QUESTIONS have been raised about whether former PM Kevin Rudd will angle once more for the top job as Julia Gillard struggles to keep her head above water after a series of ill-received policy announcements.
Which got me thinking, certainly not for the first time this year, about whether it is time for Gillard to go. I reckon I have an answer that could see her stay. Sort of. Now I’m not sure if it’s hit UK shores just yet but there is a great new program on ABC, it’s called ‘At Home With Julia’. It’s like a reality television program about the life of our PM. Except it’s not reality. Actors play Gillard, her partner Tim, and other political players (think Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter). See, the thing is, in the show, fake Gillard is way more likable than our real Gillard.
But let’s take a look at where it all went wrong for real Gillard.
It started with not quite gaining the popular vote to take the leadership back at the last federal election. Australians were torn, they didn’t really want either major party. But Gillard’s ALP won Independent hearts and minds, and Australia got itself an ALP minority government.
Once in the role of PM, there was that ‘great big lie’ about the carbon price (she said she wouldn’t!) that the conservatives have revelled in repeating, over, and over, and over. Poor messaging and Gillard’s inability to properly address conservative concern has effectively distracted from whether or not it’s the carbon price is decent policy, instead it’s all become something of a circus (convey of no confidence, anyone?).
Now it is the ongoing saga of how best to process asylum seekers. A debate that has curiously seen the Liberal party lobby Gillard from the left. Yes. On asylum seekers, on ‘boat people’, Abbott and his Coalition is actually more progressive than ALP.
It probably goes without saying, when the Liberals are spruiking a more humane policy on asylum seekers, it’s time to reassess.
But Gillard is defiant and stubborn, determined not to rethink her unpopular preference of pushing refugees out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
All of this has not only seen the opposition parties criticise the PM, but the majority of Australians aren’t impressed either. To say Gillard is unpopular right now would be putting it quite mildly.
The most recent Newspoll results indicate that Australians prefer the Coalition running the country over the ALP, and Aussies reckon that Tony Abbott would make a better PM than Gillard. Yes, really. Gillard is so bad we’d prefer he who wears speedos, sometimes believes in climate change, thinks direct action is about planting trees, and so on.
But if Gillard is rolled by her own party, should Rudd really be the one to climb back up top? I say no.
Which brings me back to ‘At Home With Julia’. This program has actually made me like Gillard more. That is until I remind myself that it’s the actress I’m down with, not our PM.
So here’s my proposal, let’s give real Gillard the flick, and sub-in fake Gillard. If fake Gillard can win favour on the ABC, so why not give her a whirl in the parliament? Let’s face it, she can’t possibly mess it up any worse than real Gillard, can she?