Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rudd Return: Blood Letting Now in Progress

Well, whoda thunk it.

After years of undermining Julia Gillard and biding his time on the backbench, Mr Rudd has been reinstalled as Prime Minister of Australia.

In a smattering of poetic justice, Julia Gillard was kicked out of the high office the same way she stumbled into it - a challenge from the very person she deposed, with the Labor caucus voting 57 to 45 in Rudd's favour.

In the mean time, there has been a veritable exodus from Labor's previous front bench ministries, with even the likes of Wayne Swan, the former Treasurer, making a hasty exit.

Surprisingly, Penny Wong, whom defended Gillard considerably, jumped ship to the Rudd camp, and has been rewarded with finance ministership and leader of the Senate.

The reasons for the change of leadership are obvious enough.

The night before Gillard was purged, images of her posing for a photo shoot for a women's magazine were plastered all across the nightly news, showing her knitting a toy kangaroo and having electric fans placed in front of her make her look more 'swishy'.

All the while, Labor's primary vote was being hammered, as was Gillard's stake in the preferred Prime Minister poll.

The chance of leader has temporarily worked, with Rudd shooting up 11 points to 51%  as preferred Prime Minister, with Tony Abbott slumping still in the mid 30s.

With all of this, the original September 14 election date set by Gillard earlier in the way will most likely be pushed back to give Rudd time to try and solidify some popularity in the electorate.

So, will it all work?

For a time. After the sugar has waned, people will begin to remember the things they dislike about Labor - perhaps the carbon tax, perhaps asylum seekers, perhaps something else that the Liberals toss up.

For certain though, Rudd will clearly be the more popular leader over Abbott.

The prospect of a Liberal-controlled Senate and Liberal-dominated Lower House are some truly frightening prospects, and would probably see a new wave of conservative politics blanket Australia like never before.

For all the young trendy Australians now that are pushing things like gay marriage or renewable energy would definitely have a new thing headed their way under wall-to-wall Liberal governments.

With the amount of cuts to the public services they have earmarked, we would possibly face a recession, or at least a sizeable upswing in unemployed. Other things to keep an eye out for would be a lift in the GST, industrial relations being tinkered with ala Howard-era 'Work Choices', a rollback on tax reforms, and even more pressure placed single parents, the unemployed, and the poor.

We've already seen an inkling of conservatism, ironically, under Gillard, with the cutting of the parenting payment to single parents - the Liberals would go one-step further, with measures such as welfare payment quarantining, and shipping the unemployed off to the mines, despite their lack of skills.

But I digress.

Who will win the election? It would probably be a mixed result, and without any great insight, it could possibly be another hung Parliament, but that would be a miracle, as it would mean Labor would need to save itself from political oblivion - which it is staring down.

In all likelihood, we will most likely see an Abbott Australia. Rest assured, like a Terminator, Abbott has his sites set on the Prime Ministership, and will say absolutely anything to reach that office, as was demonstrated by him lying to the independents when they were negotiating at the last tied election.

Having said that, at least it will be entertaining to have Joe Hockey as Treasurer.

I'll grab the popcorn.

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