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Deposing Kevin Rudd may actually backfire with the electorate: The Et tu Gillard moment

June 26, 2010

Deposing Kevin Rudd may actually backfire with the electorate: The Et tu Gillard moment.

Like many people who in good faith voted for a government led by Kevin Rudd I am very disappointed that I will not have the pleasure of voting him out at the next election. Perhaps the naive belief that the electorate should decide such matters, particularly with a first term government, is my own personal fault. It was the selfish desire to punish the Howard Government that made me choose the Kevin07 facade over the Work Choices Titanic. I knew that the Kevin07 was aimed at the most shallow demographic who look endlessly for celebrity fads but Work Choices had me very concerned. I wanted the main vanguard of the Howard machine dismantled in such a way that they central policies were poisoned for a very long time. Work Choices was just one issue that struck at my ability to earn living and provide for my children. Other policies I found to be very unattractive were: The Pacific Solution and The War in Iraq. However when it gets down to the reality of survival messing with career or income strikes a nerve. Nothing gives a voter more pleasure than to feel as if they were instrumental in changing a government. And this is the greatest problem of the recent beheading of Kevin Rudd. The deprived me of the pleasure of me doing it at the next free and open election. It was not merely a personal vendetta against John Howard but a desire to be rid of the entire substance of the policies that I had grown to despise.

 

In the last two days since Julia Gillard has deposed Kevin Rudd and taken his Prime Ministership there has been little discussion about the substance of what this means to the electorate. Instead we have a mixture Kevin07 style of hero worship to how the ‘How Gillard will get us back on track.’ For the committed ALP voter this may sound like music to their ears and but for those that are not it comes across as alternative universe where the fearless leader will bring back to glory. Editorials in the past two days would have us believe that the election is already won and all because the party faithful have now found a ‘new saviour’. Give me a break. Policy and national direction will make the difference in this election, not the photogenic qualities of the figure head.

 

What made Kevin Rudd electable to the Howard Battlers was not his attractiveness to the factions and ultra leftwing factions of the ALP. Rather it was his willingness to do away with the faction culture and appear to be more mainstream and more conservative than his predecessors. In many ways the promise of a Rudd Government was to keep the ‘Loony Left’, ‘Party Hacks’ and ‘Branch Stackers’ under control as he not only reformed the party, but led the nation to prosperity. This promise of stability and synchronization with mainstream Australians made Rudd the best pick of the ALP litter. Even Kim Beasley could not match Rudd’s appeal to the common voter. Rudd did not present himself as a radical who wanted to try out a set of social experiments, nor did he look like some kind of political hack who backstabbed his way up the heap, nor did he run about espousing anti USA rhetoric like many of those in his party. Instead he seemed to be like a younger, better educated and nicer John Howard. Unfortunately Julia Gillard despite her appeal to the ALP party faithful is none of the things that made the image of Kevin07 so attractive.

 

With Prime Minister Julia Gillard we have had only a snapshot of what she is given to the general public. For the leftwing she is everything that they would dream for: well spoken, charming, and intelligent but also a master at deflecting difficult to answer questions. Yet it is this last point that could easily see her lumbered with the tag of being evasive (and as a result dishonest). Her continual denial that she had any knowledge about a plot to remove Kevin Rudd from his position as prime minister is going to be a very hard sell. How many voters are really going to believe that she is an accidental Prime Minister who was forced into the job? My guess that many voters will see this as nothing more than a hatchet job from day one where Gillard was rubbing her hands with glee. The ‘Lady Macbeth’ tag created by opposition leader Tony Abbott may actually be hard to shake.

 

In terms of exposure Gillard has avoided the blow torch scrutiny that every other prime ministerial candidate in recent history has had to endure. Remember Latham having to explain how he broke the arm of a taxi driver, Rudd’s picking incident, Hawk’s drinking habits, Howard living with his mother for too long and so forth. As such she has walked into the job unscathed and unchallenged on her set of values, experiences and attitudes. It was Kevin Rudd who faced the television election debates against John Howard, not Julia Gillard. There is a lot old baggage from her political life that would raise the eyebrows of mainstream votes. The ‘Emily List’ is just one; her association with the Socialist Forum another and her association with the other Australian Fabian Society the third. None of these groups could be considered as attractive to the mainstream. Rather they indicate an elitist mindset more in tune with a Latte Socialist than a working family.

 

The election is looming and only time will tell how Gillard survives the scrutiny. If the voter have any sense that she is not as nice as her current persona or has a hidden agenda that frightens them then she is finished. A back stabbing power hungry politician is electoral poison.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. similimodo permalink
    July 17, 2010 5:59 am

    Dear Damo,

    I don’t generally like voting at elections, because there’s no-one worthy of a vote, but I do remember the last election, and casting an anti-Workplace-Reform vote. It wasn’t strictly a pro-Rudd vote, but I knew if Howard was ousted, Rudd would get in.

    And that’s the bind a voter finds himself in. No-one to vote for, only people to vote against, knowing that even a vote against is a vote for someone else. And it’s why I don’t usually vote (well I do vote – I turn up at the polling booth and cast an informal vote – my uncle used to just draw a picture of a dog on the ballot papers). But the Workplace Reforms were so bad. The workplace is bad enough as it is, without giving the employer the right to sack someone because he doesn’t particularly like them.

    Someone asked me the other day, “Who was the best boss you ever worked for?” I thought about it for a while and said, “I was self-employed once.”

    In fact, I’m self-employed again. (I just gave myself Tuesday to Friday off, because I worked so hard on Monday. Haha). But outside of some policy like Workplace Reform, over the course of my life, it hasn’t mattered either way whether Labour or Liberal was in government. They’re both as bad as each other. But that’s politics.

    I’ll be practising my dog-drawing skills over the weekend, just in case there is an early election.

    Which reminds me. I wonder which state I’m enrolled in this time? I might cast an absentee-of-mind vote – Sorry, I forgot to vote again?

    This election is looming as the budgie-smugglers versus the Vogue makeover. How interesting.

    I see Sportsbet have ‘Gillard by a nose’.

    By the way. I think one of the reasons you don’t get a lot of comments is because what you write makes too much sense.

    Regards to you and your family.

    David …

    Like

    • July 17, 2010 10:24 am

      David

      Thanks for your comments.

      I have been tempted to draw a dog on my ballot from tme to time. I live in a safe seat and thus my vote is treated with contempt from both parties. My sister lives in a marginal set and they try everything to buy her off. Politicians only live the ones who can hurt them.

      I have an impression that this campaign will be the most banal yet. Please no more shots of Abbott in his budgie smugglers. The only thing worse would be Gillard in a g-string.

      Bring on election fast so I know who to hate after they have won.

      This time it is not Alien vs Predator, It Snotty vs Big Ears. (May Toyland be gratefull for what it gets.)

      On a side note. I am not really worried about comments on this forum. It is more of a portfolio to see if am progressing in my writing style rather than a shallow grab for groupies. Bad writer always need groupies to convince themselves that they do not suck.

      Like

  2. similimodo permalink
    July 17, 2010 2:06 pm

    Damo,

    I could have done without the image of Juicy Gizzards in a g-string.

    As to your writing style progressing, I think you’re writing more naturally (as in, expressing your true style – which to me has always been clear, forthright, direct, and conversational [easy to read], and usually accompanied by an injection of your cynical, sceptical wit).

    I get the impression that, without being constantly attacked for your subject matter by ‘morons’, your true style comes across better. You’re writing more ‘freely’ in the style you’ve always written in.

    It’s hard trying to gather your thoughts into words when you’re constantly swatting off flies.

    Regardless of how much study I’ve done on the craft of creative writing, I always go back to: The closer your writing resembles how you think and speak, the closer you come to writing perfection. (On the proviso that you know how to think and say something of substance – which rules out most bloggers).

    I wasn’t going to mention Orble, asexuals, homosexuals or lesbians again.

    David …

    Like

    • July 17, 2010 4:58 pm

      David

      Orble? I miss it not. It has lost all reason for existance other than perpetuate its own existance. And when that happens to anything it is already dead.

      Writing is a solitary business. Best done in peace and quiet. Far away from the yabbering of people who refuse to read what they criticise and hammer you for what you have not written .

      Like

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