More than just a leadership change happened yesterday.
“What happened, PIK? I’m overwhelmed! It makes no sense, why should I care?”
1. Julia Gillard called a leadership spill, Kevin Rudd challenged her; Kevin Rudd won – 57 votes to 45. He is now the leader of the ALP, and the [un-elected] Prime Minister of Australia.
2. Stephen Conroy, Joe Ludwig, Peter Garrett, Wayne Swan, Craig Emerson, Greg Combet, Stephen Smith, [Nicola Roxon*] Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have either resigned from the front bench, quit parliament or are retiring.
*NB: Nicola Roxon announced she wouldn’t be contesting the election earlier in the year.
3. Bill Shorten became a ‘kingmaker’ of sorts, changing from backing Julia Gillard around lunchtime AWST to publicly backing Kevin Rudd.
4. The Reds won the State of Origin match last night — a big day for Queenslanders[!]
But what does it all mean!?
For Julia Gillard:
– Kevin Rudd got ‘revenge’ on JG — he took back the ALP leadership the way he lost it. She had a shot of her own medicine, and she took it.
– She had to tender her resignation as Prime Minister to Quentin Bryce, our Governor General – and she did without fuss. She even went so far as to recommend Kevin Rudd’s installment as the next Prime Minister.
– We won’t be seeing her in Parliament ever again. I assume she’ll move back into private sector/union work. She has retired from Parliament, and will not re-contest her electoral seat of Lawlor.
– She created a monster the day she deposed Kevin; he became a political poltergeist – bitter, vain, vengeful and narcissistic. He became driven to retake the leadership and ‘finish’ what he started.
– She has laid ground for more female Prime Ministers in future.
– Some fun statistics about JG’s Prime Ministership against other Aussie PM’s:
For Kevin Rudd:
– He’s the new Prime Minister [28th] and leader of the ALP, flanked by Anthony ‘Albo’ Albanese.
– 7 Labour MPs and 2 Independents have resigned in the wake of yesterday’s kerfuffle – all named above.
– This video was released by the Liberals *the day BEFORE the spill*, which will no doubt be used in the upcoming election campaign:
– Before yesterday, he was one of just two Prime Ministers inn Australian history to not serve a full term as PM. If he gets elected in September and survives until 2016/17, he will repeal this ‘honour’.
Fun Fact: the other PM to not serve a full term was John Curtin! He died in office just before the end of the Second World War in 1945.
– He may move to legalize same-sex marriage if he’s elected. His announcement of his support was welcomed positively earlier this year.
Think of it as an episode of Game of Thrones!
Kevin Rudd – Walder Frey
Julia Gillard – Catelyn Stark
Bill Shorten – Lord Bolton
Labour Caucus – The Lannister Family
The Rains of Canberramere
Walder Frey was previously the bannerman for Catelyn Stark’s family, the Tullys – Frey and Lord Bolton then betrayed Catelyn in pursuit of power, endowed by the Lannisters.
How have people reacted to yesterday?
Certainly not like this:
A lot of words I’ve heard/seen used yesterday were:
disappointment, alienation, frustration, “not again”, “here we go again”, “who cares”, traumatic, narcissism, resurrection, Kevin Rudd PM 2.0, childish, brutal etc etc
– Parliament will not sit again before the election – both political parties go into ‘pow-wow’ mode and work at getting elected.
– Remember Julia’s dignity, even you weren’t a fan. She dug in her heels and faced each leadership challenge with excellent composure. She delivered on her promise and she has left Parliament without any further ‘theatre’. I challenge anyone who has had their job challenged/undermined so much to leave with more dignity. She wasn’t perfect, and I may not have been a supporter — but I liked her.
Thankyou, JG. Go put your feet up, face mask and have a cuppa 🙂
– The ‘saga’ between Kevin and Julia is done, but we’ll hear about it for awhile yet.
– We wait and see how K.Rudd 2.0 goes…..!
Points for thought:
– If the power we have through being able to vote freely wasn’t obvious to us before, it has become important now. Why? Because the Aussie public has experienced what it’s like, more than once, to know what it’s like to have a Leader we didn’t necessarily vote for. Come August/September when we do vote, remember how good it is to have that power.
– Julia said in her post-question time interview yesterday that “politics isn’t about personality” — does this make sense next to the events of yesterday?
Next Entry: Politics, Personality and the ALP Caucus
Before I go, a parody:
The Rains of Canberra-mere
‘And who are you, Prime Minister Kevin said,
that I must step aside?
Only a woman of a red coat,
that’s all the truth he knew.
In a coat of silver or a coat of red,
a Pollie still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, dear Julia,
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that Lord of Canberra now,
But now the Journalists that sweep o’er the Canberra hall,
with no one there who cares.
Yes now the silence sweeps o’er the Canberra hall,
and not a soul to hear..”