutionary action or continuous civil disobedience and direct action or minimally to peaceful passive resistance. But indeed perhaps you have already done so, thus rendering my advice to that effect gratuitious.

  49. Hermit
    June 6th, 2013 at 16:57 | #49

    @Tony lynch
    Whatever you say. Some of us lack your prescience of knowing what’s best.

  50. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 17:31 | #50

    I vote formally in NSW where OPV applies, I vote Green

  51. Jim Rose
    June 6th, 2013 at 18:27 | #51

    @John Quiggin

    The election is lost, and no one is interested in a conversation with the current government.

    I agree. this applied to rudd too. the electorate switched off. On gillard, they switched back on just enought to get back in and then switched off again on a larger scale. Rudd the did himself in with an inept challenge and then lacking the ticker to challenge again .

    same switch-off factor for Qld and NSW Labor. if the current ICAC hearings were before the last NSW elections, NSW labor would be a cricket team as well.

  52. Mitchell Porter
    June 6th, 2013 at 18:40 | #52

    I don’t understand why Labor is facing electoral oblivion – if that is indeed true. I’m not even sure where to go for enlightenment, but I’ll try here… So first, is it fair to say that this has very little to do with the economy? We’re supposed to be one of the better-performing OECD countries, yes? So what exactly is it about? People are more irritated by Gillard than they are irrirtated by Abbott? Are there two or three key issues that are responsible for the Coalition’s lead?

  53. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 19:22 | #53


    1. Perceptions of disunity/dysfunction, ruthlessly exploited by the Murdochracy to become a a rubric within which all policies are to be interpreted.
    2. The trust thing, dubbed ‘Juliar’ by the trolling media
    3. Minority governmentcasts a pall over process and amps up
    4. Capacity for all problems to be the consequence of one simple event – here the ‘knifing’ of K Rudd and embodied .in .one person, the Juliar. It helps that she is a woman because dirty dealing by women is especially horrible and can be located within traditional misogynist narratives

  54. Fran Barlow
    June 6th, 2013 at 19:58 | #54

    Beyond the above of course Mitchell, one must factor in the extraordinary political ineptitude of the ALP in essentially acting in synergy with the above memes, (most obviously on the carbon “tax”, boats, RSPT, Wilkie, Slipper etc), their failure to make best use of new media, the ignorance and disengagement of wide layers of the public and their consequent fragility in the face of Murdoch-coordinated trolling and the longstanding debauched quality of political discourse, exacerbated by the now ubiquitous 24-hour news cycle.

    Local factors have also played a part — in NSW the Obeid-MacDonald and Thomson affairs, both of which represent a live link to the discredited NSW state regime which was in part responsible for the Gillard ascendancy — at least in the public mind — and likewise the collapse of the Queensland ALP regime around issues of privatisation, management problems in health and of course there own corruption scandal linked to a minister and mining.

    In some ways, it’s surprising the ALP is doing as well as it is, given the multiplicity and coherence of the counter-narrative. The Liberals only have to say they are not the ALP to appear credible to low-information voters.

  55. June 6th, 2013 at 19:59 | #55

    @Mitchell Porter

    “is it fair to say this (ALP’s imminent obliteration) has very little to do with the economy?”: Yes, that is fair to say.

    “so what exactly is it about?”: Roughly speaking, for many years this country divided votes about 50/50 between ALP/LNP. At a guess, about 30% of the population is ‘rusted on’ to either ALP/LNP and their votes can be guaranteed regardless of what their party does.

    The remaining 40% are made up of lots of sub-groups, but most of them will ‘swing’ between ALP/LNP over time. In close elections like 2010 the 40% divide roughly down the middle. Each half will generally be voting for/against a couple of key issues (e.g. environment, war, refugees, jobs, public health, public education…)

    To be facing electoral oblivion the likes of which have not been seen since last year in Queensland or the year before in NSW, the ALP must have pissed off just about the entire 40% – quite a feat!

    “Two or three issues responsible?”: I don’t think it’s that simple and I think there are more than 2 or 3.

    On being mean to refugees: The LNP did it quite well, ALP can’t compete.

    On subscribing to neo-liberalism: LNP are better suited and although the ALP got there first with ‘economic rationalism’ LNP took ownership of it from 1996.

    On doing nothing serious about the environment/climate change: LNP are naturals but ALP look clumsy when they try it, not to mention hypocritical.

    On imperial wars: LNP have always done it better, ALP are alright if there is actually a genuine reason we should be involved in killing people but there hasn’t been since about 1945.

    On giving Murdoch (and once Packer) everything dreamed of: They both get the photofinish on this one, the problem is the 40% generally see that as a bad thing.

    On taking away civil liberties, privacy, rights: Again, the 40% know this is not a good thing but the natural party for protecting these has abandoned them.

    There’s probably a lot more but I hope that helps.

  56. rog
    June 6th, 2013 at 23:39 | #56

    @Mitchell Porter The coalition aren’t leading, the ALP are losing.

    Over the present contenders Rudd remains the preferred PM, voters just don’t like the ALP party machine.

  57. Geoff Andrews
    June 7th, 2013 at 08:11 | #57

    Sadly, a perfect assessment, Megan. The think tank is empty, the PR department has been privatised, Keating took the key to the wit generator when he went and Rudd was the last one to inspire a majority of the swinging 40%.
    They know how the gun works, they just haven’t worked out yet that you have to take it out of the holster first.

  58. rog
    June 7th, 2013 at 08:48 | #58

    @Megan You are listing issues but most LNP voters that I speak to are not interested in issues, they just hate the other side. .

  59. June 7th, 2013 at 09:20 | #59


    According to the polling about 70% “hate the other side”, my argument is that there are tangible reasons why.

    If the ALP had different policies on those issues I believe they would be at least back to about 50/50 and probably even ahead. But they don’t and the people who run the ALP won’t – see complete lack of any change whatsoever in NSW & Qld after getting wiped out. I believe the ALP is run by people who really don’t care about the impending doom.

  60. rog
    June 7th, 2013 at 09:49 | #60

    Megan, I ask them which policy and hiw they have no answer just repeat points like ‘waste waste’ ‘spend spend’ and ‘labor always go broke’. Look at the very effective campaigns by Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott, light on policy big on simplistic homespuns.

  61. Troy Prideaux
    June 7th, 2013 at 10:18 | #61

    @Geoff Andrews
    [chuckle] Nice 1 Geoff

  62. June 7th, 2013 at 10:46 | #62


    And the remaining ALP voters I speak with also repeat empty points like ‘Abbott would be worse’. That’s more or less the point – if it comes down to brainless talking points and PR obviously LNP are winning hands down.

    I still maintain that if they had a track record or even future promise of decent policies on those issues the ALP wouldn’t be heading down the shute.

  63. DavidR
    June 7th, 2013 at 11:10 | #63

    @Troy Prideaux
    There was no gun. At that point he was riding so high in the polls no one could touch him.

    Notwithstanding, even if Gillard and Co did advise him to squib it (and there has been no evidence of that produced other than murmurs in News Ltd papers – which i take with a grain of salt) ultimately he wears the opprobrium for that decision and can blame no one else for it.

  64. Troy Prideaux
    June 7th, 2013 at 11:51 | #64

    Au contraire, Gillard and Swan told him point blank – ‘we will be withdrawing our support if you don’t dump this’. Rudd finally came out during *his* crack at the 2012 spill and stated that publicly. Gillard was asked the next day at a press conference to confirm or deny and conceded it was true. Since that point, it’s no longer speculation, it’s an historical fact that’s substantiated on the public record.

  65. Jim Rose
    June 7th, 2013 at 20:29 | #65

    see see http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2013/06/the-crucial-contest-for-the-senate-balance-of-power.html for a good analysis including of hanson’s chances in NSW. More than zero but not high. Hanson was a few hundred votes short in 2011 of winning in the state upper house.

    Green thinks that a minor right party might win the 4th senate seat in WA.

    I disagree. The WA nats have a good chance

    Labor got 29% of the vote in the recent WA state upper house election – just on 2 senate quotas. Labor will not have any preferences to share with the greens.

    the shooters, christian democrats and family first parties will preference the greens last. their votes combine to about 0.7 of a senate quota. their preferences will elect the WA Nat who got about 1/3rd of a quota in the state election.

    each of the 3 cross-bench senators will have a blocking veto by splitting the vote 38:38

  66. June 7th, 2013 at 23:35 | #66

    Precious few of you people can work out that Australians have been told to vote for the opposition if they have a problem with the incumbents.
    They call it the ‘Hobson’s Choice’.

    That is a major problem since three months into any regime anyone wanting a favour from the regime is told to go away.

    They are told to go away by those useless bludgers ,who are for some reason, always employed by our politicians.

    It amounts to this – total lack of representation always results in dissatisfaction.

    But the raffle winners like that (their staffers stuffing people about endlessl;. Obfuscation.)
    because it makes their time in ‘office’ nothing but an opportunity to make profit from their time there.

    The entire system stinks to high heaven. That is the bottom line.

    No point saying any more. No point whatsoever.

  67. June 7th, 2013 at 23:42 | #67

    I forgot to mention that I hate backstabbers.
    Voting is compulsory here in australia.
    Shag me crosseyed. I have a choice between two backstabbers?
    Abbott stabbed that Turnbull and Gillard stabbed Rudd.

    Give me a bloody break!

  68. June 7th, 2013 at 23:57 | #68

    In the meantime,I wonder of any of you people listened t a rather cynical Mandy Vandstone the last few weeks on ABC National?
    Yep. That’s the girl. Even her colleagues called her ‘Junketguts’ when she was in politics.
    By God, she comes out with some splitters on her radioshow these days.
    She has a mind so honed to perfection that even her victims cannot see the edge come down on their necks.
    I’m sure that she still believes that she is, herself, some sort of conservative.
    But all too often the true lady comes out – despite her background.
    What a profound shame that she could not be there as an alternative lady prime minister to that horrorshow, Gillard.

  69. alfred venison
    June 8th, 2013 at 01:30 | #69

    you could give yourself a break & vote green, Klaus Knoppke, bearing in mind they meet your criterion of having had an orderly leadership transition, without the “backstabbing” you deplore. -a.v.

  70. Salient Green
    June 8th, 2013 at 09:03 | #70

    Klaus, I haven’t listened to her for a few months, since they had cricket on my local ABC but was impressed back then. Will tune in on Monday on your reminding me.
    I second what Alfred suggested.

  71. Jim Rose
    June 8th, 2013 at 10:25 | #71

    Klaus Knoppke :
    I forgot to mention that I hate backstabbers.
    Voting is compulsory here in australia.
    Shag me crosseyed. I have a choice between two backstabbers?
    Abbott stabbed that Turnbull and Gillard stabbed Rudd.
    Give me a bloody break!

    the fine is rather low. plenty of other parties get into the upper houses and the state and federal level to hold the balance of power.

  72. Alan
    June 8th, 2013 at 11:57 | #72


    I would suggest a quick read of Maxine McKew’s book where the pressure bought on Rudd by Gillard and Swan (including a number of fairly spectacular leaks) is described in detail. It is all very well to adopt the watermelon-under-the-armpits approach and say Rudd should have told them to go jump, but the internal pressure to abandon the ETS was extreme. The really sad thing is that if Rudd has taken the issue to caucus Gillard and Swan would have been slaughtered because they had no policy case at all.

    Gillard’s opposition to the ETS dates from about January 2010. You have a choice between deciding Gillard actually changed her mind on climate change 3 times in 7 months, or you’d have to think about what Gillard’s climate change demands did to Rudd’s electoral standing and how that opened the door for the coup.

  73. crocodile
    June 8th, 2013 at 12:34 | #73

    Klaus, voting for the other side simple because you don’t like either is a bit like eating dog poo because you don’t like broccoli. It’s pretty tough when both have no appeal.

  74. rog
    June 8th, 2013 at 17:21 | #74

    When Rudd mumbled his postponement of an ETS he showed the electorate that he wasn’t fair dinkum. And if McKews account is accurate he lost the leadership at the moment when Gillard and Swan talked him out of an ETS. He should have told them to get stuffed but he didn’t, he squibbed. And everybody knows that he squibbed. So it doesn’t matter what Rudd does and says now, he will never be PM again. Similarly Gillard is also tainted, after her statement on a carbon ax you can’t really believe what she says.

    Voters will give Tony Abbott a go knowing the greens will block the senate on the carbon tax.

  75. June 8th, 2013 at 19:01 | #75

    Why not vote for Rudd?

    I just have a bad feeling about him. When you look at places like Egypt, Zimbabwe and Syria, you see leaders who may once have been good but ended up being downright destructive. They should have quit after 10 years. I’m probably totally misjudging him, but Rudd may be like them. A bit like Joh in QLD, but of course much more dangerous at the federal level.

    As to where my vote would ultimately go if Rudd were leader – probably to the Libs before Labor, but since our member will be a Lib no matter how I vote, it doesn’t matter. Certainly Green in the senate.

  76. Ron E Joggles
    June 8th, 2013 at 20:14 | #76

    @John Brookes I’m not a rusted-on Labor voter – I’m bolted and welded on, so I’ll vote Labor whoever is leader – but to address John Brookes’ rather extreme view of Kevin, the difference between Australia and Egypt etc is that the Labor Party leader relies on the support of their caucus, and are replaced when they lose that support – which the caucus demonstrated quite effectively by replacing Kevin.

  77. Klaus Knnopke
    June 8th, 2013 at 22:53 | #77

    Don’t worry you bludgers.
    Your time will come sooner than you could ever believe.

    I’ve had enough of this place.

    But you lot shall reap the reward of your consummate greed.
    Good luck; but by Harry, I hope your last breaths hurt.


  78. alfred venison
    June 9th, 2013 at 01:14 | #78

    nice one, Klaus. painful death is what i wish on war criminals, but, hey, have a nice day & don’t let the door bang yr ass on the way out. -a.v.

  79. June 9th, 2013 at 09:07 | #79

    @Ron E Joggles

    I’m bolted and welded on, so I’ll vote Labor whoever is leader

    And regardless of their policies and recent actions? (that’s a serious question, I am genuinely interested in how far ALP can go -eg: executing refugees at sea, full internet censorship and surveillance, open slather mining and drilling, another war etc..- before the rusted ons even start to arc up).

  80. Geoff Andrews
    June 9th, 2013 at 09:21 | #80

    …. and eating babies and whales, Megan.
    Labor’s problem is they’re trying to out-Herod Herod by copying the Liberal’s obscene policies but the rusted on Liberal voters just don’t trust them to carry out their word.

  81. Fran Barlow
    June 9th, 2013 at 09:44 | #81

    @Geoff Andrews

    Quite right, although it’s not merely the rusted on Liberal voters who think that. The floaters also suspect (with good reason) that the ALP (and especially its core supporters) are more than a little squeamish at doing what they are doing. In a way, this is why many say the ALP now ‘stands for nothing’. Strictly speaking, they stand for the thing they are doing right now, which isn’t necessarily the same as the thing they were doing a little while ago or might find themselves doing in a little while.

  82. Ken Fabian
    June 9th, 2013 at 09:54 | #82

    Plenty of MSM interest in the Rudd is more popular than Gillard line. But in their case I doubt any intention of doing good for Labor; quite the contrary, especially as the election approaches. Labor needs renewed focus on it’s lines of division like it needs new holes in it’s head.

    Pr Quiggin, I don’t think you do anyone in Labor – not even Kevin Rudd – any favors by pushing this line. I think it’s well past the point of this doing anything except encourage the public to view Labor as too divided to govern – under any PM. It may be only MSM selective editing and spin, but Rudd’s appearances never seem to be that of one of a Labor team player backing it’s leader. Whether intended or not, every high profile appearance he makes results in exactly this kind of discussion. Again. To no-one’s benefit.

  83. Ron E Joggles
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:07 | #83

    @Megan I’ll vote Labor whoever is leader – despite our current difficulties and several policies and specific decisions I disagree with, because I am loyal to the institution and its inherent values, even when some of those values are not honored by the current leadership, and because I am loyal to the many friends and colleagues I have acquired since joining the ALP, and because after the likely outcome of the looming election we need to be in the best possible position to rebuild.

    And of course the hypotheticals you mention – “executing refugees at sea, full internet censorship and surveillance, open slather mining and drilling, another war etc..” – are so far outside reality as to be ridiculous, and there’s no point indulging in such hyperbole in what is generally a rational discussion – on this blog I mean, which is why I read it daily and very occasionally contribute, when I have something apposite to say.

  84. Ron E Joggles
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:21 | #84

    Mel :
    Why so much negativity? Abbott is unlikely to win with a margin big enough to sustain a coalition government for more 5 or 6 elections. Labor or its replacement will possibly be in with a chance of re-election as early as 2030. This may seem like a long time but it if you occupy the time between then and now with winery tours, fishing trips and home renovations it will go fast enough. Cheers.

    I had a chuckle at this tongue-in-cheek comment, but it’s essentially accurate, if a little pessimistic in timescale – we need to take a long-term view – though I’d rather occupy the time rebuilding union membership, campaigning on AGW and improving the lot of my Aboriginal countrymen – winery tours would be an inexcusable indulgence, fish murdering is so boring, and I haven’t the funds to renovate this old bush pavilion.

  85. Mr Denmore
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:28 | #85

    What would worry the Liberal Party more – Gillard staying put or Rudd taking over the leadership?

  86. Tony lynch
    June 9th, 2013 at 10:32 | #86

    Today’s Sun Herald poll – saying what is blindingly obvious to those committed to a reality-based view…

  87. June 9th, 2013 at 10:43 | #87

    @Ron E Joggles

    Thanks, and I sincerely wish you and others like you every success in fixing up the ALP.

    As for the hyperbole, only just a little bit!

    -The government knew the latest boat was in distress on Wednesday and waited 46 hours before starting a rescue operation.

    -The government already collects meta-data and recently blocked a whole bunch of sites.

    -They got ASIO to spy on AGW activists, especially anti-coal ones, they have pretty much given the diggers and drillers everything they want wherever they want, and

    -Bob Carr seems very keen on us being involved in Syria.

    I wish my hyperbole wasn’t so close to reality.

  88. June 9th, 2013 at 11:03 | #88

    @Mr Denmore

    They probably (rightly) don’t much care either way.

    Their only genuine fear at this point should be that they manage to give the ALP a “Steven Bradbury” moment – and that isn’t an impossible thing at all.

  89. alfred venison
    June 9th, 2013 at 11:03 | #89

    the most pertinent question on the topic – congratulations Mr Denmore ! i think the liberals dread a rudd return, given rudd continuously scores top rating in the preferred prime minister question while their man abbot scores no higher than julia gillard. -a.v.

  90. Fran Barlow
    June 9th, 2013 at 15:11 | #90

    @Mr Denmore

    Neither would bother them because they have excellent attacking lines in either case, and we already know what they are. In theory, nuking the game (which is what Rudd would do) opens up the possibility of the contest changing, much as going the long handle when you are 8 down with 8 overs to go and a run rate of 12 in a limited overs fixture does. It hardly ever works though and the more likely outcome tends to be an early end to the contest.

    If Rudd were to return as leader, regardless of whether it made no difference to the losses, exaggerated them or slightly staunched them, the results in the medium term for the ALP would be much worse, because it would show that the ALP really was the hollow shell many of us suspect. It really would have proved itself beyond doubt to be a creature neither of its membership nor even its parliamentary wing and organisation but a mere manifestation of the whims of Murdoch, and thus utterly useless to anyone with a contrary interest. The loss they would suffer would be existential in character. They would need to entirely reinvent themselves and purge themselves of pretty much everyone with a hand in the leadership of the party.

  91. Jim Rose
    June 9th, 2013 at 16:10 | #91

    Who will be left to be leader of the opposition? Shorten?

  92. Fran Barlow
    June 9th, 2013 at 17:34 | #92

    @Jim Rose

    Personally, if the ALP lose, which seems most likely, I hope they lose by a very very long margin. Let not one stone stand upon another.

    The best vaguely plausible result would be a redux of the 43rd parliament, but that seems a forlorn hope.

  93. Ron E Joggles
    June 9th, 2013 at 19:11 | #93

    @Fran Barlow If what Barrie Cassidy just predicted on ABC News comes to pass, we may find out whether your prediction is correct – though the journos do have a propensity for overexcitement – the poor dears are obviously bored.

  94. Mr Denmore
    June 9th, 2013 at 20:24 | #94


    Your observations make sense if you believe the ALP can’t evolve. I think it can. Rudd, regardless of his clearly ego-driven campaign, represents a new vision of the centre left outside of the 1950s style industrial union social vision espoused by the Joe De Bruyns of the world.

    Part of the reason Gillard can’t cut through is that she is a slave to the old school. Rudd, however he might imagine himself, represents how the Centre Left has changed. If he doesn’t challenge, a large part of the electorate will be disenfranchised.

  95. kevin1
    June 9th, 2013 at 23:10 | #95

    Just read a recent article on leadership at Project Syndicate by US political scientist Joseph Nye (of the “soft power” idea), which reviews Obama’s foreign policy but I think has relevance here. http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/contextual-intelligence-and-foreign-policy-leadership-by-joseph-s–nye

    He puts forward a dichotomy between transformational leadership drawing on inspirational and motivational abilities, versus pragmatic leadership based on incremental change and a transactional approach. In his view, leaders can and do develop from one to the other: either adjusting to the times or by developing in a different direction.

    He goes on to say “leaders need certain soft- and hard-power skills to be effective. Among the soft-power skills are emotional intelligence (self-control and the ability to use emotional cues to attract others); vision (an attractive portrait of the future that balances ideals, objectives, and capabilities); and communication (the ability to use words and symbols to persuade both an inner circle and a broader audience). For the use of hard-power resources, two skills are particularly important: organizational capacity and a Machiavellian proficiency in bullying, buying, and bargaining to form winning coalitions.” I think we can see which is approximately which.

    Nye says that in a crisis “a leader with transformational objectives faces better odds, and an inspirational style is more likely to find responsive followers and to make their role more relevant.” But we only have solvable crises: despite wicked problems, the ALP in disarray, and the voters’ crisis of confidence, the policy solutions are identifiable.

    In the Rudd v Gillard contest both have shown their deficits, but only the inspirational type has any chance to strike a chord with the better side of voters, avoid a grubby Abbott government and possibly create a stronger constituency for positive change after the election. The fact that a switch based on the electorate’s preference is not a climb-down from the high moral ground makes the case compelling for those who reject the apocalyptic alternative and think there is enough potential within Labor to make reform possible, if the house is still standing after the fire.

  96. June 10th, 2013 at 02:34 | #96

    Another thing to remember about the latest Fairfax ‘ReachTEL’ poll is that Fairfax radio is ridiculously ‘right wing’ (I would say fascist, but that would make me sound ‘extreme’) and ReachTEL is automated and only uses landlines.

    ReachTEL itself seems to always skew to the right in all its polls.

    I know this is pointless but to any ALP operatives observing: It doesn’t matter whether you knife Gillard and un-knife Rudd! It’s your policies that we hate. Please get some humanity, even if it is cynically to be popular and win elections.

    Hey LNP, why don’t you try it too! That would be a real electoral contest.

  97. Jim Rose
    June 10th, 2013 at 10:12 | #97


    They got ASIO to spy on AGW activists, especially anti-coal ones, they have pretty much given the diggers and drillers everything they want wherever they want, and

    the anti-coal types do include a few people who go beyond protest. They damage property. watching criminal groups is a standard law enforcement function.

  98. Alan
    June 10th, 2013 at 10:15 | #98

    @Mr Denmore

    Labor’s problem is the dominance of a corrupt and unaccountable faction. Fran apparently believes that only keeping that faction in power will lead to reform of the ALP and that Murdoch is a strong supporter of Rudd. Neither proposition is easy to accept.

    Even though I doubt Labor can now win the election (doubt with Rudd, certainty with Gillard) I do not want Shorten to claim the opposition leadership after the election and prolong the dominance of the ALP right into the foreseeable future. I am particularly alarmed by the idea because I suspect Shorten Labor would announce that Abbot had a mandate and pass repeal of the carbon tax and the other reforms. A vote for Julia Gillard is a vote for such notable political progressives as Paul Howes and Bill Ludwig.

  99. Mitchell Porter
    June 10th, 2013 at 23:29 | #99

    Thanks for the various replies.

    I will adopt Megan’s rough division of the electorate into 30% diehard ALP, 30% diehard Coalition, 40% swinging – see the poll mentioned by Tony #36 http://bit.ly/105lAWU : 29% think Gillard is doing a very poor job and 27% think Abbott is doing a very poor job – that’s almost perfectly consistent with Megan’s numbers, if you suppose that in both cases, most of the real haters are the diehards from the other team.

    And I now have a tentative model of what the past six years of politics have been about. First, it’s mostly about the 40%. Of course the “diehards” on both sides have undergone evolution too, but their basic allegiance hasn’t changed. The 40% do change, and they are the kingmakers.

    Second, I will go with the thesis that Australian politics, in this period, has not been about the economy. Labor won in 2007 because the 40% were tired of Howard and Rudd seemed competent. Then came the GFC, but because we avoided tumbling into the chronic economic crisis besetting many other developed countries, Australia’s vacation from economic politics soon resumed. The 2010 Gillard coup soured many of the 40% on Labor, but not decisively, so we got an election about nothing and a hung parliament.

    Then in the last few years, the 40% have slipped towards a net negative assessment of Labor in government, and while I will profess some agnosticism about the details, Fran covers a lot of it. From my perspective, the key fact is that it’s all about mood, malaise, and a patchwork of issues. During this period of Labor in power, we’ve gone from Rudd’s activism, to the crisis management of the GFC period, to the tactics of minority government, and now a period of treading water while the polls worsen.

    It looks transitional to me. The period isn’t dominated by a single issue, like the war on terror, or a single sensibility, like everyone getting rich through the mining boom. Climate change was supposed to be the big new thing, but that was scuttled when the northern powers decided to focus on economics instead (I credit blogger Piping Shrike with making this clear to me). So politics is a little small-minded and scatter-brained right now. And we shall see how much longer history lets us get away with that…

  100. Fran Barlow
    June 11th, 2013 at 04:54 | #100


    Labor’s problem is the dominance of a corrupt and unaccountable faction. Fran apparently believes that only keeping that faction in power will lead to reform of the ALP

    Nonsense. I’m voting Langer method, which is informal, giving up a vote for the Greens, so as to avoid supporting Gillard.

    and that Murdoch is a strong supporter of Rudd. Neither proposition is easy to accept.

    He is in a cold alliance and has been pushing this line for some time. He will drop Rudd the second the ALP loses and he gets the regime change he wants. Possibly by 2016, and probably by 2019 (or his successor if he is dead by then), he/she will be back supporting the ALP because he needs a strong opposition in order to manipulate the ruling party effectively.

    I suspect Shorten Labor would announce that Abbot had a mandate and pass repeal of the carbon “tax”

    1. It’s not a tax so the ‘tax’ can’t be repealed.

    In practice the price can’t be repealed because that would entail destroying the value of the permits business puchased and the fixed price phase is about to finish.

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