Andrew Wilkie

Rudd knifes Gillard, early election for Australia

Labor have shown just how dysfunctional they are with the overnight knifing of Julia Gillard buy Kevin Rudd.

The illegitimate?government?just became even more illegitimate.

Kevin Rudd has been re-elected leader of the Labor Party almost three years to the day since he was deposed by Julia Gillard.

Mr Rudd won the ballot 57 votes to 45. There was no spill for position of deputy leader however there are reports that Treasurer Wayne Swan has resigned.

Labor is in disarray. The caucus is deeply divided. Most of their money men have been indicted for corruption, the power brokers too, the ones left are quaking in their boots that other skeletons won;t come out, but in all likelihood they will.

Labor is stuffed for at least 3 probably 4 terms nationwide. ?The effects could well last for a generation.? Read more »

Bribes don’t work

Electoral bribes don’t work:

THEY’RE Parliament’s billion-dollar men – between them securing almost $1 billion in new funding for their electorates in just over a year. But despite it all, they are in dire danger of losing their jobs.

Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott – two of the three independents who supported?Julia Gillard?to form government – have won a list of projects for their regional NSW electorates, already totalling more than $820 million by the?Herald‘s calculation and with announcements on another $1.1 billion in regional spending still to come.

Their agreement to form government guaranteed the pair – and their fellow independent Andrew Wilkie – three grants worth $456 million, more than a third of the total $1.3 billion handed out in a special ”regional priority” round of the Health and Hospitals Infrastructure Fund, once the projects met certain criteria.

The other 111 grant proposals from around the country that also met the criteria, together requesting more than $2 billion, had to fight it out for the remaining $840 million.

But according to the latest Newspoll, despite the largesse and special treatment, Mr Windsor and Mr Oakeshott have suffered a dramatic decline in support, with voters in their electorates overwhelmingly opposing their decision to vote for the carbon pricing scheme.

Bribes don’t work, just like here where NZ decided against more bribes from helen in 2008, and doesn’t seem to be listening to Phil’s bribes in 2011

Are Act rooted II

The Sunday Star Times gets in on the ACT, slightly behind the news cycle but covering what is going on in Epsom. What they didn?t mention is why National needs ACT.

Much and all as I like Rodney, him remaining leader of ACT means they are rooted. He will lead them to oblivion, with only an outside chance of winning the Epsom seat and perhaps one more, but the poisoned pill of a Rodney lead ACT is not going to be swallowed by the public. This reduces the coalition options for National to some seriously unpalatable ones, or relies on them getting over 50% of the vote. Or 48% and having some spoilage. This is almost without precedent in New Zealand electoral history so it would be a ballsy move from National to gamble on this.

That said, National seems to have backed away somewhat from foisting Tim Groser on the politically savvy folk of Epsom and seem to be looking for an open selection. This is likely to be announced inside the next two weeks. With more than 700 members they pretty much have to have an open selection. They will need to select someone who will campaign hard for the party vote and be prepared to take one for the team should it be needed.

Of course the wild-card isWinston Peters, though i don’t believe the true blue voters of Epsom will fall for his charms. They know only too well the evil of that particular path. I simply can’t imagine the voters of Epsom picking Peters no matter what he says.

Without ACT, and if Chauvel beats Dunne in Ohariu, National have no natural coalition partners. The uneasy d?tente with the Maori Party will end in tears, and the Greens are so far removed from National?s world view it is difficult to see them doing anything other than what Andrew Wilkie is doing to Julia Gillard.

National also need to look to 2014. By then they will be heading down in the polls and without a coalition partner they will struggle to hold power. Without ACT in parliament they have few options.

So National need to consider how to keep ACT in parliament. The obvious thing to do is to offer Rodney a job overseas so he leaves with dignity and ACT can bring in a voter friendly leader who appeals to the public to run in Epsom. A good candidate in Epsom will bring a number of other ACT MPs into parliament, and give National options for government.

All of this though depends on the polls over the next few weeks as John Key and the paymasters of Act review the numbers.