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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

ALP: where to now? « Previous | |Next »
February 27, 2012

Federal ALP have had their cathartic therapy session in the form of a leadership spill about office politics. The after the event speeches of the winners and losers (71 to 31 for Gillard) were pretty standard. Neither addressed the view that what would have been best for the Gillard Government to avert a conservative Abbott government in 2013 would have been for Rudd and Gillard to complement each other in senior positions.

PettyBALPspill .jpg

Of course, self -interest will ensure the ALP will unite after the therapeutic purge. Despite all the pledges it will be "unite" after a fashion, since federal Labor under both Rudd and Gillard has a track record of shooting itself in the foot.

A fractured Gillard Government is now fighting for its survival with one leg missing. Or is that one arm?

All the rhetoric about healing should be taken with a grain of salt. The wounds are too raw and deep, there is a fundamental disconnect between the Gillard Government and the broader Australian electorate, the Gillard Government faces the existential threat of being destroyed in the 2013 election, and the Abbott-led opposition will only increase the grenade throwing.

This is a government under siege. It is fighting issues of authority, legitimacy and trust in difficult times amidst the angst stirred up by its policy reforms.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:55 AM | | Comments (12)


Rudd is not going to stop. He's going to continue to build his popularity with the public.

Will the 71 to 31 caucus vote this morning help to restore Gillard's legitimacy?

Rudd will presumably wait on the backbench for yet another opportunity to strike.

Kevin forgot to thank the cleaners.

His popularity with the poo'r may help the campaigning in Qld for Labor. The longer Newman is out there the worse he looks. The LNP is full of skeletons and grudges and while most feel its time to end Labor here the alternative is a car crash in waiting.

The Canberra Press Gallery's new narrative is that the ALP's situation is dire. Gillard’s political car-wreck of a prime ministership will eventually be brought to an end by the faceless party powerbrokers. The media now gossip about a third candidate challenging before the 20123 election. It's only a question of time etc, etc.

This narrative doesn't address the history that governments have been in poorer positions than the Gillard government much closer to the election and yet they've still won.

"This narrative doesn't address the history that governments have been in poorer positions than the Gillard government much closer to the election and yet they've still won."

Gillard's narrative has been that communicating their policy achievements have been hamstrung by Rudd’s undermining. They just need some clean air to sell their policy success.

There is truth to that but it is not very convincing. It's a partial truth.

It's clear now that the most important leadership ballots for our country were those that deposed Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull. We missed the chance of a new direction in conservative policy-making and now seem certain to have a return of Howardism for an indefinite period after the next election.

If the independents were genuinely committed to representative government they would force an election now, but out of self-interest they will probably vote confidence again in Gillard's mob. But Labor has to be finished, losing Rudd and presumably Ferguson to the back bench. Either the leadership tensions will force some kind of split in the Party or Gillard will go down to inglorious defeat at the next election.

it looks increasingly likely that Andrew Wilkie will side with the Coalition on a no confidence motion

It's all over. The dust has settled.

So what was it all about. Little more than froth and bubble from what I could see. The whole leadership contest was devoid of policy issues.

It gave the media something to do.

no doubt the media will go back to bashing Gillard for being a weak, incompetent and illegitimate leader.

They may start on Abbott vs Turnbull next.
Anything is possible with this media in this boring political landscape. There isn't really enough political news to fill the timeslots that thirsty consumers occupy. It is necessary for the media to invent news to satisfy this thirst. News has become Home and Away.