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« Reply #100 on: June 02, 2008, 08:19:58 pm »
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Kevin Rudd will be in power for 9 years at least.
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The idea of parodying the preceding Atlasian's postings is laughable, of course, but not for reasons one might expect.
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« Reply #101 on: June 04, 2008, 02:39:08 am »
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Kevin Rudd will be in power for 9 years at least.

Please, don't...
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« Reply #102 on: June 05, 2008, 05:17:14 am »
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Nelson actually looks to be gaining some confidence in his role now.

Rudd's honeymoon (albeit extended) will end... they always do.

Keep in mind the 16 seat majority rely on a lot of tiny margins... many in QLD. A friend of mine worked out that to change government the Libs need to gain 10,000 votes in those seats. It's certainly doable.

Rudd promised so much during the campaign... but he's not able to deliver.... it's starting to piss people off. It's either high-profile commissions or events that really do nothing, or economic/social policy (except Indig. policy) that's not that different to Howard. In spite of what people said and the Labor policy, people didn't vote for Rudd to be Howard, they voted for him to be different.

Here in the ACT - the sense of dissatisfaction with Rudd is palpable - his extreme demands on the public service (trying to live up to his "constant activity=work ethic"), going back on his promise to respect the ACT's right to create civil unions.
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« Reply #103 on: June 05, 2008, 05:23:44 am »
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Government always results in frustration. No one should ever be surprised by that.
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« Reply #104 on: June 06, 2008, 12:45:44 pm »
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True, although the ALP wasn't elected as a government; it was elected as Kevin07. This is the first time we've really had a president, much moreso than under even Howard. Now, people realise that Kevin07 was never really possible, and they've very disenchanted with Kevin08. Still, we can live in hope of Turnbull10 or Gillard14.
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« Reply #105 on: June 10, 2008, 07:32:03 pm »
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Nelson actually looks to be gaining some confidence in his role now.

Rudd's honeymoon (albeit extended) will end... they always do.

Keep in mind the 16 seat majority rely on a lot of tiny margins... many in QLD. A friend of mine worked out that to change government the Libs need to gain 10,000 votes in those seats. It's certainly doable.

Rudd promised so much during the campaign... but he's not able to deliver.... it's starting to piss people off. It's either high-profile commissions or events that really do nothing, or economic/social policy (except Indig. policy) that's not that different to Howard. In spite of what people said and the Labor policy, people didn't vote for Rudd to be Howard, they voted for him to be different.

Here in the ACT - the sense of dissatisfaction with Rudd is palpable - his extreme demands on the public service (trying to live up to his "constant activity=work ethic"), going back on his promise to respect the ACT's right to create civil unions.

Furthermore, in Queensland, there was a certain parochial support for Rudd. I went back to campaign there in the final week and the voting booths all had Labor signs saying (and I can't remember the words verbatim, but they were to the tune of) "Now's our chance to vote for a Queenslander for PM". While that didn't cost us the election, it certainly would have given Labor a bounce in some of the Queensland seats they picked up. Rudd being a Queenslander will probably continue to assist him, but as the novelty of a Queensland PM wears off (and before Rudd, the last Queensland PM was Frank Forde for 8 days in 1945, before him Arthur Fadden for a couple of months in 1941 - both of whom became PM by virtue of being Deputy PM at the time of the resignation or death of the PM, the only Queenslander to have led a federal party to an election and subsequently elected PM prior to Rudd was Andrew Fisher, last elected in 1914), it will have less of an impact.

The impact of Rudd in Queensland can be seen in the statewide 2PP result - since Menzies winning government in 1949 (the earliest figures I could find on the AEC website) 2007 was only the third time Labor won the 2PP in Queensland - and 1990 was probably more to do with the ill-fated "Joh for PM" push. Rudd's hometown advantage can't be underestimated - although even with this, Labor still only achieved 50.44% of the 2PP which was lower than all other states and territories except for Western Australia and 2.26% lower than their national 2PP result of 52.7%. (Sources: http://results.aec.gov.au/13745/Website/HouseTppByState-13745.htm and http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/Australian_Electoral_History/House_of_Representative_1949_Present.htm ). So Queensland's probably already at or near its high-water mark for Labor.

Even with Labor's strong result nationally, I understand that Rudd's 16-seat majority is the smallest first-term Government majority since Federation (although I'm guessing that's in percentage terms of representation in the House - as Hawke doubled the number of seats prior to the 1984 election). Given that governments tend to get unpopular/more unpopular over time, Rudd doesn't have a much tighter margin as might be indicated by the 2PP results.
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« Reply #106 on: June 13, 2008, 02:35:59 am »
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Rudd lets Japan off the Hook

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has effectively conceded defeat on his plan to stop Japanese whaling, declaring after talks in Tokyo that Australia and Japan have agreed to disagree on the issue.

The long-awaited talks between Mr Rudd and his Japanese counterpart, Yasuo Fukuda, concluded yesterday with both leaders saying the Japan-Australia relationship was too important to be disrupted by their disagreement over whaling.

Mr Rudd later insisted that Labor's policy had not changed from last year, when he demanded that the Howard government take Japan to the International Court and pledged that Labor would do so.

But he made it clear yesterday that Labor now had no plans to take Japan to court and would instead pursue its complaints through normal diplomatic channels and through its campaign to reform the International Whaling Commission.

"Prime Minister Fukuda and I have agreed that you can have disagreements between friends," Mr Rudd said, with Mr Fukuda at his side. "This disagreement should not undermine in any way the strong relations between our two countries we will be working diplomatically for the period ahead."

This means, in effect, that after Labor's election campaign pledge to haul Japan before the International Court, and after the Government spent $1 million sending a Customs vessel to follow the Japanese whaling fleet last summer to collect video evidence, Australia's policy on whaling is now back where it started.

Mr Rudd immediately came under attack from anti-whaling groups and the Opposition, which said it was not good enough to "agree to disagree" and called on the Government to announce its long-delayed special envoy on whaling.

Last summer the Japanese killed 551 minke whales, the most abundant whale species. This was well short of its target of 850 minkes and 100 larger whales. Ecologist and former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has argued that Australia should not oppose the minke kill, saying it frees up food in the oceans for the larger, endangered whales

Mr Fukuda was keen to talk about the whaling issue, raising it in private discussions over lunch as well as in formal talks. But the Australian side saw no shift in his stance, and in his public statement he emphasised that diplomacy had triumphed.

"We agreed to engage in further discussion, so that differences on this issue will not underline good bilateral relations," he said.

The talks took place amid political turmoil in Japan, after Mr Fukuda was censured by the Opposition-controlled Upper House for making people over 75 meet more of their medical costs. But Mr Fukuda took two hours off his domestic troubles for an hour of official talks followed by lunch with Mr Rudd.

Importantly, he gave support to Mr Rudd's initiative to try to tighten the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by setting up an international commission co-chaired by former foreign minister Gareth Evans and holding an international conference to discuss how the treaty can be made more effective.

In a communique, the two leaders did not mention whaling.

But they emphasised the strengths of the bilateral relationship, which has been questioned after the sharp dispute over whaling and after the Rudd Government's decision to pull out of talks between the US, Japan, India and Australia - which China saw as aimed against it. Instead, the leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral and trilateral defence co-operation.

Responding to Mr Rudd's retreat on whaling, Greenpeace Australia Pacific chief executive Steve Shallhorn said it was time to move on the appointment of a whaling envoy "because regular diplomatic channels are clearly not working".

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said the failure to announce the appointment sent a message to Japan that Labor was only interested in the whaling issue for domestic purposes.

He also said the Government's election promise to take Japan to the International Court "was always a fraud".



Prime Minister Rudd has also taken this opportunity to backflip on his "Education Revolution" policy which would see Year 9-12 students like myself receive a free laptop computer. According to Education Minister Julia Gillard the plan isn't even likely to start in 2013, some five years after it was proposed this supposed Revolution would begin.

But despite all of the above and with the Rudd Government's blunders of late, such as the leakings of the Fuelwatch scheme, which was even criticised by my own member of Parliament, Martin Ferguson, who happens to be Energy and Resources Minister, Kevin Rudd's Labor Government will be re-elected in 2010.
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« Reply #107 on: June 20, 2008, 01:22:34 am »
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I said before the election that the only thing Rudd stands for is getting elected and that he will say whatever it takes to achieve that outcome. Unfortunately, it appears that's exactly the case - he said plenty to get people to vote for him, but now is delivering very little of what he promised.
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« Reply #108 on: June 20, 2008, 05:03:56 am »
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I'm getting angier and angier and more disappointed in Rudd by the day.
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« Reply #109 on: June 29, 2008, 02:50:20 pm »
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Honeymoon's Over, says the Age, following a 7.2% swing to the Nats in Gippsland.

Lib/Nats to win in 2010? :p
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« Reply #110 on: June 29, 2008, 04:47:54 pm »
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Lib/Nats to win in 2010? :p

With Brendan Nelson at the helm? I think YES Tongue. Although the Gippsland by-election officially finishes Kevin Rudd's honeymoon period as Australia's 26th Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd will sadly be re-elected for a second term in 2010. Sure Petrol Prices, the Housing Crisis, etc have all played a major part in the National's 7% swing in Gippsland and will continue to be on the minds of Australian voters for some years to come, and most likely be on their minds in 2010 but Rudd will weave his magic, as seen in last years election and thus win. However I can see the Rudd Government losing a maximum of 3-5 seats thus reducing their majority.
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« Reply #111 on: June 29, 2008, 07:07:34 pm »
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Before we predict the defeat of Rudd in 2010, what was turnout like in Gippsland?
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« Reply #112 on: June 29, 2008, 09:14:14 pm »
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A little above average at 97%
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« Reply #113 on: June 29, 2008, 09:32:39 pm »
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A little above average at 97%

I had to pinch myself before I remembered that we were talking about Australia.

Most likely, the Gippsland result was voters voting for the Nats because they didn't see any reason to do otherwise. Unlike in a general election, this vote wasn't going to affect who formed the next government. I suppose the Nats should just breathe a sigh of relief that it was they and not the Liberals who made it to the 2PP.
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« Reply #114 on: June 29, 2008, 09:49:25 pm »
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It's still a 6.7% swing away from the ALP in a seat they still lost quite handily in Nov.
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« Reply #115 on: July 04, 2008, 06:35:43 am »
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Before 2007, the last PM to lose his seat was Bruce. He lost it on the back of IR legislation he introduced. Most people stop drawing the parallels there...

But the following PM, Scullin, was hit shortly after by economic turmoil that started offshore - a stock market crash, followed by the Great Depression...

Scullin was a one term PM...
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« Reply #116 on: July 04, 2008, 06:51:56 am »
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Thanks to the Great Depression in October 1929, the Australian Labor Party lost one of their bright hopes for the future, Treasurer Joe Lyons who was lured by the prospect of heading the United Australia Party. The UAP was then new conservative political party which consisted of former Nationalists and members of the Country Party, ranging from Billy Hughes, John Latham to Earle Page. The United Australia Party led by the popular Lyons was consequently elected at the 1931 General Election over incumbent Prime Minister James Scullin and his Labor Government. The 1931 General Election proved to be a significant one as it was the first to see both leaders of a Roman Catholic background.

Smid, what do you hope to achieve from this? Will Polnut and Hugh help contribute in our ventures to inform other members of the forum about Australian political history? I don't want to be the only one rambling about General Election's in the 1930's Tongue.
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« Reply #117 on: July 04, 2008, 09:07:25 pm »
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That was my hope... not to try to say that Rudd will be a one-termer because Scullin was and various other things seem to be going similarly - like you, I was trying to stimulate some Australian Political History there. It's interesting to read over.

I don't mind Lyons. His was the largest family to occupy the Lodge - 15 children if I remember correctly... He was also one of six Australian PMs to have not been elected from a seat in NSW or Victoria (Lyons was Tasmanian). His wife, Edith Lyons, was the first woman elected to Parliament (however Dame Anabelle Rankin from Queensland was the first female Government Minister. Both were conservatives.
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« Reply #118 on: July 05, 2008, 01:32:45 am »
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Yes. Without middle-class housewives, the Australian political scene would be very, very different.
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« Reply #119 on: July 28, 2008, 11:22:03 pm »
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BUMP

Newspoll: Voters want Costello to lead the Liberal Party

Font Size: Decrease Increase Print Page: Print Dennis Shanahan, Political editor | July 29, 2008
PETER Costello is overwhelmingly the first choice among voters to lead the Liberal Party, as Brendan Nelson stakes his leadership on trying to delay the Rudd Government's carbon emissions trading scheme.

The Opposition Leader is in a tight political position as he forms a new Coalition policy on climate change, is accused of being "gutless" and of using the emissions trading scheme as a tool of Liberal leadership jostling.

The latest Newspoll survey shows Mr Costello, the former treasurer who has sat on the back bench since the Coalition lost the election, emerging as the popular favourite to be Liberal leader - doubling his support since December. It also confirms the Government's dominance over the Opposition, with Labor leading the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis by 57 per cent to 43 per cent.

As Mr Costello decides whether to resign or stay in politics and possibly lead the Liberal Party, Dr Nelson has less than half the former treasurer's support among voters. According to the survey, taken exclusively for The Australian last weekend, Mr Costello has 41 per cent support compared with Dr Nelson's 18 per cent.

Dr Nelson also trailed the Opposition's Treasury spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, who received 24 per cent as preferred Liberal leader. In December last year as the Liberals contemplated a new leader to replace John Howard, support was shared among five candidates, Mr Costello, Dr Nelson, Mr Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop.

The December Newspoll survey showed Mr Turnbull on 25per cent, Mr Costello on 23 per cent, Dr Nelson on 15 per cent, Ms Bishop on 13 per cent and Mr Abbott on 6 per cent. With Ms Bishop and Mr Abbott removed from the latest poll, all of the public support appears to have shifted to Mr Costello as speculation has swirled about his future.

Many Liberal MPs believe Mr Costello should stay in parliament and become Liberal leader, while others are convinced he intends to leave politics once he has finished writing his biography, due to be published in October.

Mr Costello was on holiday with his family yesterday and is not expected to return until after the Liberal Party meeting on Wednesday to discuss the climate change policy.

In the Newspoll, Mr Costello's strengths were among Coalition voters - with 53 per cent preferring the former treasurer - men and those over 50 while Dr Nelson's were among women and those over 50. Mr Turnbull's highest support was among ALP voters.

But when asked if Mr Costello's leadership would make a difference in the way they voted, 57 per cent said it would make no difference. Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed said Mr Costello's leadership would make them more likely to vote for the Coalition and 15 per cent said it would make them less likely to vote for the Coalition.

Voters were overwhelmingly of the view, 65 per cent, that Mr Costello should stay in parliament until at least the next election. Three former Coalition ministers have already resigned from parliament, forcing by-elections, and there have been government calls for Mr Costello to resign and hold a by-election for his Victorian seat of Higgins at the same time.

Kevin Rudd also kept his 50-plus percentage point lead over Dr Nelson as preferred prime minister in the weeks after the release of the Government's green paper advocating an emissions trading scheme, which could push electricity and gas prices by 16 and nine per cent.

Mr Rudd had 66 per cent support as preferred prime minister compared with Dr Nelson's 14per cent.

Wayne Swan attacked Dr Nelson's position yesterday as being "gutless", saying an ETS had "become the tool of various forces in the (Liberal) party room in their jostling for the leadership".

"This is too important an issue for Australia to be subject to that sort of treatment in the Liberal Party but that's the stage they've got to, because they are simply incapable of facing up to the long-term challenges that are essential to our future prosperity," the Treasurer said.

"We certainly will not shirk our responsibility to deal with the really tough and hard decisions of the future, which we are required to make if we are going to protect future prosperity. Dealing with dangerous climate change, and not dealing with it, has a very substantial cost," Mr Swan said.



Although it would be a spectacle so see Costello and Rudd duel in Parliament Housequestion time when you've got nothing else to do on a weekday afternoon, I cannot forsee Costello launching a bid for the Liberal Party leadership anytime soon. Costello had his chance to finally become leader of the Liberal Party upon the Government's defeat in November 2007, but his time has gone. Brendan Nelson, yes Brendan Nelson, will stay on as leader of the Liberal Party until the next Election due in 2010, eventhough Nelson has been lacklustre as leader of the Opposition.
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« Reply #120 on: July 28, 2008, 11:59:32 pm »
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Costello would be a fantastic leader!

What's the source? The Australian?
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« Reply #121 on: July 29, 2008, 12:16:40 am »
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What's the source? The Australian?

It is indeed The Australian Smid, one of my favourite Australian newspapers, though The Age is my personal favourite. It has the right balance between stimulating political discussion and articles, not to mention excellent football journalists Wink.

Costello would be a fantastic leader!

Costello would be better than Nelson for sure. Primarily because he would offer more enjoyable Parliamentary Debates between himself, Kevin Rudd and quite possibly Treasurer Wayne Swan. Not to mention he could always mock Environment Minister Peter Garrett by dancing similar to him in his Midnight Oil days. I'd like to see Brendan do that. 
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« Reply #122 on: July 30, 2008, 07:10:46 pm »
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Quote from: The Australian Newspaper
KEVIN Rudd has fallen from his peak of record popularity, with an increasing number of voters since the election seeing him as out of touch and arrogant.

The Prime Minister is still overwhelmingly viewed as strong and decisive, likeable, caring and having a vision for Australia.

But the latest Newspoll survey of leadership abilities reveals that in the past five months he has suffered a big fall in the percentage of Australians who consider him in touch with voters and a big rise in the percentage who consider him arrogant - a key criticism he made of John Howard before the election.

The Newspoll shows Brendan Nelson has pegged back Mr Rudd on leadership traits, including his ability to handle health, education, the economy and overall trustworthiness.

But as the Opposition Leader comes under increasing pressure on climate change, Mr Rudd still holds double-digit leads over Dr Nelson in most key areas. And the Prime Minister's biggest lead - 53 percentage points - is on managing the environment.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that Liberal MPs were "engaged in short-term politics, which have got more to do with their own internal party debates than the long-term interests of Australia".

According to the Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, Dr Nelson has improved in every area and Mr Rudd's position has fallen from his popularity peaks after the election.

The improvements in specific personality traits - such as being likeable and in touch with voters - run counter to the general Newspoll surveys that show Dr Nelson flatlining against Mr Rudd as preferred prime minister by 14 per cent to 66 per cent.

Support for Mr Rudd's ability to handle the environment has fallen from 74 per cent at the beginning of March - before the release of the Garnaut report and the Government's green paper on emissions trading - to 67 per cent last weekend.

Dr Nelson's standing lifted from a record low of 9 per cent in March to 14 per cent, leaving Mr Rudd with a 53-point lead on the key issue of climate change.

In the past two days, Dr Nelson's position on an emissions trading scheme has sapped his support within the Liberal partyroom and exposed him to government accusations of weak leadership and vacillation.

The Liberal leader's relative position on managing health, education and the economy has lifted strongly, with the gap on health and Medicare down by 22points - the largest movement - and on education down 14 points. On education, Dr Nelson is now in the same position to Mr Rudd as John Howard was before the election last year. Mr Rudd's "education revolution", with tax breaks for education expenses, was the centrepiece of Labor's election campaign.

Mr Rudd has maintained clear dominance over Dr Nelson on the economy - 55 per cent to 23per cent - despite rising inflation and interest rates. The gap between the two on managing the economy is down 15 points since March after a nine-point fall for Mr Rudd and a six-point rise for Dr Nelson.

Before the election, Mr Howard held almost a two-to-one advantage over Mr Rudd on economic management.

On more personal issues, such as caring for people, being in touch with voters and being arrogant, Mr Rudd's support fell from record highs while Dr Nelson improved his position in every category from a low base.

Before the election, Mr Rudd was seen as only half as arrogant as Mr Howard. In March, he was seen as much less arrogant than Dr Nelson, only 33 per cent considering him arrogant against Dr Nelson's 48per cent. Last weekend, Mr Rudd's arrogance rating rose 10 points to 43 per cent, while Dr Nelson's fell six points to 42 per cent.

Mr Rudd's perception as being in touch with voters took a heavy hit, falling 13 points to 73per cent, while Dr Nelson's rose five points to 44 per cent.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24104901-601,00.html
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« Reply #123 on: August 03, 2008, 01:47:02 am »
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Government Attacks Costello as Leadership Speculation Mounts

The Federal Government is continuing to attack the record of former treasurer Peter Costello, as speculation increases about him taking over the Liberal leadership.

Brendan Nelson's leadership has come under renewed pressure over the past few weeks following his handling of the Coalition's climate change policy.

It has been reported Mr Costello is waiting to be drafted to the leadership to avoid a tussle between Dr Nelson and Opposition treasury spokesman Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Channel Nine the question the Liberal Party faces is one of policy, not personality.

"Look at the three big policy challenges we're wrestling with at the moment," he said.

"On the economy, the Liberal Party left us with interest rates the second highest in the developed world, inflation at a 16-year high and 10 successive interest rate increases and beyond that, on climate change, 12 years of neglect and denial, and the only thing they believed in, WorkChoices."

Mr Rudd dismissed suggestions that, given the economic circumstances, Mr Costello would make for a formidable opponent.

"The key question on the future of the country is are you fair dinkum about long-term economic leadership and what we've inherited from 12 years of Costello as treasurer are the facts and figures I ran through before, including the second highest interest rates in the world," he said.

"Together with his being part and parcel of a government that was engaged in climate change denial and WorkChoices and Mr Costello, among the others, was wanting to take WorkChoices even further, so on that score I've got to say it is quite clear cut that the Liberals, whoever their leader is, have a real policy problem with their direction for the nation's future, because of the legacy they left us in the past."

Trade Minister Simon Crean has told Channel Ten he is not sure Mr Costello is the answer to the Opposition's leadership problems.

"This is a guy that whenever he's been wooed he's never consented and whenever he's chased he's never succeeded," he said.

"He's also the treasurer that has had a manic obsession in terms of pursuing an agenda that really cost the previous government a lot in the last election - WorkChoices."

NELSON STILL CONFIDENT

Yesterday Dr Nelson said he was confident he still had the backing of senior Liberals.

He said he had no plans to talk to Peter Costello about his intentions when he returns from holidays.

Former prime minister John Howard yesterday offered his support to Dr Nelson as party leader, saying it is a tough, unrelenting job in opposition.

"There is no harder job than being leader of an opposition, it's tough, it's unrelenting. You have my total goodwill, my total support," he said.

Speaking at the New South Wales Liberal Council meeting in Sydney yesterday, Dr Nelson said it was up to the former treasurer to decide his future.

"Peter Costello has earned the right to make the decision about his future with his own family in the best interests of both them and the people of Higgins," Dr Nelson said.

"As I've said privately and publicly, I would be very happy for Peter Costello to stay on in the Parliament.

"If he chooses to do so he will immediately be on the frontbench, but that's his choice, that's his decision, he'll make it in due course and in good time."



It appears that I have spoken too soon about Brendan Nelson's embattled leadership of the Liberal Party. As everyday passes it seems that former Treasurer Peter Costello is mounting a leadership challenge against Nelson. You know it's big when it's being talked about alot in the Australian media at the moment. However the Australian media did so when there was a yet another potential Costello challenge for the Liberal Leadership in 2006 and in 2007, but that moment never came. So with such leadership challenges in the world of Australian politics you never know.

In typical Costello fashion, Costello has not taken the plunge as of yet and it has been rumoured that Costello is waiting for a "Draft Costello" movement to declare his candidature. It shall be an interesting few weeks, though I have a feeling that Nelson will stay on as leader until the next Election. Costello's too weak declare his candidacy and knowing Costello he probably won't challenge Nelson at all.

Off the topic of Peter Costello, I saw Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner this morning. However, my Mum wouldn't allow me to talk to him, probably because I would have vigorously attacked and him, and you might be surprised, it has nothing to do with his politics. Tanner has been the member for Melbourne since 1993. It took eleven years for my Gran and myself to see him on television, another three years to hear him speak and another year to see him in person. Damned Australian politicians or any that never come to your electorate. You can thank safe seats for that Wink.
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Here's to the State of Richard Nixon

Some things are better left covered up.
Smid
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« Reply #124 on: August 03, 2008, 08:51:19 am »
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"On the economy, the Liberal Party left us with interest rates the second highest in the developed world, inflation at a 16-year high and 10 successive interest rate increases and beyond that, on climate change, 12 years of neglect and denial, and the only thing they believed in, WorkChoices."

Mr Rudd dismissed suggestions that, given the economic circumstances, Mr Costello would make for a formidable opponent.

"The key question on the future of the country is are you fair dinkum about long-term economic leadership and what we've inherited from 12 years of Costello as treasurer are the facts and figures I ran through before, including the second highest interest rates in the world," he said.

Rudd knows more about spin than governance... When Costello ceased being Treasurer, Labor had the enviable position of no government debt, a future fund to pay off future public sector pension liabilities and interest rates that were still lower than they were when Costello became Treasurer. Furthermore, Costello paid off $96 billion of Government debt which was racked up by the previous government - even after they sold off Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank. And interest rates have been pushed up by the State Labor Governments that have been spending hand over fist and running up huge levels of debt. Rudd and Swan can't go ducking responsibility (although they probably will) on our current economic woes - under Costello's stewardship, Australia weathered the worst drought in history (that played havoc with our agricultural sector), the Asian economic crisis of 1998, the US recession of 2000, the global turndown in tourism following 9/11... no, if the Australian economy in Costello's hands could weather all of that, there is no excuse for Rudd and Swan to be doing so atrociously now. Costello was named Treasurer of the Year three years running by The Economist.

Trade Minister Simon Crean has told Channel Ten he is not sure Mr Costello is the answer to the Opposition's leadership problems.

"This is a guy that whenever he's been wooed he's never consented and whenever he's chased he's never succeeded," he said.

This coming from the only Labor Opposition Leader in history to not face the electorate as leader??? Simon Crean was a born loser who not only never succeeded, but was stood down before he was able to lead the ALP to electoral oblivion.
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