24 June 2010
So We Have a New PM (Or, Labor Eats Its Own)
Remind me never to serve in a Labor government. I'm rather a sensitive sort, and I don't think I could handle the hurt and monumental ingratitude of being dumped by my own party, in my first term, so shortly after being Australia's most popular ever PM. But hey, that's me.
It's a ridiculous situation when looked at that way. The Australian electorate, it must seems, are pretty darn ungrateful. It's not enough that Rudd saved us from the GFC, oh no; at the first thing people are brainwashed into not liking (the mining tax) everyone gets cold feet. It's like walking out of a marriage at the first argument over which in-laws to spend Christmas with. Even that may be understandable (the electorate have pretty short memories, after all) but what's unforgivable is that Labor, instead of standing by Rudd, threw him out on his ass at the first opportunity.
That's what's wrong with non-Conservatives. They care too much about being liked; they spook too easily. Howard never wavered. He sat there grinning as he sent us into Iraq, sent troops to the Northern Territory to tell traumatised communities how to raise their kids, as he sent us to do two-hour shifts thanks to Work Choices. I despise him and what he did to Australia, but dammit he and the Liberals have the courage of their convictions. He stayed the course, with the party's support, till the (very) bitter end.
I had my own problems with Rudd - mostly over social issues. The Apology was great, but what about gay marriage, ending the Intervention, standing up on the asylum seeker issues. But we owe him a debt of gratitude for getting rid of Howard in the first place, and for all that we kept our jobs (this from someone who lost hers). Rudd's press conference this morning was unexpectedly moving. If only he had shown such emotion before, acknowledged he was a human with feelings and flaws, we may not have been in this situation.
As it all built up last night, I hoped Gillard would refuse to run. Realistically she didn't have a choice. She is giving her press conference as we speak, admitting she wasn't elected PM and will not delay the upcoming Federal election. It's a bit of a worry. Abbott and co will argue that Labor couldn't even get through one term intact, how can they be trusted with the ongoing stewardship of the country? It's not an invalid point. I shall not be sending my vote their way, though. It will be interesting to see if this means my local seat really will go to the Greens.
Of course now we have our first female Prime Minister. Yes, that's a good thing but do we have to keep pointing it out? It shouldn't be a factor that decided a vote (God help us if we had Julie Bishop PM, let alone President Palin). It's a shame it happened like this. Labor needs to harden up, frankly. Let's strap ourselves in; it's going to be a long nasty election campaign ahead.
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