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A conversation about the Australian election

My native land of Australia is having a federal election on August 21, in which Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott will challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who came to office in a party coup a mere five weeks ago. For those who are interested, I recently recorded a conversation with Patrick Crozier, in which he attempted to interview me about the issues at hand.

In this conversation, we cover issues such as how the Australian political system differs from the British system (and perhaps more crucially, how Australian political parties differ from British parties), just how and why Kevin Rudd managed to go from having some of the highest opinion poll ratings of any Australian Prime Minister to being tossed by his party in approximately nine months, the issues at hand in the electioin, and The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin.

Overhanging all this, though, is the recent party coup against Kevin Rudd. We spend quite a bit of time attempting to figure out the man’s downfall, and trying to figure out exactly how such a man became PM in the first place.

On the other hand, there are times when a music video is worth a thousand words. People without the time to listen to our conversation might instead consider simply watching this, which I think gets to the bottom of Kevin Rudd fairly quickly.

Unfortunately, although the conversation is timely and should be posted quickly, I have not had the opportunity to give it a great deal of editing. (I am presently in Romania, as part of having a life, and a touch short of editing facilities). As a consequence, the conversation still contains a few ums and ahs and pauses, and I think it is a little slow in starting. However, for those who want to give us a fair shake of the sauce bottle, I think it is pretty coherent once we get going. Enjoy.

10 comments to A conversation about the Australian election

  • The video’s sound is weirdly corrupted for me

  • There is a problem with the video on YouTube, which is strange as it played okay this morning before I posted it.

    I have for now replaced it with a shorter version that lacks most of the introduction. This is a shame as the introduction is funny.

  • Nuke Gray

    The problems will be fixed in due season. Meanwhile, all you need to know is that the left side had a leader called Kim Beazley, who was axed as leader when the opinion polls didn’t give him a high rating. Rudd as Labor leader had ratings of over 60% and 70% of public approval! He promised to be a younger Howard, without Work Choices (A Liberal program which Labor and the Left demonised.)
    Recently, Rudd tried to stand for something. He went to Copenhagen with an ETS scheme, but someone threw a BRIC through the windows, and hit Rudd! He stopped pushing what he had called the greatest moral crisis of out times. This was taken to mean that he hadn’t really meant it, after all. His approval rating plummetted, as did those of the party he led. Someone gave Julia a knife, which somehow ended up in Rudd’s back. Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Nuke Gray

    The Chaser is that nice group of people who gate-crashed the party with Bush at the Opera House, 3 years ago.

  • Michael Jennings

    Ah, yes. Kim Beazley. Imagine Al Gore but with less charisma.

  • James Waterton

    But more integrity. OK, that might be damning with faint praise. Let’s say considerably more integrity. Beazo was uncharismatic, sure, but he was a decent man. Probably the last of the ‘old school’ ALP leaders* who I at least could at least respect as genuine individuals, despite their policy ideas, which ranged from dull to disastrous.

    *and I don’t count Hawke or Keating amongst this bunch – they were harbingers of the poll-driven, catty, manicured ALP leaders that pop up today. Although these two, to their credit, enacted a great deal of genuinely positive reforming legislation – well, when Hawke was running the show, at least.

  • It is fair to say that Beazley likely does have more integrity than Gore, certainly, and in that regard the comparison was unfair.

    In terms of policy though, yetch. For one thing a good deal of the reason Australian telecommunications remains as awful as it does is due to the fact that the ALP in 1990 adopted the “Beazley plan” for the (supposed) introduction of competition. Yes, one should blame John Howard a fair bit too – he was in government over a decade and didn’t fix it – but things would undoubtedly be much better today if Paul Keating’s proposals had been implemented instead. Still not great, but much better.

  • Nuke Gray

    Remember those ‘Where’s Wally?’ books? We can have a new version- where’s the real Julia?! Or ‘Spot the Real Julie!’

  • Nuke Gray

    The liberals were making headway with ‘Kevin o lemon’, satirising the Labor slogan from 2007, ‘Kevin 07’. Then Julia Gillard took over. I just realised what the brilliant Labor scientists have done- they have gene-crafted the gillard, the world’s first Red lemon!