Another State of Origin

A bit of a diary entry ….
I’m sitting here writing, watching ABC News 24, the Returning Officer is announcing that Senator Penny Wong is now the leader of the Senate, and the Deputy Leader is now Anthony Albanese. About two hours ago Kevin Rudd was elected by the Caucus as leader of the ALP. He has replaced Julia Gillard as the leader of the ALP, and later when the Governor-General “makes it so”, Prime Minister.

What a night! Regardless of what I think of Rudd and Gillard, I do think it is a great learning opportunity for people – hopefully they’ll learn more about the way the political system works. Tonight Kevin Rudd has been elected the leader of the ALP. When Kevin Rudd lost the leadership three years ago, people were so angry and upset about our “democratically elected” leader losing his position. Julia Gillard was seen as “knifing Kevin in the back”, and her leadership was seen by a lot of people as illegitimate, even after her election.
In my opinion, these beliefs don’t reflect the how the system works.
We, as individuals, all make up the electorate. We elect an individual to represent us (our MPs). Those MPs, work together to determine who the leader of their party will be. And technically, the Parliament determines who the Government, and who the Prime Minister will be.
So, while the leader of the ALP has been decided by the Caucus, it is still up to the Parliament to confirm that Kevin will be Prime Minister.
Even at 8.55pm, it is still undecided. With Independents who have not declared that they will support Kevin Rudd, holding the balance of power; and with Parliament sitting only for a few more days before the election, we are in for one crazy ride.
I can’t imagine how the ALP is going to run an election campaign against the Liberals, with a gutted front bench (with so many resigning because they will not work under Kevin Rudd) and internal tensions on-going.
Update: As a I upload the pic, Wayne Swan has just announced he’s not resigning. He is my local member.

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