Theories about why there’s still anger in the community about the ALP replacing Rudd with Gillard ages ago before the last election when she won more seats than Abbott but is clearly still less legitimate than he is

  1. We don’t have civics classes in schools.
  2. Many people don’t understand why those drafting our constitution avoided cursing us with a US-style Presidential system (where power resides in one person who’s somehow supposed to represent a country) and blessed us with a parliamentary one (where legislation is voted on by diverse* members representing different views in the community) instead.
  3. The media keep telling people that we have a vote for PM even though we don’t.
  4. Big political parties keep pretending to agree with the media telling people we have a vote for the PM even though we don’t.
  5. The former PM keeps pretending we voted for him as PM even though we didn’t.
  6. It’s much easier to be angry with the people working within the system you don’t understand than to acknowledge your ignorance and be angry with the people who deceived you.
  7. We enjoyed kicking out John Howard so much (oh boy, that was awesome – remember when he even lost his seat! What a fitting end to one of the country’s worst governments of all time) that we thought it’d be just as fun to kick out Rudd, although the Rudd removal was more a sad necessity than a joy and if we’d done it we’d have had to replace him with Abbott.

I do enjoy when media outlets report how “confused” and “bewildered” voters are about what’s going on, as if that’s not an incredibly damning indictment on the quality of their political reporting.

*Yes, well, we would be if we had a more democratic electoral system than single-member electorates where smaller parties simply have their votes handed over to big parties on preferences.

About these ads

19 responses to “Theories about why there’s still anger in the community about the ALP replacing Rudd with Gillard ages ago before the last election when she won more seats than Abbott but is clearly still less legitimate than he is

  1. Not sure why you’ve decided to mock those still unhappy that the Labor party dumped Rudd for Gillard, or why you’re painting the issue of party leadership as completely irrelevant.

    I’d guess it’s because you like what Gillard’s done as PM and would prefer that this whole Rudd challenge went away so she can keep on keeping on.

    Looks like you’ll get your wish Lefty. Rudd won’t win today and the Labor party can go back to what it has been doing for the last two years. Pursuing electoral oblivion under one of the most tone-deaf and uninspiring ‘leaders’ ever thrust upon the country.

    I hope you still think it was the right choice when Abbott is walking into the lodge.

  2. Lay off it, Jeremy, you’re a broken record on this. I’m well aware that we don’t technically elect the PM, but when I walk into a primary school to vote, I do so with the awareness that it will affect who becomes PM, and vote accordingly. I don’t particularly give a shit who the Local Member For Suburban Statistical Zone 619 is. I care about which party is in charge and who the PM is, and if you think that Machiavellian figures like Howard or Rudd don’t have massive sway over how their party operates, you are demonstrably wrong.

    The media says people are “confused.” I disagree. I think very few people are stupid enough to think we actually vote for the PM. People know how the rules work, but – unlike you – they can also grasp how the system works in practice. Nobody is saying these party machinations are a coup and that the AFP should be swooping in to uphold the Constitution. People are saying that Labor broke an unwritten convention of how our system works. It’s bad form to ditch a sitting PM.

    And stop pretending that Washington and Westminster are the only two political systems we could choose from.

  3. Splatterbottom

    The Labor party has chosen death before dishonour. Hard choice: psychopath or liar.

  4. I’d guess it’s because you like what Gillard’s done as PM and would prefer that this whole Rudd challenge went away so she can keep on keeping on.

    Not particularly – although I do like certain things that have happened while she’s PM (an end to offshore processing and a carbon price) even if she didn’t intend them in the first place.

    Simple thing is that I want to see Abbott defeated and she’s the best person to do that. Rudd’s supposed “popularity” is an illusion and would dissipate minutes after he became PM, when the anti-Labor media would turn on him with ferocity.

    Gillard, in contrast, has a good shot of regaining all the ground she lost with the carbon “tax” when July comes and goes and the Liberals’ ridiculous doom-mongering fails to come to pass. When pensions increase, the carbon price compensation for the (much more numerous) lower income earners is received.

    Obviously the hack media (and the Liberals) would much rather leadership talk continues to be treated as headline news. But that’d happen no matter who was leader.

    I hope you still think it was the right choice when Abbott is walking into the lodge.

    I certainly think Rudd would’ve been a worse one.

    Of course, I’ll be voting for neither of them – I’ll be voting for the Greens.

    I care about which party is in charge and who the PM is

    I care about my views being represented in parliament, and hope that the people advocating for that perspective can out-negotiate those advocating for competing views.

    Who’s PM – why does it matter? They’re their party’s representative to the community, not anyone we look up to to represent us.

    What party’s in charge matters. Who the PM is – well, under either Rudd or Gillard the policies would’ve been very, very similar.

    I think very few people are stupid enough to think we actually vote for the PM

    I think the vox pops and polls this week and when Gillard became PM would demonstrate otherwise.

    The Labor party has chosen death before dishonour. Hard choice: psychopath or liar.

    How’s Gillard a “liar”? Worst I’ve seen is an arguably “broken promise”, which is not the same thing.

  5. Who the PM is – well, under either Rudd or Gillard the policies would’ve been very, very similar.

    With those two, yes. But I would put it to you that Australia would have a noticeably different national character had Malcolm Turnbull been PM for eleven years rather than John Howard.

    The role of prime minister evolved hundreds of years ago in a different country and a different age, at a time when the monarch still played a very active role in politics. The role of prime minister today has expanded into more of a de facto head of state position, whether the Constitution says so or not, and whether you like it or not.

  6. Splatterbottom

    “How’s Gillard a “liar”? “

    Ask Andrew Wilkie. Did you see her dissembling on Four Corners? Heard the one about the Citizen’s Assembly? Or cash for clunkers? Or when she praised Rudd and appointed him as FM, but now she says he was a bullying psycho as PM (or at least that he had difficult and chaotic work patterns and was very difficult to work with).

    She has not a shred of credibility left. But yet…. I thought she handled the last few days quite well.

  7. Gillard’s always been a great performer in a fight with other politicians. It’s her ability to build trust, credibility and likeability with the electorate that’s questionable.

    Still – who knows? Maybe Lefty is right and this will be the start of Gillard’s resurection with the Australian people.

  8. I think you’re too dismissive and literal here. You’re discounting the possibility that rather than people ‘not understanding how the system works’, they are simply unhappy with the end result. As I said on twitter, when you say “the caucus had the technical right to do what they did,” you’re missing the point.

    Even if people *do* somehow vote up the Labor caucus as an undifferentiated mass, they can still disagree with its decision to change leaders, no? The office of Prime Minister is a pretty bloody powerful and important office, hardly irrelevant to the process of government.

    Let’s assume the contrary and that people *do* understand that the caucus can constitutionally change leaders (not an unreasonable assumption; changes in major party leadership have been frequent over the last 10 years). That doesn’t make disagreeing with Caucus’ choice to do so any less legitimate. People can say, legitimately: well, you should be clearer about why you’re doing it; the chief minister of the crown shouldn’t be a disposable office that can change on a whim; we feel that your stated reasons aren’t enough to justify a change; we deplore the actions of a party that appears to be focusing on personality disputes between ministers rather than good governance, etc. etc.

    Of course, if you’re right and really the entire populace has no idea what is going on, then feel free to lecture them; just don’t expect them to listen since for some reason we’ve been fostering this ‘democracy’ idea that when people express a majority preference for something it will be enacted/not enacted according to that decision.

    I really think that insisting over and over that “people have no right to be angry” over something that, while technically within the realm of possibility, was hardly explicitly canvassed by the ALP during its campaign, is really the approach that is less sophisticated and less aware of “how the system works”.

    I could claim, with about equal validity, that the way “the system works” is that a ministry remains in place until it fails to achieve some stated policy goal, at which point the entire ministry must resign. After all, that’s Westminster democracy in its purest theoretical form. It’s just that that description is not really a proper understanding of the practice of government.

  9. narcoticmusing

    Who’s PM – why does it matter? They’re their party’s representative to the community, not anyone we look up to to represent us.

    I don’t think you could be more wrong on this Lefty. You are suggesting that a leader has no impact on the way a government behaves, on the way that policies are directed, etc. The Ministers are like the board of a company and the PM the board chair. While the CEO & execs are doing most of the leg work (think departments and departmental secretaries) it still at the end of the day is driven by the vision and leadership of the board.

    I also disagree that the PM doesn’t represent us. While I realise the PM is not technically our head of state, for all intents and purposes they are. The current head of state has a flimsy role at best, despite having a significant presence in the Constitution. Even in England the PM is effectively more of a head of state than the actual head of state.

  10. Are people really that angry.

    Most people I know aren’t actually walking around steaming about Gillard stabbing Rudd with a bladed weapon, partly cos she didn’t, mostly cos they have a sense of perspective.

    All the bullshit about “Ju liar” only motivates non labour voters. They’d be probably angry anyway. The so called anger comes from the Murdoch editorial line, and is perpetuated cos the press engage in a form of flocking behaviour. I live in a farming community, we’re more angry about coal seam gas and the fuckwits that mine it than anything Gillard did. i am on holiday in melbourne right now tho and as of yet haven’t met one angry anti Gillard type anywhere.

  11. Splatterbotty wrote.The Labor party has chosen death before dishonour. Hard choice: psychopath or liar.

    The two party preferred vote is 47% ALP to 53% Tory. About where John Howard and Paul Keating won from and they were much closer to an election. Plenty of time if the ALP become more pro active with their narrative.

    As for liars, who was it that said not to take any notice of what he says only what he writes and swore black and blue he hadn’t seen his mentor George Pell immediately leading up to an election only to be sprung by Tony Jones when he produced time, date and place. Oh! That’s right it was Tony Abbott. Couldn’t lie straight in bed.that gent.

  12. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy, it looks like the spill was good for Labor in the polls. Maybe they should do it more often?

  13. You’re discounting the possibility that rather than people ‘not understanding how the system works’, they are simply unhappy with the end result.

    No, no, no Monkey – you’ve got it all wrong.

    Only those who fail to grasp our political system could consider the same facts as Lefty yet reach a different conclusion.

  14. Let’s assume the contrary and that people *do* understand that the caucus can constitutionally change leaders (not an unreasonable assumption; changes in major party leadership have been frequent over the last 10 years). That doesn’t make disagreeing with Caucus’ choice to do so any less legitimate.

    This is what bothers me most about Jeremy’s argument. It’s the same thing that happened when Rudd was first ousted – political wonks went about smugly pointing out to people that in Australia we don’t, in fact, vote for the PM… without bothering to question whether people’s anger was justified, whether it’s a good thing for the ruling party to be able to chop and change the head of government and de facto head of state, and whether Washminster really is an ideal system.

    Jeremy, you essentially seem to be in denial about how our government works in practice. It’s not just a chamber of democracy in which elected representatives pass laws. It is very much a ruling party headed up by a single, powerful person. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it’s how it is, even in the pure Westminster system where the monarch technically retains absolute power. And if we’re going to have a head of state, I’d prefer to have a say in who it is.

  15. Splatterbotty wrote: Autonomy, it looks like the spill was good for Labor in the polls. Maybe they should do it more often?

    The point being that if they can achieve those figures with all the static that’s been about in the months leading up to Mr Wonderfuls challenge they aren’t in the terminal shape some of you tragic Tories would have us believe. Why oh why do we have to continually explain the obvious to you ? :roll:

    Notice their was no comment on Tony’s less than honest past. Selective response as per usual.

  16. Splatterbottom

    In the 2007 election it was actually the ALP that championed the public’s right to know who the PM would be during the term. Gillard argued that as Howard was likely to retire, it was not safe to vote for the Coalition as voters did not know who they would be electing PM. Suffice it to say that no lefties were shitting on her then for her ignorance of our political system.

    Hypocritically she was the one who knifed Rudd, thus bringing about the very evil she so bitterly complained of. Unsurprising then that she had no shame about breaking her other promises or that she couldn’t even bring herself to give straight answers on Four Corners. No wonder the Greens love her so. Truly she has bent Australia over for their policy pleasure.

  17. narcoticmusing

    I think the first paragraph of what SB said is an often overlooked piece of history. Rudd was presented to the Australian public as the one that would save us, give us hope and change. He was presented as the one that would lead us. Many voted for Rudd, not the ALP. Heck, most people don’t even know who their local member is but they all know the leader of the Govt and Opposition. The gall of Roxon to say that ‘we’ (who knows who the hell she was referring to) need to sop thinking of Rudd as the Messiah – um, hello Nicola? It was your party that represented him as much.

    There is a reason why companies get sports stars etc to offer endorsements of products – because having a face as a representative works to sell a product. And that is what the ALP did, they used Rudd to sell their product. So yes, given that, it was a gross betrayal of public trust to sack him regardless of his flaws. The shock and dismay of the public, despite his unpopularity at the time, was understandable.

    I don’t give a rats who is leader of the ALP; but many did and do. The leader shapes the party and directs it. The leader has veto capacity. They represent us to the world. They are (often unfortunately) the public face of the country. It mattered. It doesn’t now – why? There was another election, and she was elected. End of story.

    I only hope the same scrutiny will come of Abbott when he eventually takes the top job – but we all know it won’t because it has been thus far completely absent. Where is the ‘that’s a bit bloody hypocritical coming from you ? No where. Even now you have people suggesting Gillard’s current prime ministership and government are illegitimate. What bollocks – she was re-elected, to a hung parliament yes, but that is reality. Get over it. She is as much a legit PM as Abbott is a legit opposition leader – the public didn’t vote for either of them, so the better negotiator won.

  18. It’s not a misunderstanding of whether it’s ‘allowed’ or not, it’s just bad form. That’s what me and many other Australian’s were angry about. Not a lack of understanding how the system works.

    There’s a good reason behind this; http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-24/lnp-sweeps-to-power-in-landslide-victory/3910476

    Every person I know hates labor over what happened with Rudd & Gillard.

  19. Why’a it “just bad form”? What do you think the PM is? If a PM is no longer representing his or her party, of course they have the right to be led by someone else. It’s not a job with security.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s