Time for a rethink?

Australia’s political landscape is far from serene so who can save the Labor Party?

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister, Australia, Government, politics

Yet again embattled Prime Minister Julia Gillard has to batten down the hatches and fight for her position as leader of Australia. Thanks to the folly of one errant MP and a speaker who seems to be more interested in the pomp of the position rather than the responsibility, Australia’s political landscape is far from serene.

The usual suspects are standing behind Julia, those who, for the moment anyway, do not have leadership aspirations of their own. Penny Wong, Craig Emerson and Tony Burke have all toed the party line and stated that no changes are afoot in the Labor Party.

Kevin Rudd is keeping quiet; not surprising given his last failed leadership challenge, but we may not have heard the last of him yet. Bill Shorten is a possibility, but perhaps he hasn't quite cut his political teeth.  So who else can save the Labor Party from near-certain defeat at the polls?

Step forward Wayne Swan. Pop on your superhero cape and save the day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that Julia’s right-hand man challenges her for the role of leader, but with next week’s Federal Budget looming, he could take off some of the heat. As with many other Australians, I have a basic grasp of economics and understand that in an ideal world, it’s better to have more coming in than going out. But when there are people in the country who can’t afford to put a roof over their heads, heat their homes or feed their families, surely it’s time to be proactive.

In 2009 Australia’s Age Pensioners received a pension boost under the reforms implemented by the Rudd government. However, this only served to address the shortfall which pensions had experienced for years. Since then? Nothing. Single Australians on an Age Pension are still living with a shortfall of $85 on what is required to live a modest lifestyle, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. Julia Gillard is famously reported to have opposed the 2009 pension reforms on the grounds that ‘pensioners don’t vote Labor’. Julia, perhaps it’s time to eat humble pie and do something to get seniors Australians on your side.

Is it important to get back the country’s finances back to surplus? Or is it more important to ensure people have enough on which to live?

Should the Government forgo a budget surplus to fund higher Age Pensions?
Yes
No
 




    COMMENTS

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    pate
    1st May 2012
    12:17pm
    The trouble is that no matter if you like Julia or not the opposition leaves even more to be desires=d with that stupid can't answer tony abbot is just a scorner and it wouldn't matter who was in charge if it is not him it is not right, in his opinion! And I stress that if it is your opinion you'd better think again cause it's too l;ate once you've voted. As I heard the other night if Mr. Abbot were truly a christian as he confesses to be he would not say that the illegals should be turned around in their leaky boats & shipped back to where they came from. Ha that made me laugh Mr Negativity!
    ozimarco
    1st May 2012
    1:22pm
    I think it is the rabid attack dog behaviour of the Opposition that has driven the government to push for a surplus. Now that Labor is committed to a surplus, they are being accused of damaging the economy. If they don't go for a surplus, they will be accused of being poor economic managers and of being a typical Labor government that cannot produce a surplus. They are between a rock and a hard place.
    What riles me most is that a government that has done such a lot of good work and has good policies is so despised by the Australian people. Are we so unsophisticated that we cannot see through the Murdoch media bias, which also influences other media, and the fear, uncertainty and doubt spread by Mr Abbott and his party?
    Personally, I think Labor's policies are streets ahead of anything the Coalition has to offer. Of course, the Opposition prefers to deflect the electorate's attention from the things that matter for our future to side issues that, in the long run, won't matter to anyone.
    Porthos
    1st May 2012
    1:48pm
    I agreee with much that ozimarco said. I also think this government deserves a lot more credit for its achievements. I do however think this government has too much inclination to spend rather than save. The mining tax for example, should have been banked for major infrastructure like very fast trains and broad band, instead of which it is being spent, a bit here a bit there until it's all gone and more! I don't subscribe to the Telegraph but a couple of articles I have seen are so rabidly anti the government they're sickening. Add that to so called "shock jocks" and Tony Abbott and it's no wonder the general population doesn't think it's being well governed.
    Reppie
    1st May 2012
    3:01pm
    I for one, voted Labor in, as Kevin Rudd was running the ship. Now we have dear Julia on one side and Abbott on the other!! Devil or the deep blue see methinks.

    Were there an election held soon, I have no idea where I would go, as I can't stand either Julia or Tony Abbott. Surely there has to be a viable alternative as Julia's days are well and truly numbered, and Labout is only holding on by a thread anyway.
    pate
    1st May 2012
    4:16pm
    Unfortunately there is no alternative for many only Mr. Negativity & pray tell is that the best answer you've got?.Mr I am a christian ? Hmm!!! I am a better christain then him & have not been inside a church since my father died in 1995.
    rebelwithacause
    1st May 2012
    5:28pm
    I have always been a Labor voter but will never support Julia Gillard. I have always been a Ruddite. There are deep divisions within Labor voter ranks as well as government. If they want Kevin to save the Labor Party they will need to crawl back and beg forgiveness. If he DID decide to be come back as our duly elected Prime Minister, once again, he would need to cleanse the Labor Party of its inner toxicity by getting rid of those Caucus Union thugs and Julia is one of them, because until that happens, it will be an unhealthy Labor Party.

    If that doesn't happen I will be voting informal as I couldn't vote for the Mad Monk if my life depended on it. We live in very interesting times ... half the s**t hasn't hit the fan, yet.
    Reppie
    2nd May 2012
    7:57am
    lol rebel, love your comments - and despite actually voting Labor for the first time last election, I also have no idea where to vote right now.

    Thanks for starting my day with a smile!!
    pate
    2nd May 2012
    1:58pm
    Love your comment Rebel
    and I too although a labor voter usually will not vote labor again in a hurry although I will vote for anyone I think that can beat that creep & liar Mr. Negativity I am a Christian, in my budgie smugglers thinking I am wonderful. The sooner he learns that we aren't stupid the better for Australia !
    mimi
    2nd May 2012
    3:36pm
    The problem which Julia Guillard faces is simply her lack of support from the labor party backbenchers. For one, they are jealous of her strenght when she stands up and asserts herself as a good leader to most critics.
    She is actually remarquable when she faces Abbott, the yelling wolf.
    Also, some of those backbenchers are simply out to lash out at her whatever she does on te political scene.
    Think again about what happened to Rudd not that long time ago. He thought he was invicible and yet! She won, didn't she.
    Another point, some of those backbenchers can't tolerate that a woman can be Prime Minister, the thought of it exasperates them. Quite a handful of them sit quietly, tightlipped just awaiting for a chance to kick her out. Are these people real labour minded?
    They play a poor game which works very well in favour of Abbott as it gives him a better chance to yell even higher. Unfortunately, the Australian people appear to prefer him to Julia at this stage.
    They certainly don't know much about politics and idealism.
    It's easy enough to listen to the one who yells higher.
    Watch it though, Julia has not had her last word, yet!


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