I agree with Michelle Grattan’s op-ed, but for entirely different reasons.
From the moment Julia Gillard was conned into usurping Kevin Rudd for the PM’s job, she was doomed. Not only her, but the party she now leads in the current hand-basket to hell travail. The rot set in 2 years ago this month when all the bean counters within the right of the party looked at the then PM, Kevin Rudd, and decided that he was exhibiting all the traits of a runaway megalomaniac, and decided to have him removed. In a lesser developed nation-state, such action would be called Coup de Tête but in this country, it’s called sheer stupidity. It’s an old argument now, in fact 2 years old, but a sitting PM ought only be removed by the voters in the removal of the government they lead. It’s that simple. The party can remove the PM in a public stoush, with the usual caucus meeting & vote, but sadly Rudd didn’t have the gonads to force his hand, or her hand, or the hands of the idiots that put her up to the gig.
Then there’s the seemingly endless series of gaffs ever since, headed off by the “no carbon tax” faux pas less than 2 weeks after she’d cleaned the blood off her mits. There was ‘hyper-boll’, the idiotic Australia Day ‘riot’ and all along the way a media circus ravenous for every single minor fuckup, back-flip, number’s finagle in the house or clothing & hairdo change. The government Gillard leads gives no impression of direction and zero skills in the selling of public policy department. Combine that inefficiency with a bitterly disappointed and ‘we wuz robbed’ opposition vowed and declared to be the bovver boys from across the tracks, slinging mud, calling names and generally wasting the time & money of the voters in a mockery of the democratic process, and you see a government which works, but never gets the plaudits because the mob are watching the riot opposite.
Will Labor lose the 2013 Federal election? Almost certainly. Can Labor save its bacon? Almost certainly, IF the party ditches Gillard NOW!!! The woman has too much baggage and public ill-will against her and she is dragging Labor down into a morass which has every possibility of decimating the party federally, consigning the real Australians to a conservative future that may make Menzies’ era look like a weekend. To ditch Gillard now is a rational, logical move that Labor MUST make in order to retain some credibility come 2013. The need for change is not to be seen as Gillard’s clumsiness or her minority government’s ineptitudes because clearly, the minority government functions and has done since November 2007 when Labor took the reigns of power. The party has hiccoughed, stumbled, slurred a few words and maybe fallen in the gutter occasionally, but as a minority government, it works! In fact I’d go so far as to say it works remarkably well and no thanks whatsoever to any non-partisan assistance from the conservatives, because there ain’t none. Labor needs to change leaders and slip into full-on re-election mode NOW so that federally, we don’t wind up with a one-party state situation similar to what has occurred in New South Wales and Queensland. We need to remember that ideologies aside, we need to maintain a logical balance to our democracy. Democracy does not function when one political ideology holds total sway. We saw the results when Howard held a majority in both House and Senate. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If conservatism is to take government in 2013, and that is by no means a certainty, that government MUST have a strong and effective opposition. We won’t have that if Labor is vivisected and quartered in 2013.
For that reason and that reason alone, Gillard has to go.