tip off

Crikey says: Kev and Mal show a no-hope bet

Hardly environmental zealots, the World Bank, yet its climate change forecasts are alarming. Government spending is rising with military tensions in Gaza. And how did a bunch of Aussie journos land there? More context on the AWU saga. And what the locals thought of Barack Obama in Myanmar.

The Q&A audience whooped it up with Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull last night. You see, politics is broken and they’re just the men to fix it. One audience member had a bright idea: why don’t you guys form your own party? Rapturous applause.

They’re certainly from the same mould: keenly ambitious, super-smart, engaged in bigger ideas, less interested in political squabbling than some of their colleagues, electorally popular when the current leaders of their parties aren’t.

But there’s another key similarity supporters gloss over: their colleagues can’t stand them.

For all their faults, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott maintain the clear majority of support within caucus. Neither Rudd nor Turnbull were able to do the same. Their leadership ambitious are indefinitely on ice as a result.

It’s all very well for the exiled leaders to talk about a gentler, smarter, outcomes-focussed realpolitik. What a shame they’re both so hopeless at convincing the rest of their colleagues.

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  • 1
    Mike Smith
    Posted Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Newsflash for Labor and the Coalition: many voters cannot stand them either. I’m not sure Rudd and Turnbull would be the answer to that in a third (fourth, fifth) party, but as the cliche goes: “Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it”

  • 2
    zut alors
    Posted Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Gillard certainly is supported by ‘the clear majority’ of Caucus but Abbott only won leadership by a single vote - and one Liberal MP was absent through illness. I’d describe that as holding leadership by the skin of his teeth.

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    The public loves them but their colleagues can’t stand them. Sounds good to me, a longtime loather of group think, party line solidarity and top down direction.
    There is ample evidence that a group is less than the sum of its parts (otherwise it would be collection of individuals) and the thought that the nasty, smarmy graspers who’d (pretend to) subscribe to such strictures give me serious fears for the common weal.
    That pair have no future with the current arrangement so why not try to break the toxic party system?
    They would win their own seats easily and might do some good for the body politic. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  • 4
    Philip Hunt
    Posted Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The self-interest generated by the political system works against visionaries and in favour of number-crunching caucusing and lobbying. No wonder Abbott and Gillard are preferred by politicians. They deliver what matters to modern MPs. What a pity the modern political does not serve voters quite so well.

  • 5
    Jim Moore
    Posted Thursday, 22 November 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    What a non sequitur end to a rant. They’re not the leaders because their parties won’t make them so. WE KNOW THAT! But what the majority of the public are saying is that they should be. To an alien this would be an obvious sign that parliamentary democracy isn’t working, not a sign that these two people shouldn’t be the leaders of their parties.

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