Friday, July 6, 2012

Gillard Vs. Rudd

Today I'm watching the February 27 episode of Q and A.

The show was broadcast the day that the Labor caucus people voted to keep Gillard rather than bringing back Rudd.

Someone in the audience suggested that Australia have primaries like America.

Let the people choose the leader of the party.

Does that work well, though?  

Yes, it's strange for a country's leader to change overnight.  It's very bizarre to me. And I'm sure it feels crazy to many Australians. They may feel betrayed and frustrated, especially if they're Labor voters.

Honestly, I feel a bit exhilarated. It's great drama and fun to watch from overseas.  

I did feel sad for Rudd, though.  And I do wish he remained as Prime Minister. 

How would primaries be better though?

As some panelists point out on the Q and A program; it's a mess.

There's mucho dinero wasted on political advertising; most of it full of false promises and nastiness.

I think people want to see unity in a political party.  We want to see the members getting along. We want them to use their energy coming up with brilliant policies that will save the world. We don't want them wasting their time and our money fighting with each other.

Having primaries isn't going to make that happen.

I remember the primaries for the 2008 election. Hillary Clinton and Obama were at each other's throat.  They each tried to make the other look bad, so they'd get our vote.  Then suddenly, the election is over, and they're working together.   We're supposed to forget all the bad things they said about each other.  

I would guess that democracies are better than most dictatorships. But they're far from perfect.

Yes, the people get to choose.

But we're choosing kind of blindly.

I mean politicians aren't the most honest people.

They tend to be power-hungry. They'll say what they can to get elected. They'll avoid saying truths that might make them lose their job.

As much as I love Q and A, it gets frustrating at times because the politicians act so much like....


They dance their way around the questions.

Labor party people like Penny Wong and Bill Shorten speak very much in support of Gillard. They almost seem brainwashed.

But they're not brainwashed.

Well....probably not.

What they are, though, is trapped by the need for power.

They won't speak bad of Gillard because Gillard has the power.  People don't want to lose favor with the one who holds and distributes the cards.   

That's the thing with love and support. When money and power is on the table, you can never know for sure that the love and support is genuine.

It MIGHT be genuine, but you never know....until decades later when they write their tell-all autobiography.

But no.  Having primaries...I can't imagine how that would make things any better.  People would still pretend to be friends; then hate each other; then go back to being friends, etc.

There would still be backstabbing.

There would still be lies and false promises.

There would still be an emphasis on interpersonal political drama over policies and issues.

There'd still be ass-kissing.

I'm thinking we should just give up on politics and leaders. I think we should stop arguing over issues.

We should just rely on randomness.

We can flip a coin.

Carbon tax or no carbon tax?  Heads or tails.

Fix the poker machines?  Heads or tails.

Gay marriage? Heads or tails.

Republic or stay loyal to the Queen? Heads or tails.  

Give more support to the environmentalists or logging industry? Heads or tails.

The winning policy would stay in place for six months. Then someone could flip the coin again.  


  1. Ha ha, I'm having a chuckle about your toin ? coin-tossing idea. Of course, here it would have to be two-up. 'Heads' would obviously have a decision go their way, 'tails' would mean an idea is 'given the A' [rejected]. One head and one tail three times on any issue would require an election be held before the issue is decided. By doing nothing we would probably get better results in the long run.

    Most importantly, a lot of money would change hands when an issue was decided one way or the other. Hmm. Nothing new there?

    Ha Ha, also chuckling over your comment that watching Q and A can be frustrating: exactly why I rarely bother.

  2. If we directly elected our leader would we have to have primaries? US style?
    I think the differences between our two systems are minimal - the first is scale and the second is that candidates know the winner of the actual election - i.e. chosen by all voters rather than just party members - will be in office for 4 years unless there is a watergate of some sort.

    This gives voters some certainty:
    a) if prez wants to be re-elected they'll be more careful what they commit to, and they'll have conscience votes on issues

    b) prez has more power to step in and provide some leadership - e.g. the recent disgusting asylum-seeker farce

    c)have the prez vote same time as the house of reps vote. A labor/lib prez with integrity [e.g. Turnbull] who could take a stand against his party's policy on something


    the prez is the one who flips the coins

  3. oops when i say at c) vote at the same time i mean elected

  4. Fruitcake,

    I'm confused about your additions to my coin toss plan. I'm thinking you mean the coin needs to be flipped more than once. Are you saying two times or three times?

    Should we say 2 heads out of 3 means it's a yes.

    As for the president plan. Yes, he (or she) should flip the coin.

    I think with the American system and the Australian's pretty much the same in the end. Not much gets done. There's too much fighting, competition, unwillingness to compromise, etc.

    It would be neat if Obama could have come in and said "We're going to fix our health care system." And that was that. Instead it was a huge almost-four-year struggle.

    But then of course I'd like all the checks and balances if a president introduced legislation I didn't like.

    I wonder with asylum seekers. What if one person was left to make the decision? Maybe they'd come up with an idea that's helpful. When they argue about it in Parliament, I have to wonder if people really are against the other person's idea. Or are they thinking "They're not from my political party. I can't agree with them. If I agree with them, it will look like I support THAT party."

  5. Two up is an Australian "game" or form of gambling... 2 pennies are placed on a piece of wood then tossed into the air. It became a "digger's" traditional game from WWI.

    I think you once mentioned the movie Wake in Fright. The teacher in that story lost all of his money playing two up. :) I was just rambling on about how this would be an appropriate way for an oz parlt to toss coins.

  6. Okay...yeah. I remember hearing about that game.

    How do you win again?

    Wait. I'll go look it up.