The end of an era – interesting times indeed

Just watched KRudd’s concession speech online, and the thing that struck me was that he looked as if he had been planning this all along. 

I’m no political pundit, but I’ve wondered for a while what kind of deal the Caucus struck with Kevin Rudd – and Ken Shorten. Now I think I know. I believe that stepping down after the election was on the cards all along. I think that’s how the coup was structured – let KRudd leave in his own time, with his head held high, in exchange for his ability to save Labor from complete and utter defeat.

Well, he did that. Labor is leaner than before, but it is not demoralized. This gives me hope that new Labor will be better than the old. And I fervently hope new Labor will learn the lessons of the past six years – there are some things you just can’t do, not without consequences. 

On the subject of hope, the Daughter and I were talking about who the next Labor leader will be. Obviously Ken Shorten is a contender. Perhaps that’s the deal he struck for his about-face at the last leadership spill. The trouble with Ken Shorten is that he has no charisma.

Is charisma important? God yes. A political party is as much about its ‘faces’ as its policies, and young people like the Daughter go ‘Ken who?’

But if you mention Penny Wong, their faces light up. Not just because she’s a woman. Not just because she’s ‘ethnic’. Not just because she’s gay. But because Penny Wong has charisma as well as integrity. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a female PM who’s young, Chinese and proudly gay? Wouldn’t that say something amazing about how far Australia has come?

Who knows, maybe by the time the next election rolls around we can start being proud of our political system, and our politicians again. I hope so.

Good night all!

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

32 responses to “The end of an era – interesting times indeed

  • Catherine

    Rudd’s “Light on the Hill”, and Chifley reference, in his speech brought a tear to my eye as I remembered so many of mum’s stories of Chifley, the war, Menzies etc… It was a strong speech which made me proud.
    Who will be the next leader???… well…hmmm. Too early for Shorten yet, I reckon, some are saying Albo … others are saying Penny Wong may be deputy and groomed for the leaders role. What a lot of people are forgetting is that Rudd changed the way leaders of the Labor Party are now chosen. It’s 50-50 between the Caucus and Members of the Labor Party… so whooo hooo, I get to vote for the new leader 🙂
    It’s going to be interesting to see how Abbott performs as the PM… I cringe to think he may make some more gaffes like the “suppository” one when representing Australia internationally… g-r-o-a-n. Glad I no longer have to watch him dragging those grown up daughters around by the hand, like they’re 6years old girls 😦 … p-h-e-w. Nor his inappropriate “jokes” to netballers etc…
    Interestingly none of the commentators have mentioned how, after he stood alone on the stage for his acceptance speech, he went down to “press the flesh” of his adoring public as his wife, and three daughters dressed in virginal white, were making their way up to the stage to join him… and there they were left standing there “like shags on a rock” until they clambered down again and began joining in with the kissing and hugging of the supporters. Not a good look.
    Well… interesting times ahead, indeed. Enough from me, I’m toddling off to bed now. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to have a bit of a rant
    😀 Cheerio for now.

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    • acflory

      KRudd’s speech was uplifting. In fact it felt more like an acceptance speech than the speech of a man who has just lost the election. I think KRudd will be remembered as one of our great PMs.

      I didn’t watch Abbott’s acceptance speech – I just couldn’t. I think I would have thrown something at the tv. 😦 That said, his blunder doesn’t surprise me. He has tried to talk the talk, but to my mind he has never managed to walk the walk. The next three years will be grim.

      I really do hope Penny Wong is being groomed to take Labour to an election victory. Bill Shorten may be a loyal Labor politician, but he’s old Labor style leader material. -shrug-

      You’re welcome to rant here any time you want. 🙂

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  • davidprosser

    If your Penny Wong gets in I hope she has some good and strong policies as well as integrity and the strength to make other recalcitrant politicians bend, or the fact she’s female, Chinese and gay won’t count for a thing with the public after five minutes.
    xxx Massive Hugs and a packet of tissues xxx

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  • EllaDee

    I think we all hope for a miracle during the next three years… the political rope is getting very short. I’d like to see a group of people who have some interest in and skills at running a country, rather than posturing, politics & factions. If in the future Penny Wong is the best person for the job to lead the country then so be it. From a female POV view many thought JG was the answer but we didn’t just get her, we got the party politics. Lesson learned.

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    • acflory

      Very good point Ella. Unfortunately, most of those who retained their seats are the old guard. They are still playing politics by the old rules. I hope they learned some strategic lessons if nothing else. We’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out. If the next three years show it’s business as usual in Labor, my next vote will go to independents and nothing but independents.

      Sadly in JagaJaga my vote will do nothing but at least I’ll know I didn’t help to perpetuate the factional evil.

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  • pinkagendist

    British Labour made the anti-charisma mistake by electing Ed Milliband. His nasal voice and general demeanour make him absolutely unelectable. The only thing he inspires is the desire to flick his ear in the event you’re sitting behind him…

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  • dadirri7

    very interesting to read your post Meeka … I am afraid I did not listen to all Rudd’s speech, and certainly not Abbot’s acceptance speech, I think I was retreating head-in-sand, glass of wine in hand! However I love your idea of Penny Wong as future leader, she certainly has charisma … but I think the party needs to reinvent itself from the ground up, especially after the mess of NSW Labour … they have lost the trust of the people … what I struggle to understand is why the Greens are so widely loathed! In fact we need a different system of parliament that is not so adversarial … that demands co-operation for the good of the nation … is it possible?

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  • Jennifer

    I’m liking these posts, you make politics interesting.

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    • acflory

      lol – thanks Jen. Isn’t it nice of our polies to give us so much material to work with?

      I watched the ABC last night and apparently the diehards in Labor are already ducking and weaving about what went wrong. They don’t want to give KRudd his due, they don’t want him on the backbench, and they don’t want to allow the rank and file to have a 50% say in who is elected.

      My guess is they’ll do deals with each other in private so only one politician nominates for the job. That way they won’t have to take it to a ballot.

      At this rate I may be voting for Clive Palmer in the next election. -rolls eyes-

      Like

  • metan

    I have come to the conclusion that the only good this election has done is interest the usually disinterested in what is going on. We have been stirred to have a strong opinion when in times gone past we just voted without as much thought.
    I have noticed that the kids are actually interested in what is going on and had a very funny and interesting conversation with a visiting 10 year old last night about politics. When I was that young I probably didn’t have a clue who was in charge but the kids have an opinion on all of the pollies they have seen on the tv. They might have strange opinions but at least they have one. Who knows, maybe all this current political stupidity and immaturity might inspire a young one of today to take the chance to do a better job themselves in another twenty years or so… We can hope. 😀

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    • acflory

      You’re so right about the interest factor. A decade or more ago I remember bemoaning the general apathy when it came to politics. I really do hope this fiasco has kick started some interest in the kids. I know Adam Bant had a LOT of young adult support in retaining Melbourne. His whole campaign room seemed to be full of people under the age of 30.

      I can’t say I agree with them but damn, it was nice to see they cared.

      20 years you say? Yes, I should still be around to see that. Then I can write scathing posts about what things were like in the ‘bad old days’. 😀

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      • metan

        I did notice that about the Green’s party room too, all the screaming girls. He could barely make himself understood in the interview.
        One thing that always amazes me that the Greens have more support in the city. Away from the green. 😉

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        • acflory

          Yes…I’ve noticed that city support as well. High ideals but…

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        • metan

          If the Greens had a rural stronghold I would see them in a far more favourable light.

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        • acflory

          Hah! You can say that again. There is a political correctness when it comes to questions of conservation. The Greens are big on theory [not all of which is sound] while country people are big on the practical. I think at some point we have to accept that we have to manage the land – just as the indigenous peoples did. ‘Pure’ conservation will always clash with reality. 😦

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  • anne54

    I am so pleased that I have missed all election hoopla — no TV in the caravan, and always seem to miss the news on the radio. A friend has says that the Libs are in gloating phase. So glad to miss that too. I would love to see Penny Wong as PM, but I don’t think it will happen for a long while. Gillard had enough problems with being a woman — imagine the vitriol Wong would cop with being a woman, gay and Asian! We have a way to go I fear.

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  • Catherine

    I’ve urged Tanya to NOT go for the leaders job/ or deputy… and would urge any other woman to not do so!!! Sadly the majority of the Australian public, along with a lot of “scuttlebutt” from the MSM, are a long way away from accepting a woman in these leading political roles. We’ve seen it happen before at the State level but had hoped the public had “moved on”.

    I reckon the “Greens” got trounced because they forced/ influenced… the Gillard govt to change their Environment policy (Carbon tax) and some would say that Gillard allowed this to happen so is to blame… “swings and roundabouts” I reckon. She was put “between a rock and a hard place” and maybe made the wrong call… ???

    I agree with Doug Cameron that the best thing for the Australian Labor Party, and Australian Democracy, is that at least one other person puts their hand up to be leader. Then it would go to a ballot and both the Caucus AND also members of the Labor Party (for the first time ever) would get a vote. Would take a little longer, but who cares when fairness, equality and democracy is at stake?

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    • acflory

      I’m not sure the Australian voters aren’t ready for a female in a position of power. I truly believe it was just the way Gilliard got there that rankled. I agree that accepting a possible deputy’s role is not a good career move for any female politician at the moment. Whoever becomes leader of the Opposition is unlikely to become the person who makes Labor palatable to voters in the near future. Same goes for the deputy.

      I TOTALLY agree that the next leader has to be chosen under the new rules. If the leader is chosen in the old way, via backroom wheeling and dealing, voters will have absolutely no reason to believe that anything has changed for the better.

      That ballot is a must. If Labor fudges the choice of leader, its term in opposition will just last longer. If they do the right thing and send a clear signal that things have changed then I think they’ll do their own cause, and the cause of politics generally a huge favour.

      I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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    • acflory

      -sigh- I understand where she’s coming from and even have some sympathy for her but that line about reaping what you sow kind of comes to mind.

      Oddly enough, I’ve been voting Labor all my life but I’ve never been interested in joining the party, until now. I joined up a couple of days ago when I saw on the news that the new leader /will/ be chosen via the 50/50 ballot.

      This is something I feel strongly about, strongly enough to want to become part of the process.

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  • Catherine

    I was surprised to read Julia’s strong and insightful analysis of the campaign, the two major parties and their policies/ or lack thereof and the structure of our Australian Parliamentary Party and particularly her encouragement of the Labor Party to “hold the course” and not chuck out valuable policies e.g National Disability Scheme, like was done after Keating’s resounding defeat.
    I was surprised that our former Prime Minister was not having a “pity party” and throwing dirt on the Labour Party because this is the “scuttlebutt” the MSM was dishing out, as usual, and expecting people to believe.
    As soon as Labor announced their new policy on electing leaders, about 2 months ago from memory, I immediately became a “card carrying member of a political party” for the first time ever.
    Then, when it looked like the Caucus may make a decision between Albo and Shorten, and cut members out of the decision-making… I rang every one of their offices and complained loudly about this possibility, as I understand many other did.
    My sympathy is not for Julia Gillard, she’ll sure do OK and is not looking for sympathy. I believe it’s a tragedy that the talents of a person who managed that “hung” Parliament, and the back stabbing, well enough to get through some major social reforms is lost to Australia. I’ll be glad when she gets back home to South Australia… indeed I will.

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    • acflory

      Wow – good for you! I’m so glad you feel the same. I believe that long term, that 50/50 rule may become one of the best things Labor has initiated in a very long time. And I think it may be the saving of the party as well. I hope so.

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  • Stephanie Allen Crist

    Proud of politicians? Good luck with that! Usually, a politician needs to give up being a politician (at least temporarily) to focus on the good of the people (at least for the moment) to elicit such an emotion in me. In the US, at least, they have their moments and then go back to the business of politicking. Ugh.

    Like

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