Kevin’s Rise

Aractus 15, July, 2013

Since Kevin took back the prime-ministership, he has enjoyed the rising success of becoming exceedingly popular. Once again we see malevolent and destructive behaviour being rewarded – in this case with political power and popularity. It is very sad when we see people who do the wrong thing rise above those who do the right thing. Last time I talked about the ALP factions and the long-reaching and controlling arm of the unions, this time it’s all about Kevin and his rise to power and popularity, at any cost.

Every federal election, there are a certain number of current MP’s and Senators who will be resigning. It could be because they wish to end their career in politics, it could be for health or personal reasons, it could also be because they lost pre-selection for their seat. This election there are five Liberal MP’s and two senators who have announced their intention to resign/not contest the upcoming election. All seven announced this decision prior to June 26 – the date of the leadership spill that saw Rudd rise back into the top seat.

Resigning MP's

For the government, however, the story is very different. Kevin has divided the party. As the Jesus says in the Bible – a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25). Two out of the three independents who formed government with the ALP have announced their intention to resign, and so have 13 Labor MP’s and 3 Senators. Of them, six Labor MP’s and the two independents all announced their resignation following the leadership spill. They are pictured above, and this is a list of them:
Kevin Rudd pointing

Rob Oakeshott
Tony Windsor
Craig Emerson
Peter Garrett
Julia Gillard

Stephen Smith

Greg Combet

Simon Crean

You may remember that Simon Crean contested the deputy leadership of the ALP and only resigned after losing the ballot. Crean is a much respected politician by both sides of parliament.

The personal toll that has taken place in order to allow Rudd’s rise to power cannot be understated. Rudd has also announced planned changes that would prevent unions and factions having the power they currently have over the ALP leadership. While it may be a welcome change in theory, his proposed changes would in effect mean that the federal leadership isn’t a matter for caucus, but rather a matter for the party’s “ordinary members”. This would make overturning a bad prime minister – like Rudd – very difficult for the party in the future.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect is the fact that Rudd doesn’t believe that parliamentary leadership should be decided among the MP’s and Senators. Giving this choice to ordinary members changes the ability of the party to unite behind the person who the politicians feel best represents their values and interests. In effect, it means that the popularity vote is more important than the party-values. With most Australians now completely unsure of Labor’s values, is this really the right move to get across their message for the future?

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