Tasmanian Times


Rudd quits, Monday ballot. What Wilkie says. The polls go mad for Kevin. How Bilyk will vote


Kevin Rudd has announced he is stepping down as Foreign Minister.

Mr Rudd is at the centre of leadership tensions within the Labor Party and said he no longer felt he had the support of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

More to come, here

Use the TT News dropdown (top Nav Bar) for the range of breaking news… and the latest polls.

• Paul Barclay on Big Ideas (ABC Radio National, here) had a fascinating interview on the philosophical underpinning to the Labor leadership crisis, and political leadership generally, with writer and journalist George Megalogenis. The link is … ABC Radio National here.


I am not going to judge Kevin Rudd based on media reports today claiming his supporters told Clubs Australia last year that Mr Rudd would overturn my poker machine reforms. I look forward to speaking to him personally in due course.

For the record, it was the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who instigated the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into problem gambling and it was the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who reneged on her written agreement with me to introduce meaningful poker machine reform.

Karl Stevens

• Senator Catryna Bilyk

Labor Senator for Tasmania
Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety

Labor Leadership

When the Federal Labor Caucus holds its leadership ballot on Monday, I will be supporting Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

Julia Gillard has successfully negotiated with the cross-benches to form Government. Under her leadership this Government has successfully passed over 200 bills, despite the challenges presented by the current Parliament.

The major reforms passed by this Government will ensure that Australia develops twenty-first century broadband infrastructure for all Australians, delivers a national curriculum for our schools, places our nation’s health care on a secure and sustainable footing, and finally takes serious action on climate change by pricing carbon pollution.

Having the strength and resolve to achieve these reforms under difficult circumstances demonstrates that Julia Gillard has the best chance of beating Tony Abbott at the next election.

Recent speculation about leadership has made it difficult for the Gillard Labor Government to sell our positive message about our incredible achievements in Government.

Following Monday’s ballot, Federal Labor should regard the question of leadership as resolved.

The Australian public expect us to continue getting on with the job of Governing the country.

We need to come together to beat Tony Abbott at the next election, because the relentless negativity, fiscal recklessness and policy vacuum presented by the Coalition has shown that they are not fit to govern.

• Misha Schubert, The Age: Albanese’s tears stem abuse

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Kim Peart

    February 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Writing in the ABC The Drum, Bruce Hawker, with 30 Labor election campaigns under his belt, raises the question of the Party Leader being elected by all party members. He points out, that when this approach was adopted in Canada by the DNP, membership grew to 100,000 and Federal representatives increased from 13 to 130.

    If this form of Ballot had been used by Labor last Monday, who would now be Prime Minister?

    He wrote, “I supported Kevin Rudd for a number of reasons. First and foremost because he was the best person to lead the ALP to victory at the next election and thereby defend Labor’s achievements in government since 2007. I believe that anyone who is committed to the Labor Party, as I am, has a duty to point this out.”


  2. Kim Peart

    February 28, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Some observations on the leadership challenge, garnered from reading the innumerable stories flooding out through the media in the past week:


  3. russell

    February 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

    re #50 Another illuminating ref to the late 1970s activities of our alternative prime minister, from SMH in 2004.


    what a guy…

  4. Karl Stevens

    February 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Pilko 39. Looks like the only story to sneak under the radar was Gunns $173 million loss for the half year.

  5. Robert LePage

    February 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    When you say “I regard the US as a fine example of a Republic; it simply lacks the integrity to honour its own Constitution, and the vigilance to arrest a long slide into fascism.”
    You are admitting that the concept of a Republic is faulty.
    How long before Australia was on the slippery slope of lacking integrity to arrest a slide into fascism?
    No I am sorry but the republic is not a magic bullet that will fix everything. We need a completely new concept of government with a genuine ability for a majority to vote on all major concepts. In other words Citizen referendums.

  6. Merk

    February 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Amazing short-sightedness to suggest proclaiming a Republic, where we actually get a say in our political leader, means mindlessly apeing America.

    Knee-jerk anti-Americanism, anyone? Who’d like to have a go at ‘ze Franch’?

  7. Kim Peart

    February 26, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Re: 56 RJ Peak

    Thanks for raising the point that Australia currently has a “selective democracy”. I had overlooked this detail and maybe it is an awkward reality we like to imagine away.

    In my comment above, at post 35, I offer a suggestion that may be the only way we could shift to power by the people, from the people and for the people. I see this as a transition from being sold on a party and reacting, to an environment where we take responsibility for our individual contribution and take action, because we know that collectively our honesty will make a difference in how the world works.

    If it becomes appreciated that our ability to survive the carbon crisis will hinge on our willingness to be honest and face the brutal truth of our predicament, then real democracy may dawn beneath the stars of the Southern Cross.

    Kim Peart

  8. Simon Warriner

    February 26, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Merk, your enthusiasim for constitutions Yank might be tempered after reading this:


    An elected president is yet another layer of politics on a populice so over-burdened with trough snufflers we can barely function. JUst rename the GG President and have the government of the day nominate a person to be confirmed by a unambiguous majority of a joint sitting. Ditch the royal junk and off we go.

  9. Russell

    February 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Re #54
    Try George Bush Snr, George Bush Jnr and the current economic and political state of the USA Republic on for size.

  10. Steve

    February 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    50; Enjoyed your comment bazzabee.
    I can’t help wondering if Malcolm Turnbull is waiting until people are signing petitions in the street; bring back Turnbull.
    I was never a particular fan of the man, but compared with the alternative…??!

  11. Merk

    February 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    #60 Leonard – LOL ROFLMAO! May I suggest that when disparaging the quality of education received by younger generations, you first demonstrate the ability to correctly use the English language in your own writing?

    Perhaps if you had your way and I’d been caned during my 15+ years of formal government-provided education, I wouldn’t have the temerity to point out your glaring schoolboy errors?!

  12. Merk

    February 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    #55 – Robert Le Page, do you seriously think the current Kevin vs. Julia vs. Tony vs. Sideshow Bob celebrity slugfest is itself anything other than a red herring? Do you think any of them significantly differ in their abilities to break promises, appease the US military juggernaut, or run up public debts while they feed from the trough?

    That aside, our abundantly dodgy politicians could not impeach a President within a Republic with the same casual ease evident when they stab our leaders in the back under our (barely) prevailing Constitutional Monarchy. It’s also theoretically easier to bypass Party hegemony and elect an Independent.

    Given this context, is the question of an Australian Republic really such a red herring? I regard the US as a fine example of a Republic; it simply lacks the integrity to honour its own Constitution, and the vigilance to arrest a long slide into fascism.

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Oh, dear, Comment 56, your “Shows the inadequacy of political science or civics lessons in the schools (if they even have them)” in turn shows how out-of-touch you are with the Zeitgeist of late 20th and early 21st C schooling.

    “Civics lessons”? “Lessons”? With pupils LEARNING stuff? What planet have you been inhabiting? Those sorts of lesson would be far too hard, and it would definitely NOT be “fun”.

    Next, you will be expecting most pupils to study foreign languages, the physical sciences, higher mathematics, and English & history coruses with actual content!!!!

    You will be causing unepmployment in the education industry – with all those facilitators of “Studies” courses out of (what they imagine is) work!!

    Your Bad. Get with it!!!! How hierarchical can you get?!?!

  14. Pilko

    February 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Watch out for lots of government bad news stories flying under the radar tomorrow. Perfect day for it.

  15. Barnaby Drake

    February 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    It is unfortunate that the sheep always look for a shepherd. Anyone will do as long as he is a ‘Strong Leader’. What he stands for is generally irrelevant and they will moan about that later. Look at all the world’s dictators. They were all popular once, and that is how they got into power. Yesterday, at Mugabe’s 88th birthday celebration, he was fanatically cheered by a crowded stadium full of people. He made the usual speeches blaming everybody else for the failures.

    Tony Abbott will get elected!

  16. RJ Peak

    February 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    It amazes me that people seem to think they have a right to a say in who the Prime Minister will be. Shows the inadequacy of political science or civics lessons in the schools (if they even have them). A too-large percentage of the population seems to have no conception at all of how the Australian version of the Westminster Parliamentary System works as based on the system devised by the founding fathers (to my knowledge there were no founding mothers).

    Obviously, but contrary to popular opinion it seems, people vote only for a local member, not for the Prime Minister. The options they have for local member were, in most cases, selected by one or another of the political parties. Since there is such a large proportion of safe seats among Australian electorates, this, combined with compulsory voting, means that more often than not, whomever the party selected as their nominee ascends to Parliament. One former Commonwealth Electoral Commissioner perceptively referred to this system as a selective democracy (I almost wrote demonocracy), not a representative democracy.

    Then the party with the most numbers in Parliament selects the PM. The people have nothing do do with it except in a very remote and indirect way. It is government by the Party, for the Party and of the Party. The fact that this is the case is what we are seeing being played out before us in high melodrama right now.

    I even hear people ask one another at election time, “Who are you going to vote for for PM”, when they don’t even live in the contenders’ states, let alone their electorates and couldn’t possibly vote for either, or any, of them. This mistaken belief that the people have something do do with the direct election (excuse me, selection) of the PM is reinforced by the media and their holding of pointless polls on who people prefer as PM (polls, which as the current drama shows, are very often ignored by the politicians, depending on what suits) and even by the statements of politicians themselves, such as Mr Rudd’s comments on Friday, that he only wanted to return to “do the job the people elected me to do” as PM. Again, the people did not elect him and he knows it. He was selected as prime minister by the cabal know as his political party.

    In my view, people, in focusing on personalities, Gillard v. Rudd, have lost sight of the far more important issue of the nature of the system that enabled this state of affairs to arise, and are deluding themselves if they think they will have a significant role in resolving it. Yes, one side will point to the polls and say, “But our man can beat Abbott”. The other side, however, will explain these polls away and argue that “If our woman wasn’t so destabilised by your man, the polls would be quite different.”

    As for the “faceless” men that we’ve heard so much about, and who are often as not actually named when referred to as “faceless”, why the surprise that they should be in the background calling the shots? Again, this is the way the system operates. As long as political parties control the machinery of government, it is inevitable that the “faceless” men, and women, of the parties, the party apparatchiks, will be in the shadows, exercising considerable influence over what is happening.

    As long as Australian political parties are as strong as they are (and I’m guessing they are probably among the strongest and most hegemonic in the Western World), people should ask themselves to what extent they actually live in a democracy (a real democracy, not the semblance of one the media and the political parties have worked so hard to convince people actually is a democracy).

    I won’t even delve into the pitiful system in Tasmania, where all I’ve said about the Federal scene is multiplied by many degrees of magnitude.

  17. Robert LePage

    February 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Oh Dear the red herring being dragged across the track to divert our (limited) attention span from the real issues.
    Yes of course a Republic will fix all of our woes…… just like it does in the US.

  18. Merk

    February 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I’m surprised to see that none of the commenters so far, even so-called ‘progressives’, have noted that the debacle at the apex of our political process is a compelling argument for the proclamation of an Australian Republic with a popularly-elected President.

    (Sorry I forgot – it’s all about homosexual marriage these days. Note to self: must be more ‘progressive’.)

  19. David Obendorf

    February 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Peter van Onselen [The Australian 25-26 Feb] highlights the lying of Canberra politicians. Why, he asks, if Kevin Rudd was such an dysfunctional prime minister did they not tell Australians that when they deposed him in 2010 AND after he then allehgedly sabotaged the 2010 election campaign for Julia Gillard?

    The answer is simple: In the first instance they were too gutless and then in a very weakened minority Government post-August 2010 they could not afford to have Rudd spit the dummy and risk a messy by-election in his Queensland seat; PM Juilia made him Foreign Minister for Australia.

    Tony Abbott, the street fighter politician he is and oppositionalist on everything, wants this self-immolation of the ALP to continue; maybe the Australian Greens do as well.

    “In the past few days we have seen politics stripped bare – and it has been ugly. We often fear our politicians are less than honest and we have seen Labor minister after minister, MP after MP, lining up to share what they now say is their honest view; it just happens to be the direct opposite to what they have said in the past.” [Chris Kenny, Be Wary of Pollies who Labour to Hide the Truth – The Australian 25-26 Feb, 2012; page 18]

  20. watchdog

    February 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    #48 Ros Barnett
    Spot on observation!
    This country is run by special interests…
    We are only about 22 million people on this big remote island like continent…

  21. Russell

    February 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    We don’t have leaders, we have celebrity politicians.

    Gillard is an outright backstabbing liar, Rudd is Mr Forum then Do-nothing, Abbott is a nightmare waiting to happen and Turnbull is a fence-sitter but probably more interested in the $$$ he can make.

  22. bazzabee

    February 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    How happy I am for once to agree with two of my old sparing partners, Tim Thorne and Pilko. They are correct; the real enemy of progressive politics in Australia is not Kevin Rudd nor is it Julia Gillard (putting gay marriage to one-side for a moment). The enemy of progressive politics and reform in this country is Tony Abbott he has as the saying goes’ “got form”.

    As a university student aged nineteen writing in the Australian, where else, the then Tory student leader clearly stated who his political enemies were. He listed his friends as being on the Right and he included the Catholic DLP. And I would argue that both lists remain unchanged.

    The young Abbott saw everyone who was even mildly to the Left of himself and his far right conservative friends as being his political enemies. His enemies were class enemies to be defeated at all costs; they were to be given no quarter.

    In the 1977 Australian article he denounced and let fly at Left wing activists, communists, Maoists, and Trotskyites. He denounced the sale of books he didn’t approve of on sale at student conferences; books that informed students about ” abortion, demonstrating, and aboriginal land rights” were on his hit list.

    He alleged without any evidence being offered to support his allegations that “the communist parties had placed trained agitators on campus”. He claimed that at the AUS Conference “he did not see one heterosexual couple, although lesbians and homosexuals were {everywhere} clasped in fond embrace.” He went on to say it was as if “heterosexuality had become a fascist perversion”.

    Earlier in his article he alleged that he and a friend had been assaulted by Aboriginal activists he later stated that ” I was very frightened … terrified” no evidence was offered in support of the assault allegation.

    From listening to Tony Abbott of late and watching his career over the years his list of enemies has not shrunk or changed. Abbott is locked in the vortex of 1970’s student politics his old adversaries are long gone; the world has changed it has moved on.

    I see no evidence to make be think that Tony Abbott has changed or for that matter that his politics have matured he is every bit as strident and adversarial now as he was when he was nine-teen years old and that should be a worry to every Australian.

    B.A Santamaria is dead but his last disciple keeps on preaching his fear of those who do not support his right wing politics and his extreme social conservatism. (For those who do not know who B.A Santamaria was I urge you look him up. Always remembering that Tony Abbot believes that B.A Santamaria was one of Australia’s great political, social, thinkers).

    If Tony Abbott wants to be Prime Minster he needs to grow up. After all those of us who were to the Left on Abbott in 1977 matured in fact many have now retired including myself. The world we then inhabited has long since changed the class warfare Abbott spoke about as a student is now a footnote in the history books and should remain so but it wont if he becomes Australia’s next Prime Minster.

  23. Peter Smith

    February 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    How can we take a political party seriously that puts up Mark Latham and Kevin Rudd as its leaders? Labor has brought this on themselves. The electorate will put Tony Abbott into office. Just get used to the idea.

  24. Ros Barnett

    February 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I am surprised, coming late to this discussion, that little has been said about the role of the media in this. Hours of tv coverage has journalist interviewing journalist, politician’s comments chopped and limited to 9 second grabs, appalling selections of vox pops, too little real discovery and information, and far too much opinion from people paid by the media organisations. The ‘faceless’ are not just party apparatchiks but media people too. It seems to be getting more difficult than ever to find a path through the media morass to get enough solid information to form a proper opinion. I do despair of politics and politicians, but I fear the media power and bias more.

  25. moo

    February 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    #40 Peter…Tony Abbott is not a conservative he is an extremist. Australians understand this and it scares the hell out of them.

  26. Chris Harries

    February 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    As the political pendulum swings from one side to the other – as it is apt to do – and this time with the Murdoch and Rinehart Press club giving it a hefty shove along, it’s looking like we’ll get Abbott no matter what.

    Mercifully he may be replaced as Coalition leader with somebody more moderate, but if he isn’t then the electorate will swing back. Main problem is the collateral damage that, say, two terms in office with Abbott at the helm could wreak.

    It’s sort of out of our hands.

    The main brake on the worst we can get may be his failure to take power of the Senate. Expect a double dissolution down the track.

  27. Geoff Couser

    February 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Maybe a Rudd victory (unlikely) could lead to a bit of soul-searching and panic within the federal liberal party and precipitate their own leadership battle, leading to the re-emergence of Malcolm Turnbull, which in my mind could only be a good thing for politics in this country…just thinkin’

  28. Pilko

    February 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    #40 Is an Abbott victory such a bad thing?

    1.Only if you are a non white, poor with a NESB and looking for asylum in Australia.
    2. If you dont want Australia to be involved in more wars.
    3. If you are a soldier and dont want to die fighting a war thats not your own.
    4. If you are a woman.
    5. If you’d rather live in a soiety circa 2012 not 1952.
    6. If you cant pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and need your government to care.
    7. If you dont believe that hospitals and schools should be bargaining chips for votes.
    8. If you care about human rights
    9. If you are non white, poor and from a NESB
    10. If you are gay.

  29. Simon D

    February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    #40, yes it is such a bad thing. Life would not go on.

  30. Karl Stevens

    February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    There is an error in Senator Bilyk’s thinking. Rudd didn’t have to be good at negotiating with the cross benches because he had won a majority. Andrew Wilkie would have a different story to tell on this supposed ability of Julia Gillard to negotiate (and allegedly break promises). To me Labor looks like a bunch of lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff. This is a party involved in a ‘single vehicle accident’ and I think its because very ordinary people with little ability for rational thinking have been elected to parliament.

  31. Robert LePage

    February 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Given the Oz populations propensity to vote for all the wrong people and reasons, I do not want to give the impression in my 29# that I thought there was any hope of my idea of random government happening. It is too sensible to be taken up by the electorate.

    40# is an Abbott government such a bad thing?


  32. Peter Smith

    February 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Is an Abbott government such a bad thing?
    1. An Abbot victory would force Labor to purge itself.
    2. The electorate would soon tire of Tony and the Libs would either replace him with Turnbull or re-elect Labor. Life will go on.

    I find it quite amusing that both Rudd and Gillard hold up the Abbott bogeyman but his real crime is that he is a social conservative. So what.

    Call an election, let the people decide and end this farce once and for all.

  33. Stephani of Rowella

    February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Surely the Labor Party has other potential to run for leader of the party. Why would we want to bring back someone who we were not happy with just because we are now not happy with Julia. Surely they are not so devoid of talent or am I just giving them too much credit. Please sort this out Labor, I am not a follower BUT I really do not want Abbott to sneak in whilst you are all bickering.

  34. Kim Peart

    February 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Has the Liberal-minded Amanda Vanstone, writing in the Age, made the right call for Labor; suggesting that half a dozen or more ministers should have gone to Rudd in June 2010 and threatened to resign their porfolios, if their captain did not turn the wheel to a more cooperative course.

    Yes, good old strike action, or the threat of it, just like in any industry, just like any Labor union member would. Why didn’t they do that? Were Labor ministers in government so out of touch with Labor’s core values? Or was grasping power more vital than keeping the ship of state a healthy place?

    Surely the success of the whole crew was more important than the pomp and strut of a few officers on the poop deck. So what if the captain had gone the way of Bligh? They were not serving in the British Navy of two decades past.

    Another writer suggested that Labor should have at least held an inquiry into the whole affair, putting the facts on the table for all Australians to see and understand. This did not happen. The truth was hidden. Rudd was humiliated and like Bligh, put in a boat to navigate his way across the oceans of the world, which he did brilliantly as our Foreign Minister.

    The current political debacle is entirely of the making of those who held the bloody knives at midnight 20 months back, but Rudd failed to die and has now returned across the oceans demanding retribution, just as Bligh sailed back to the South Pacific to hunt down the mutineers.

    What a rabble of school-yard brats the current Labor ministers and Prime Minister have revealed themselves to be, lining up in the mud for their turn on the soap box to attack their former captain with whatever they can throw. How did we manage to elect a bunch that stoop so low, no more than a neighbourhood gang turning on the one they hate, no more than a tribe of monkeys run riot.

    If Labor wishes to survive as a political ship of state, their only hope may be to wake up to the discipline required for the whole ship and bring the captain back on board that Australia elected to run the place. The mutinous officers have certainly revealed that they have acquired no manners under the safe ways of Gillard, now heading for the rocks and are in need of the discipline of Rudd to bring them back into order and into a state of respect.

    Kim Peart

  35. phill Parsons

    February 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Federal Labor may or may not defeat Abbott under one leader or another. However they will not whilst the electorate view them as a divided group. If they cohere after Monday they have a chance. If the rancour continues no chance. If Labour looses the next election then we may see multiple terms under Abbott but they have their own divisions about direction and these will surface. If Abbott changes the ETS legislation we can be sure there will be a change back. How will Abbott change the value of the $A or meet his promises whilst shrinking the size of government. Austrlaia could be in for a period of flip flop starting with a Rudd victory and Windsor sending Labor to the people for a judgement call. Will the Liberals be ready with a suite of policies?. Nothing is easy to call but I expect Gillard to win this round. It is an unknown if there will be another. Rudd may be popular with voters but only 1 poll will tell us if it translates into votes.

  36. Keith Antonysen

    February 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Those who hatched the plot against Mr Rudd should have thought about the destabilisation such a move would make.
    It’s just plain hypocrisy to suggest Mr Rudd is being disloyal by those in the Prime Minister’s camp. I think Labor should choose somebody other than Mr Rudd or Ms Gillard for Leader; somebody not involved in the plot against Kevin Rudd or the malicious comments by some Ms Gillard supporters.
    Tony Abbott (Dr No) must be very pleased at present with Labor now being involved in helping him being elected as Prime Minister.

  37. Kim Peart

    February 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Re: 29 Robert LePage

    Human history is a trail of leaders able to rally the mob in war, whether attack or defence. Thus we see modern politics built on the basis of war. This will not change overnight.

    When I gaze into a future that includes human survival, I see the need to build a sustainable presence beyond Earth, simply to have the survival confidence to deliver a sustainable human presence on Earth.

    When I consider the security demands of the space environment, where human settlements are fragile bubbles in a vacuum, all too easily burst from within or without by conflict and or terrorism, I see the need to achieve peace on Earth to simply deliver security beyond Earth. This is a simple deed-back loop that would deliver a new form of human politics, as well as survival in space and on Earth.

    I wonder if war and modern politics might fade on Earth when enough people on this planet wake up to these celestial connections, along with the detail that the Sun is an unlimited energy-well and by building solar power stations in space we could launch industry beyond Earth and construct orbital space settlements across the solar system.

    With access to unlimited stellar energy, we will also see the dawn of a new golden age in the Solar System, where we will be able to send poverty into history and offer a healthy and creative life for all Earth’s children. The focus on the health of all children and the vision that can deliver this alternative future, is a fearlessly compassionate way that would build peace on Earth and a future that includes human survival.

    The ways of war and modern politics will not deliver the celestial golden age or assure our survival. This is the trigger for a change in human awareness, from war to peace, as when a critical number of people on Earth wake up to these connections and demand action for space, peace and survival, a new future will begin to open.

    Australia is an a unique position to open the new way to this future, via people power, by citizens demanding that our resource bonanza be invested in solar power stations in space. With unlimited stellar energy we can also solve the carbon crisis on Earth, by cracking carbon from carbon dioxide as a resource: the oxygen is very hand too.

    Reaching for stellar energy will also allow us to build a very much stronger Australia, where we can desalinate any volume of ocean water, turn the deserts green, build any number of new cities, create full employment and never ever have to turn away a genuine refugee.

    It is in this future, when the voice of the people demand survival and focus on delivering a healthy life to all children of the Human family, that old ways of war and modern politics will fade, as people will see what must be done and simply get on with delivering this vision for survival.

    Unfortunately, we have no wriggle time left and may have a window of less than ten years to react to the crisis that we have brought upon ourselves, by dreaming that we can solve all human problems on Earth alone.

    When citizens find the strength to awaken from the chrysalis that political parties would like them to remain slumbering in, then politics will lose its power over human affairs and the spectre of the honest representative will match the culture of honesty that emerges in a society hell-bent on survival on Earth and among the stars.

    Real power will be seen to lie in the Sun and our willingness to reach to our star to assure our survival, peace and future creative opportunities.

    Kevin Rudd is right to call on the people; and the people can respond by demanding action for human survival.

    Will the Australian people lead the way into the future, or remain compliant in the chrysalis?

    Kim Peart

  38. Snowy

    February 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Kevin is obviously so terminally jet lagged or geographically discombobulated that he thinks he is in the US – and wants to be President. Could someone remind him how the Australian political system works. And while he’s talking about civility could someone also remind him that civility includes advising one’s boss one is going to resign before drama queening in front of the cameras in the middle of the night. In the words of a talk back caller this morning “an obnoxious prat”.

  39. pilko

    February 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Its a competition between a conniving traiterous rat and an uber geek who is either aspergers or has a serious personality disorder.

    The winner gets to fight for the p.m’s job against a man who makes John Howard look like Noam Chomsky. Either way we are all going to hell and should probably consider leaving Australia for Haiti.

  40. Claire Gilmour

    February 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Perfectionism sweetheart (KR)is learnt by trial and error. As a virgin your decent enough to play the care game, however as a rooster you’re a bit too cocky!! Julia is much more balanced and sedated, .. just naturally afflicted. Tell us tho Kevin whilst apparently wanting to chuck out the greens, would you work with anyone? The labor party have changed their values over the years … are you, KR more interdependent? Is it the man or the country you choose to represent?? Are you a diplomat, do your really care about the people you purport to represent? can you work with other people or do you just want to rule?

  41. William Boeder

    February 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    #16. Kim Peart, thank you for bringing this subject of the Australian government’s ignorance to the evil hostilities and violence, (and deaths,) that were and still are being inflicted upon the native people of West Papua.

    The Indonesian government in their determination to become a $1 Trillion dollar economy, are ruthlessly uprooting the West Papuan people from their tribal homelands, simply to cash in on the International corporates who are hell-bent waiting in the queue to mine enormous realms of the mineral resources held therein, in that part of the World.
    For those who don’t quale at doing a little research, particularly to the realities put forward by Kim Peart @ #16 and to the enormous military efforts that have been building up in West Papua to put down any objection by the luckless Native people of West Papua who might resist or somehow stand in the way of the hungry foreign corporates and the might of the Indonesian Military Forces.
    (Australian corporates such as Rio Tinto and others have already become established in the rapine of West Papua’s mineral and fossil fuel resources.)

    (Type in to Google: Freeport-McMoRan Gold-mine, this will give some insight into the methods employed to obtain the riches from this land.)

    A present action by the Indonesian military is an action to criminalise any West Papuan individual who seeks to promote West Papua becoming its own entity. (No longer to be regarded as a dominion of Indonesia.)
    These persons are ruthlessly hunted down and generally beaten and thrown in jail, (if not just shot out of hand,) to face the heavily biased toward Indonesian-rule Law Courts.

    Many of the huge mining operations have their own security forces numbering in the hundreds to protect their wealth extracting activities from the West Papuan territories.

    Standing aloof above all this graft, the terrifying tortures, extreme violence and murders is this of our Federal government.
    I have in the past month or more sent email letters (requesting some form of recognition to the clandestine military might launched upon these heavily oppressed people, also if some form of and aid be given to these same people,) to our prime Minister, a number of her cabinet ministers, a letter to the Australian Military Intelligence people, all in vain as no minister will acknowledge this inhumane activity happening right upon the shores of Australia’s nearest neighbours.

    I recall the incident during the Howard years in his government giving way to the demands of the Indonesian military in returning a small boat load of asylum-seekers who were facing extreme threats of violence if returned, Howard had effectively cowered and caved-in to the Indonesian Military Chiefs demands.

    Currently Australia’s standing in the World is diminishing, for some time now this has been helped along by the Hawk-like American Defence department dominations over our weakening Australian government.
    Australia has spent countless Billions of dollars over the past 10 or more years in sourcing military hardware from the Giant American Arms Manufacturers, currently there are no submarines that can effectively dive below the Australian waters, nor sufficient warplanes that could mount a defence against any of our war-planning neighbours, a grossly insufficient quantity of sea-going warships, along with those many other deficient defence hardware items and military transport mediums.

    This is the Australia of today as was presented to todays Labor Party from the time of Howards timely defeat as Australia’s Prime Minister.

    A disturbingly most deficient Nation it was that was handed over to the Rudd government.

  42. John Wade

    February 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Here’s where WE have OUR say!

    Contact our federal mamber and tell them what side of the fence WE sit on.

    THEIR support for Rudd or Gillard will tell us why we do or do not support THEM.

  43. Robert LePage

    February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Random selection of governments
    When you consider that a jury is composed of randomly selected citizens and they can decide the fate of a human, perhaps we should allow ourselves to be governed in the same way.
    All persons on the electoral roll could be put into a selection process that is in public scrutiny and a similar number of persons to the present parliament drawn out. They will be the Government for a set period, say three years and will be the government for that time.
    At the end of that time, they will be dismissed and the process repeated for the next government. Once you have served a term, you will be barred from serving again.
    A similar process of random selection would take place for the selected representatives to select a leader and ministers of set portfolios. They would not be able to be dismissed unless a proven misdemeanor was discovered.
    This would negate the manipulation of positions in government by the media.
    Any objections about the suitability and ability of the persons selected could be discounted by a simple IQ test. Something that all politicians should undergo now any way.
    No donations to any member of a parliament would be allowed and it would bring on immediate dismissal if any were discovered.
    No serving members would be allowed to form a party or group of any kind, while serving and if discovered would bring immediate dismissal.
    Then to ice the cake we need machinery for providing a referendum on any issue if a requisite number of signatures are obtained on a petition and the result must be acted on.

  44. The Old Bear

    February 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Isn’t Andrew Wilkie on record as saying he had a meeting with Kevin Rudd last November and mentioned Iraq as one of their topics?

    Perhaps Afghanistan as well?

    And Australia’s continued commitment there – perhaps the need for a full inquiry into it, considering the loss of our soldiers and the financial cost to Australia?

    Might it have been a long-ranging discussion and did it touch of Julia’s leadership?

  45. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Is this the essence of Labor’s failure, to be Australia’s first political party to feel the full effects of an unintended consequence of pay for parliamentarians?

    Paying members of Parliament was meant to allow people without an independent income – such as from being traditional landed gentry^ or from the nouveaux riches industrialist class^ – to contest elections and serve in Parliament, knowing that they were not committing career and financial seppuku by doing so. It helped to make MPs more representative of the people they were supposed to represent.

    However, in a rather curious and very harmful reversal, current MPs are far less representative of We the People, particularly on the Labor side, as Whitlam minister Cohen often points out, because being a (Labor) politician has become a lifelong career in itself. Just look at the CVs of most ALP candidates and MPs. Here, all it needs is just a casual glance at the real-world experience of our Premier, and of her cabinet. There are no Chifleyesque engine drivers in today’s ALP. (And how many in the ALP apparat, and how many Labor MPs, send their children to State schools?)

    This is not an argument to reverse those changes, but to wonder whether it is time for some sort of real-life / real-job prerequisite for candidature in parliamentary elections.

    ^ At least most men from both these groups were actually involved in the real lives of others (albeit not always in a beneficial way). Not something you could say about ALP hacks & apparatchiki with their dodgy degrees & Party-focused lives.

  46. Karl Stevens

    February 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Ihe Independents and Greens lack of enthusiasm for a popular leader of the Labor Party can be explained by the fact they become irrelevant in a popularly elected majority government. The strategy of maintaining an equilibrium between two major parties that can then be exploited by independents and minor parties I have termed ‘Lava Lamp Politics’. As you know a lava lamp uses the change of state between a liquid and a solid to produce interesting effects. This ‘change of state’ political situation is the ‘happy spot’ for the minor parties.

  47. irritated

    February 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

    re #11 I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion about the competency or otherwise of our elected representatives. What I find insulting is the way you refer to Julia Gillard as “this Gillard woman”.
    Why do you not refer to Mr Rudd as “this Rudd man” ??

    What crazies “these airheaded, incompetent Labor women”
    It sounds as if you have a problem with women who have achieved a measure of success in their fields.

    This mysogynist type of commentary does nothing for the otherwise interesting political debate.

  48. Greg James

    February 23, 2012 at 1:39 am

    re#14 I believe that polling has occurred in Denison, by the ALP and it is not a pretty picture for them. Showing The ALP Federal vote at slightly below 21%. This would explain why it has not been released.

  49. Robin Halton

    February 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I am surprised that Kevin Rudd would not back Andrew Wilkie’s pokie reforms?
    In my opinion Rudd would be the type of person to squash the gambling industry in its tracks unlike Julia Gillard who has been slow off the mark with introducing gambling reforms.
    Regardless of whether Rudd resigns or not, Julia Gillard is a weak choice to continue as PM going into the next election.
    Perhaps the Liberals will swing Malcolm Turnbull into gear as Tony Abbott’s performence is far from satisfactory to lead the country.
    In any case Rudd is punishing Gillard and her supporters, dont underestimate Kevin.

  50. Sue DeNim

    February 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I am so fed up with insinuations that the Greens and Independents are some group of back room wheelers and dealers who rode into cabinet on the coat tails of Labour. Have we all forgotten they won their seats fair and square and Labour were so devastated theyhad to deal with them to hold onto power. Do we also forget that the ‘Coalition’ are a ragtag mish mash of Liberal, Democrat and National? Is it possible that some australians are actually getting educated and taking notice of politics and have genuinely decided they want a change from 2 party politics, or just maybe actually concur with Green and Independent policy? I agree with 6 and 10 that party politics should be banned. Let them all stand on their conscience and what they told their electorate they would stand for rather than just peddling party retoric. Thanks also 12 for reminding everyone who the ‘Faceless Men’ really are. Do away with parties. Do away with Unions. Hell they are just another so called’representative’ being supported by us to push the interests of big industry. They are all high on their own supply from the resource boom and doing very nicely thank you. Do you really think they want to come down from the ivory tower and share. Much easier to stir the pot and marginalise any dissenters.

  51. Barnaby Drake

    February 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    #18. What precisely is ‘a Labor values test’?

    Do we have one in Tasmania and who has passed?

  52. Chris Harries

    February 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Question: In a year or so, when the Libs are in power in Canberra, who will then be the Leader of the Opposition?

    Answer: Can’t say, but it will be neither Rudd nor Gillard, because after this week neither can ever more gain wide support and confidence of their Labor colleagues, too much bad blood and too many jilted egos.

    My hunch is that they may start anew with Greg Combet. But what an awful job he would have!

  53. phill Parsons

    February 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

    The Age poll had 50,990 respondents when 79% thought Rudd had done the right thing. Those spruiking for Gillard tell us Rudd has been disloyal and failed a Labor values test.

  54. Barnaby Drake

    February 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

    If we get a leadership change, will the IGA still hold water, or will it be flushed away like ‘skidmarks in the toilet bowl’?

    Pity poor Forestry. The $275 million they have been licking their lips over might disappear and they could find themselves insolvent. What will they do then, poor things?

  55. Kim Peart

    February 22, 2012 at 5:21 am

    The rot in Australian politics stems from 1962, when we buckled to the lurch of Realpolitik over West Papua, did what we were told by Washington and allowed the ruthless Indonesian regime to March into New Guinea to begin a bloody reign of terror that continues under our noses.

    This led directly to one of our greatest Prime Minister statesmen, Gough Whitlam, revealing the rot in our spine, by standing idle while East Timor was invaded in 1975 and his subsequent overthrow by darker forces at play among us.

    When it is appreciated that we have a rotten spine and have lost sight of our soul as a nation, the fickle behaviour of Labor over Kevin Rudd and the disconnection from truth of Julia Gillard can be seen as the symptom of a deeper disease.

    Only when we rediscover who we are as a people and live up to our responsibilities to all the Papuans of all New Guinea, will be begin to clean the rot out of our spine and find our heart and soul again.

    Until the, all we appear know are the ways of power and compliance under colonial regimes, once under Britain, currently under America and now shifting to China and we have no idea how to get out of the convict and governor mentality to assert our liberty as a free nation.

    In 1942 we found new meaning in the battles of the Kakoda Track, when we stood, fought and prevailed, but then we lost control of our destiny in 1962, becoming appeasers to Indonesian terror.

    The party of the convicts (Labor) looks like being dragged beneath the mud again by the chains of history, making way for the party of the governors (Liberal) to paddle in again.

    Only when the people wake up and decide the game of convicts and governors has to become history in the land Down Under, beneath the stars of the Southern Cross that first flew above Eureka, will we drop our chains and assert our destiny in the great south lands.

    If the Australian people will speak the truth about the rights of the Papuans of New Guinea to self-determination, the politicians will follow as always like shadows chasing votes and we find our truth and soul again and begin to build a real future as a free and liberated nation.

    This is our choice, while we are still free to choose.

    Kim Peart

  56. sam betts

    February 22, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Gosh, my spelling is bad. Sorry folks.

  57. Dr Kevin Bonham

    February 22, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Re #8 given your apparent view that Wilkie will lose Denison next election, I’d be interested to know who you think will win Denison and why. If Labor has lost all decency, will it be Labor? Will it be the Liberals who need a two-party preferred swing of 16 points and last election got less than a quarter of the primary vote and less than a tenth of Green preferences? Or the Greens who supposedly lack all credibility too?

    I think it’s far too soon to be saying what will happen in Denison next election, especially with absolutely no polling on the seat and no idea when the election will really be, and if anyone wants to try to firmly project a winner and give reasons for it I’d be interested to see those views (unless, of course, they come from those who seem to think the Greens will win almost everything no matter how often it is proven otherwise.)

  58. pilko

    February 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Whatever you think of Gillard ( i like the term ‘rat’) her star and her parties are on the rise and i’m guessing with the Rudd thing put to death her star will continue to rise. She’s survived the carbon tax storm, she’s survived Rudd and whose to say she wont survive for another term. http://au.nielsen.com/news/200512.shtml

  59. Tim Thorne

    February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Let’s remember that it was the big mining companies and their tame union leaders that gave us Julia when Kevin wanted to tax them too much.

    I think the best we can hope for is that Malcolm makes his move on Abbott now, otherwise we are in for the most extreme socially conservative and economically neo-liberal government this country has ever known.

    In theory I’ve generally been in favour of unicameral parliaments, but in practice I’m thinking right now how good it is that we have a Senate.

  60. B. Smith

    February 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Tasmania’s Wilkie helped a bunch of self-aggrandising independents together with the extreme Green Bandt force this Gillard woman and her union cronies on us.

    It’s a hideous thing that faceless people rule our lives in connivance with this proven untrustworthy Gillard woman. With her overpaid hands oh so touchingly close to Obama’s bum embarrassment, her hatred of people who work hard to achieve success and prosperity, her manipulative ways and now Lara Giddings is even mirroring her clothing.What crazies these airheaded, incompetent Labor women.

    Wilkie should hang his head in shame. What a debacle it’s become and Wilkie was blubbering on about stable government. The Gillard woman has been nothing but trouble. She worked Rudd over for a year before knifing him and so what if he’s returning her favour. Shorten and the other hacks have conveniently forgotten who sharpened and viciously plunged the first knife. Worse than Whitlam’s government, but at least he was a dignified man.

  61. Simon Warriner

    February 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    re 6, Yep, Tigerquoll, it does, and a good start would be to outlaw political parties, all of them.

    re 8, Sam, I cannot disagree about your assesment of labor and green credibility, or decently(your spelling) , but your implication that the libs have an overflowing resevoir of those quantities is a proposition that observation over time has educated me to reject out of hand. Bob Cheeek’s book did nothing but reinforce that education.

    The independents supported Labour and I think it was a mistake. From my limited perspective I would have preferred them to say they would take each issue on its merits. That said, I have seen more intelligent discussion from politicians in the last two years than I saw in the entire life of the Howard Government. It seems to me that having to actually argue a case rather than ramming garbage through on the numbers is a good thing.

    The conflicted interests of party politicians are like skid marks in the toilet bowl. It does not matter how often or hard you scrub, they always return. They are part and parcel of the structure and function, and are as unavoidable.

  62. Robin Halton

    February 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    That true Kev, I am not the only one that feels lack of support of PM Julia Gillard who cant run the country?

  63. sam betts

    February 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Rubbish john hawkins, this does nothing but reinforce that the fact that the independents and the greens have absolutely no credability left. You honesty think Oakshott, Windsor and Wilkie will get in after this! The labor has lost every shed of decently left. Its a ship at the bottom of the ocean and all the independents are in it.

    You all got what you deserved from voting in this mob.

  64. Mike Adams

    February 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    The brothers win. Can’t have Mandarin-speaking intellectual in cabinet!

  65. laura mason

    February 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    stuff back staber julia gillard bring back kevin rudd.

  66. Rob Walls

    February 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    @1 I may be obtuse, but fail to see how Rudd’s resignation as Foreign Minister has any relevance to the Greens’ position.

  67. john hawkins

    February 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    The Greens and Independents will get more seats in the next Federal parliament than Labour.

  68. Brenton

    February 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I agree Karl and it is a huge worry!

  69. Karl Stevens

    February 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    The Greens have backed a loser both in Tasmania and Canberra.

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