The Election Date was set in stone for the 14th of September 2013 by the then Prime Minister – The Right Honourable Julia Gillard is not happening. The Labor Party in a mood to try to restore some electoral favour returned The Right Honourable Kevin Rudd to the job and he noted the 14th of September was Yom Kippur the Jewish Holy Day of Atonement and being sorry for your sins, and indicated that he would decide when the election would be.
As it transpires while I was in Europe the date was called for the 7th of September, and as early polling had suggested that there was a surge in the vote it seemed like the ALP had done something smart that would do something useful in the Polls, In fact, even though the election had not been called when I left, I had the feeling when I left that Kevin was going to get the job done.
I returned to Australia to discover that the Polls were variable at best for Labor and the the vote was heading south again and it looks like they are headed for a serious defeat next saturday.
And one wonder what has gone wrong. For most of the term of this Parliament the electorate has believed that the Labor Party (and Julia Gillard in particular) had done the wrong thing by Kevin. Greg Combet noted that the Electorate had been unhappy about the ousting of Rudd and noted he thought it needed to be set right.
Of course one needs to note that Kevin had acquired in his last term of office a level of dissatisfaction in the electorate and they had replaced him in order to salvage what looked like an electoral wipeout. For the electorate getting back the old Prime Minister has been likened to getting back with your Ex. It seemed like a good idea, but soon enough you remember why they were an Ex!
There is no doubt in my mind that Australian Politics needs a credible voice for social justice, just as surely as it needs sound economic management. The Labor Party, the Australian Union Movement at politics has been the heart and soul of that voice for the first century of our federation. Sadly the brand has been tarnished, and in NSW and QLD and range of corruption issues have been large in the public mind, and clearly the movement has a range of internal issues to deal with. Basically I believe that the movement needs to re-invent itself and if they fail to do this, then they will be replaced. The Greens are well placed to be that replacement, however it is clear that they need to do some more work if they intend to step up to the plate.
Interesting the decision by the ALP not to form a coalition Government with the Greens for this term of the Parliament may well have done grave disservice to both the ALP and the Greens.
Perhaps one of the more interesting things this election is the ABC Vote Compass http://www.abc.net.au/votecompass/ it takes around ten minutes and is quite interesting