This year I became an Australian citizen and one of the rights associated it with that is the right to vote. I say “right” but you actually get fined if you don’t. I find the whole process crazy. While a person can be smart, people are idiots or in this case sheep. There is a lot of whinging in the media about how Julia Gillard was not elected by people of Australia to be Prime Minister. These people are idiots! You may have been watching the West Wing or 24 for too long. In most democracies you vote for the party and the party is the one who picks the leader. If the party wins that person leading it becomes Prime Minister, simple. It also extends to during the party’s term in power, if they don’t like who they have they can change it. In my home country of Ireland the standing Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, (or Taoiseach as we call them) did not become so until his predecessor, Bertie Ahern, stood down. In the UK a few years back Tony Blair stepped aside to let Gordon Brown rule and even here in New South Wales at the state level Kristine Keneally, replaced Nathan Rees, who replaced Morris Iemma as premier, all without elections being called. Even in the United States, where they have gotten every thing ass backwards with two party politics and the electoral college, the Vice President gets promoted to President should the President be unable, it happened it Lydon Johnson after Kennedy and Gerald Ford after Nixon.
I was very disappointed last night while watching Q and A, on it they had deputy leader of the opposition, Julia Bishop, further muddying the water. She was unusually on Kevin Rudd’s side in all this, but felt that because a standing Prime Minister of Australia has never been replaced before, means it shouldn’t ever happen:
JULIE BISHOP: Oh, well, it was such a fair question. I’m a very loyal deputy and, yes, there have been changes within the Liberal Party, but we are in opposition. The last election our leader was John Howard. The last election Kevin Rudd was Labor’s leader and that’s who we put up. The Australian people chose Kevin Rudd and, of course, we’re now in opposition and so we have had some leadership changes but the public chose Kevin Rudd and he should have been allowed to go to the election as the leader and let the people pass judgment.
TONY JONES: Let’s get a microphone down here. We’ve got a gentleman with his hand up in the audience and we’d like to hear from him.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Are you the Steven Bradbury of Australian politics? They all fall down and you just slide on through.
JULIE BISHOP: This isn’t about me.
TONY JONES: Okay, Waleed?
WALEED ALY: I just find all this a bit convenient, well, the invocation of principle here. This idea that prime ministers should only ever be removed by the Australian people because…
JULIE BISHOP: In a first term. It’s never happened, has it? It’s unprecedented in their first term.
WALEED ALY: No, look, I agree with that but…
JULIE BISHOP: Give the guy a break. Let him go to his first term.
WALEED ALY: I’m very…
JULIE BISHOP: I…
TONY JONES: Julie, give the guy a break. He’s trying to say something.
JULIE BISHOP: Sorry.
WALEED ALY: I’m very moved by your concern for Kevin Rudd.
JULIE BISHOP: Yeah, I am concerned. I’m concerned by the precedent.
WALEED ALY: No, but – no, but I just transport myself back to the end of the Howard era and everyone remembers that John Howard was under a lot of pressure to stand down. He was constantly asked about whether or not he would stand down. Other figures in the Liberal Party were asked about whether or not they would ask him to stand down. In the end he didn’t, and he wasn’t asked. But at no stage did he or any other member of the Liberal Party say that it was a matter of principle that he wouldn’t stand down because he was elected and only the Australian people could remove him. What he said was I will be there as long as the party wants me. Now, I’m not saying that was the wrong thing to say. I’m just saying that the principle that operates here is that the party elects the leader. John Howard knew it. The Liberal Party knew it when they were in government and they forgot it in opposition because they Labor Party lived by that principle. You might feel…
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I was actually party to these discussions so…
WALEED ALY: You might feel that it was brutal, and that’s fair enough.
JULIE BISHOP: No. No. No.
This is dangerous media and hence dangerous politics. A standing politician should get away with trotting out this crap, because it confuses the sheep. Even Julia Gillard is using it as an excuse to call the election at such short notice. If you think the vote is being called because the people of Australia didn’t vote for Julia Gillard to be Prime Minister of Australia you are a fool and an idiot and should probably not be allowed vote any way. With Julia’s position being “compromised” she may not win an election if there was some decent competition on the opposition. While the Mad Monk Tony Abbot is in charge Liberals haven’t a chance of winning, Julia for right or wrong will get the “Anybody but Abbott” vote, which in itself is brilliant.
Any way here’s looking to my vote being diluted by mis-educated and masterchef addled sheep, where are the chaser in all this?