Australia – the lucky country. For those losing jobs, struggling on a pension, or not being able to afford to buy a home, it may not feel that way. When the Labor Government first came to power in 2007 under the then leadership of Kevin Rudd, everything was rosy. The economy had more than one speed and wasn’t kept afloat by mining, house prices were on the rise and pensioners were given their largest increase in Age Pension payments since the system began.
Just one year later, 2008, brought the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) but through careful money management, stimulus payments and of course, buoyant mining trade with China, Australia emerged almost unscathed.
So then, surely we should be sitting back and smelling the roses? Apparently not. For some reason the Labor Party simply imploded. Kevin Rudd, the hero of 2007 was no longer in favour and in a leadership coup, Julia Gillard took over. This played straight into the hands of Tony Abbott, who was mounting a strong campaign against Labor and the apparent disarray was just the pretext he needed to push the Labor party into a coalition government in the 2010 federal election.
Bound by promises she had made to get the numbers she needed, Julia Gillard was no longer able to govern the country in the way she wanted. Too many of her policies were torn apart from ‘inside’ and to those outside (and possibly also inside the party) she simply couldn’t make a decision and stick to it. Up pops Kevin again in 2011 to get his own back and challenge Julia for the leadership. Although unsuccessful, the damage was done. Throw in a couple of scandalous MPs, a rogue Speaker and we have our very own Shakespearean tragedy happening before our very eyes.
Now this is just politics you may say, and indeed, you would be correct. However, while the internal squabbling, the frequent and forced statements on one debacle after the other is going on, who is managing the country? What is happening to our booming economy? Why is our retail industry struggling? How many more jobs will be lost? How many more people made homeless? Will our age pensioners be driven to suicide because they simply can’t survive on a pittance?
Luck country – maybe not after all.
Has the Labor Party ruined its own chances of re-election? Can a government lead by Tony Abbott be more successful?