Monday, December 04, 2006

Rudd has been elected new Opposition Leader

Yep, it's official. In this morning's ALP federal caucus, Kevin Rudd was elected new the Opposition Leader. The numbers were 49–39.

Julian Gillard was elected his deputy unopposed. It appears that despite insisting that she would defend her postition, lame duck Jenny Macklin saw which way the wind blew – blew Beazley out of the water – Macklin decided not ot stand.

The good news is that perhaps the ALP will have a chance to position itself as a viable alternative to Howard. Doubt it.

The bad news is that reports indicate that Kevin Rudd is pro-nuclear. Not a good start, but considering Bomber Beazley was pushing a pro-uranium mining stance, it doesn't seem too far a shift in ALP leadership.

The worse news: more Harry Potter jokes in Parliament.

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At December 04, 2006 1:02 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I think that it is a good thing. I always tick the Greens first then the Dem's then the ALP then run down the list of the minor parties ordered by whomever annoys me least but saving the bottom of the list for the artificial one issue parties that just direct votes to the Libs. Second last is saved for the libs then lastly FF or whatever conservative nationalist right wing hard-case with god on their side pissed me off the most in the lead up.

At December 04, 2006 1:14 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Aha. You're the party hack's nightmare – a voter who refuses to follow the preferences (and thus the preference deals) of the party of their first preference.

Recently, in Victoria's elections, I heard the arguments that the Greens had less negotiation power in preference deals because they can't - or won't - guarantee that their supporters will follow their recommended preference allocations.

Not that it really matters to the Greens, I believe.

I still worry about the nuclear fantasies of the Howard govt and now Rudd opposition, though.

Hopefully, Labor's anti-nuclear stalwart, and shadow Environment spokesperson, Anthony Albanese, will not lose his portfolio with the ALP front-bench shakeup expected later this week.

At December 04, 2006 3:36 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I don't think Australia going 'neuk-lear' will change the likelihood of a an exchange of radioactive weapons in the next 20 years or so, which, after all, is what opposition to nuclear power plants is all about.

I've been thinking about the Latline interview between Tony Jones and Martin Amis that I blogged about a few weeks ago (November 02).

Excerpt from the transcript of the interview goes like this:

(talking about change in Islam)

TONY JONES: There is a broader argument you are making here about the need for reformation within Islam. You suggest the necessary upheaval is a revolution, the liberation of women. Could it happen?

MARTIN AMIS: Yeah. I think that's utopian for now. I mean, what is going to happen next is - it's been argued that the most momentous consequence of the Iraq war will be the ignition of the civil war between the Sunni and the Shiah, which has been brewing for a millennium. Now, Pakistan's bomb is the Sunni bomb. If Iran gets the boom, that will be the Shiah bomb, and we've got to imagine something like a 30 year war, nuclear 30-year war, or 100-year war to get this - to get the sectarian stuff out of the way. Then we've got to twiddle our up thumbs while they have a reformation and then in due course an enlightenment and then perhaps the Middle East will be ready for democracy and sexual equality.

TONY JONES: That war between Sunni and Shiah, you think, is a direct result, or may well be a direct result, of the war in Iraq?

MARTIN AMIS: No. No, no. I mean, it's been brewing for a thousand years. The ignition of it may be entirely attributable to Iraq, but the enmity is age-old.

At December 04, 2006 10:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi... am looking for a mark lawrence who used to live in malaysia... are you he?

At December 05, 2006 3:15 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Hello anonymous, if you'd like to email me, with a bit more information, I may be able to help you. My contact details are at the bottom of the column on the right.


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