02 August 2010

What is Going on Down Under?

First there are all these naked people around the Sydney Opera House, and then I learn that Labor, and PM Julia Gillard, is at risk of losing the upcoming election. What is going on?


  1. How Labor Made Abbott Electable

    Climate change is part of it, the wider problem is a general failure of nerve followed by policy changes in a number of areas which make it seem that the Coalition was right all along.

  2. It's complex.

    Rudd ran the machinery of government poorly and ignored cabinet and made decisions on the run. He also did not build his support base within his party.

    He failed to follow through on things he had announced as critical revealing himself to have little conviction. Climate Change was one of these policies. Australia is a bizaar upside down land of course and the Green party voted against the policy as well.

    He became unpopular. The (Australian Labour Party) ALP dumped him unwisely and put a capable but untried leader in with Gillard without time to prepare for an election.

    Then the ALP campaign became a shambles. Party insiders leaked against their own party. The ALP announced farcical policies such as a new cash for clunkers type scheme that makes no sense. Their campaign is now staggering around with even more pathetic announcements such as that Gillard will reveal 'the real Julia' as opposed to the puppet who was previously running the show.

    In short, the ALP deserve to lose an election they should have comfortably won. Even if they win their government looks abysmal and they will have almost no mandate for anything.

  3. If you have a dollar to bet, Centrebet will give you $3.50 if Labor loses, and $1.25 if they win. Other bookies are more even - about $1.50 on Labor, $2.50 on Liberals.

    The picture is from last summer - a foretaste of global warming.

  4. The behavior of former PM Kevin Rudd, in describing climate change as "the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time", and shortly thereafter backing away from carbon tax legislation because of political expediency is exactly the kind of vermiform deceit that Aussies detest. His successor as PM, Comrade Gillard, is still getting the backlash and has no idea how to deal with it.

  5. It is truly frightening that confusion on this issue has brought down one government, and is on the way to bringing down another.

  6. A list of things Americans don't get.

    1. Irony

    2. Football

    3. Parliamentary democracy

    The world would be a better place if Americans could understand all three.

  7. Malcolm --6

    Irony -- Dug from ground, combined with carbon to make steely.

    Football -- My team vs. your team. The winner scores the most points.

    Parliamentary democracy -- Pretend leadership of the masses by the frightfully arrogant.

  8. I agree with all of the above.

    Whether Labor loses, and that is by no means certain, climate change will only be a small part of the reason - though an important trigger

    To the extent that climate change is involved, it is precisely at the level of Roger's next post, What Comes After the Two Degree Target?. Neither Rudd nor nobody else was/is equipped to deal with the greatest moral challenge of our time, at least not in the ways being proposed.

  9. Hi Roger,

    I am an Australian, and I share the fear of others that the Labor Party really is about to be thrown out of office after only a single term. Now that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing were it not for the fact that the conservative opposition is without doubt one of the silliest lineups we've ever seen. To be blunt, we are about to vote in a prime minister as silly as George W. Bush, but with a deputy equally as silly, and a treasurer without background in economics. And then there's Barnaby Joyce and their coalition partners from the National Party, and the less said there the better. Finally, the Australian Greens will likely hold the balance of power in the Senate and I suppose we can only hope that they'll block all nonsense legislation. In any case, it's very difficult to see stable government heading our way any time soon.

    I agree with the commenter #5. I knew Rudd's climate change agenda would undo him sooner or later, but I expected it to be later, and less spectacular.

    Best, Alex

  10. Yup Tony Abbott is silly, after all he holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Law from one of Australia's leading universities, he is a Rhodes Scholar and also holds a Master of Arts from Oxford University.
    A real dummy that one.