Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interesting Times

One a day before the Socceroos faced they final match in the World Cup (they won, but still did't make the next round), interesting times were occurring in the political arena back home.
Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd  (seen here, eating his own earwax) is about to be deposed. Australia follows the Westminster system of government. Local areas elect a member of parliament, and the parliament chooses the Prime Minister from within its ranks. Party politics inevitably gets involved so the Prime Minister is invariably the leader of the party with the most seats in the House.

The Labor party currently has the most seats, at least in the main House of Representatives. We will ignore the Senate, elected by a peculiar form of proportional representation and described by one former Prime Minister as "unrepresentative swill".

Having decided that the Prime Minister, elected less than three years ago after overturning a long running Liberal party administration, isn't the best choice to lead the party to the next election, the deputy leader is challenging for the job. Kevin Rudd isn't going quietly. He'd like at least a chance at the election he would have called within the next six months.

In an hour or so, we will find out whether Australia will get its first woman PM in Julia Gillard .

We've had women as party leaders before. The most recent example has been the Democrats party, now practically dead after committing the unmentionable act of actually keeping an election promise. Back in 1998, The Liberals proposed a wide-ranging Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) . The Democrats, under Meg Lees , campaigned on a GST that excluded food . When they got the balance of power (ie their votes were needed to secure passage of the Bill), they forced that amendment. The shock of a party actually following through on an election promise was such that practically no-one voted for them again. After a brief sojurn under a different woman leader (Natasha_Stott_Despoja ) , they vanished from parliament.

So the topic of conversation this morning will be either the Socceroos or politics. As a Pom (with dual citizenship) I may stick with the former.At least to encourage the Aussies to support the team playing Germany which flogged the Aussies 4-0, which was responsible for the poor goal difference that kept the Aussies from second spot. Oh, and the team playing the Germans next will be England.

Well its either that or support the Kiwis who still have a chance of qualifying if they can beat Paraguay. Though Nuno can support Portugal, I guess.

1 comment:

Noons said...

Oh yeah!
You just reminded me of the LA Olympics. I was in Boston, Mass at the time, on a Prime Computers errand.
During the final marathon run, Rob de Castela was running first and myself and other Ozzies were cheering him up at the pub.

Then he bailed out and Carlos Lopes from Portugal took over.

At which point I continued to cheer, followed by another contingent on the same pub.

The remaining folks looked at us and shook their heads: "Can't beat these Ozzies, they cheer for two countries!"