A guest post from an anonymous ALP member.
I’m not sure it matters who ends up winning the eventual ballot/s, there isn’t going to be much of a prize for the winner.
Both the Rudd and Gillard governments have done some great things (putting aside our inability to sell half of them) but the next election won’t be fought on Labor’s record in bringing us through the global crisis in a better position than any other country. It won’t be fought on issues such as workplace relations, health care, education, broadband or climate change – all areas (and there’s many more) where our policy is superior. Instead it will be fought entirely on the revolving door leadership. This isn’t just the fault of Rudd, blame can be cast on both leaders, the cabinet, the strategy and media advisers and indeed the faceless men.
We look an absolute rabble and the election is now Abbott’s to lose, something which thankfully he is uniquely capable of doing.
In similar circumstances the QLD election is the LNP’s to lose with polling putting the conservatives well in front. Can they make it through the six week campaign period without screwing it up? The ALP’s strategy clearly was to have an extra long declared campaign to give Newman and the LNP enough time to fall in a heap. While hoping for the other guys to screw it up isn’t the best strategy ever, it’s understandable – this is a party that has spent most of recent history in opposition because they are so divided and dodgy.
The LNP is that short of talent they had to find a leader outside of Parliament, and clear divisions between the merged party remain. Voters who are sick of an aging government are only going to start scrutinising an alternate government late in the election cycle. It’s the “are they ready to govern?” question that will be crucial to the result. Clearly I believe they are not, but the ones that matter, the voters have a six week long timer to make up their mind on that question.
Because of Rudd’s actions, you can take at least two weeks off that timer, as state election stories will be buried by the latest in speculation over the challenge and the fallout from the result. That assumes a one sided result, a close contest and it’s going to remain the only political story for the foreseeable future. A landslide result might have a good result for Queensland ALP, but it appears Rudd’s best case response is a second winning challenge after a close loss in the first one. If it wasn’t his home state I could understand him not wanting to delay his ambition by six weeks to help a state election that is likely lost. But he’s blowing one of his own state party’s few remaining strategies.
Which I guess sums up how I see his motives, it’s all about Kevin. He’s willing to sell his QLD state colleagues out for his personal gain. He’s willing to destroy the credibility of the Government to take back power. In tearing down the Government to try and take back the leadership he either hasn’t considered (or does not care) what condition the party will be in if he loses. ‘If I can’t have it, nobody can’ is a disturbing approach for a progressive politician when on the other side of the chamber sits a hard right conservative who would love to wind back all the good policy both Labor Prime Ministers have put in place.