There is a fair chance the riff-raff will seize Government in Australia tomorrow.
As most commentators have noted it is a somewhat strange position that a political party which has presided over the longest running economic expansion in our history should now face electoral defeat. Kevin Rudd is a strong and effective leader of a rabble-based party based on a fading trade union movement and leftist loose thinking-cum-social-romanticism. Rudd’s strength derives from the hope he gives Labor that it will gain power. In terms of policies he has almost nothing to offer. Perhaps he gives some hope and he certainly is clever with the verbiage but Rudd has simply me-tooed the government on most issues. He has set qualifications to the reforms on WorkChoices that mean little will happen during the next cycle of Federal Government, has climate change policies that are effectively identical to the Coalition and has glib education policies that ignore skill issues and simply offer a laptop to every kid. It is low-level politics from a bureaucrat master of cliché and cant.
So is there a case for an alternative management team with a new language to be installed to implement the current Government’s policies? The answer should be no but I don’t think it will be. The lack of experience, the zealous me-tooism and the dominant role of trade union hacks on Labor’s front bench provides a basis for policy imitation but not creative government.
A vote for Rudd puts too much at risk but, in an environment where things are operating so well, this has proven to be a difficult message to sell.