Coup d'etat in Australia

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Krago
Coup d'etat in Australia

Well, sort of.

Krago
Stockholm

What's really extraordinary about this is just how different Australian politics are from Canadian politics because of their process for choosing and unchoosing party leaders. In Australia, the party leader is elected by the parliamentary caucus. Period. and a simple majority vote of the Parliamentary caucus can dump and replace a leader at any time - even a sitting PM.

Imagine if we had that system in Canada? Martin would have replaced Chretien in about 1999 when most Liberal Mps became "Martinites". Dion would never have been Liberal leader in the first place and Iggy would have been dumped by now as well...

Caissa

thread drift/ This used to be the Canadian model a la Abbott, Thompson, Bowell and Tupper in the 1890s. I suppose I could look it up but I'm not sure off the top of my head when we switched to delegated conventions/end thread drift

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The current method makes a mockery of the Communist collective approach to leadership. Perhaps it was instituted as a way to screw up the Reds ... way back when they actually had MPs and/or the chance of electing them.

Stockholm

THis was also the model in the UK up until very recently. Thatcher was dumped in 1990 when it became clear that she was going to lose a vote by the Tory caucus - and back in 1974, Thatcher became Tory leader in the UK after a caucus vote to get rid of Edward Heath.

FYI: In 1919, the Liberals held a convention (a first time for a Canadian party and considered a bit of a novelty) to pick a successor to Laurier as their leader - it was won narrowly by a little known corporate lawyer named Mackenzie King!  

Stockholm

N.Beltov wrote:

The current method makes a mockery of the Communist collective approach to leadership. Perhaps it was instituted as a way to screw up the Reds ... way back when they actually had MPs and/or the chance of electing them.

 

No, this is not some universal law in Australia. Parties are free to choose their own systems for picking leaders - it just happens that the two big parties (Liberals and Labor) have stuck with the old British system of only having the caucus vote. Smaller parties with hardly any MPs or senators (ie: Greens, Australian Democrats, etc...) let their membership vote on leaders. The Labor party could switch to the Canadian system anytime it wanted to.

Interestingly, this system caused chaos in the opposition rightwing Liberal party too. John Howard quit as leader after losing in 2007 - the Liberal caucus choose Malcolm Turnbull as his successor, then about three months ago, Liberal MPs decided Turnbull wasn't doing a good enough job and by a ONE VOTE margin they dumped him as leader in favour of the current leader Tony Abbott.

In this case, if the "coup" succeeds, the new Labor party leader Julia Gillard is thought to be much more on the left of the party than is Kevin Rudd.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Well a very Australian coup might be a pleasant antidote to A Very British Coup.

Stockholm

One of the reaons for the coup against Rudd:

"It brought to the surface all the resentment about Rudd's leadership style, the concentration of power in his personal office and the sidelining of cabinet and the factions and the caucus."

Harper is lucky Canada doesn't have the Australian system or else his own caucus might have dumped him long ago!

Fidel

N.Beltov wrote:

Well a very Australian coup might be a pleasant antidote to A Very British Coup.

I have that video. Someone here on rabble recommended it. I still have to view it as my player was busted for a while. Lesson to the wise: Never let Orangutans loose in your home.

I was off of Rudd after reading Pilger's criticisms of the way Aborigines continue to be treated down under. Hit the road, Kevin, you smarmy bugga.

NorthReport
ghoris

It's over: 'Gillard takes power in bloodless coup.'

 

Quote:

Kevin Rudd has decided not to stand in this morning's ALP leadership ballot, relinquishing the Prime Ministership and handing power to his deputy Julia Gillard in a bloodless Parliament House coup.

Mr Rudd had called for a leadership ballot to be held at 9:00am AEST today but has decided not to contest the ballot after it became clear he would be soundly defeated.

Ms Gillard now has the task of leading a party traumatised and divided by the recent dramatic events to the federal election which could be held in a matter of weeks.

Gillard is a lawyer by training and seems to have pretty decent 'left' credentials: former head of the Australian Union of Students, former secretary of the Socialist Forum, is associated with the 'Socialist Left' faction of the ALP, and drafted the affirmative action rules used in the Victoria ALP.

Australia might be the only Westminster-style Parliamentary democracy where the leaders of the main parties are elected exclusively by the parliamentary party. The UK Tories have a hybrid system where the parliamentary party votes to narrow the field to two candidates, who are then submitted to the membership for a vote.

500_Apples

Kevin Rudd supposedly had good left credentials. The Australians I met in my brief time there seemed disappointed.

Doug

Congratulations Julia Gillard! Now your job is to avoid becoming the Australian Kim Campbell.

Caissa

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced Friday that Australia's leading mining companies have agreed to pay a 30 percent tax on the profits from iron-ore and coal mining.

Gillard announced the plan, which scraps the name "super-profits" that had been used by her predecessor, in Canberra, with Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan at her side.

Friday's announcement is a step back from what her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, had sought -- a 40 percent tax on profits across the mining industry.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/07/01/australia.mining.tax/ind...

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

All of this goes back to the proposed mining tax on the multinationals like BHP, Anglo-American and Xstrata. After Rudd was targeted in a smear campaign, and resigned, the government re-wrote the tax. Check for further info at: http://www.kitcometals.com/

 

humanity4all
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The international significance of the political coup in Australia
7 July 2010

quote:
The manner of Gillard’s elevation is without precedent in Australian politics. Previously, leadership changes within Labor governments have involved open challenges to the incumbent, protracted lobbying, both publicly and behind the scenes, by the various contenders, discussion and votes within caucus (made up of all the party’s parliamentary representatives) and generally lengthy transition periods from one prime minister to the next. Rudd’s political execution, on the contrary, was conducted without notice, and without any parliamentarian raising a single public criticism of Rudd, on any issue, before it was carried out. Instead, a handful of faceless factional leaders, acting at the direct behest of the major transnational mining corporations and other sections of business and finance capital, simply installed Gillard in a matter of 24 hours.

The Labor caucus, let alone the party’s general membership, played no role in the process. Even Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner—who alongside Rudd, Gillard, and Treasurer Wayne Swan, was one of the government’s supposedly all-powerful “Gang of Four”—watched the leadership challenge unfold on television, without any prior knowledge of what was happening. The next morning, no-one, including Rudd himself, made any protest as Gillard was crowned leader. Not even a caucus vote was held.

One of the key factors in these extraordinary events was hostility, on the part of multi-national mining companies, to Rudd’s proposed Resource Super Profits Tax. The Labor Party apparatus is bound to the resource giants by a thousand threads, including campaign donations, personal connections, and employee exchanges. Within a week of Rudd’s ousting, Gillard had met the mining magnates’ deadline for a back down on the new tax, by awarding them a multi-billion dollar windfall through various concessions....

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jul2010/pers-j07.shtml

NorthReport

Stupid, stupid Gillard supporters in the Austalian Labour Party. Not in any way condoning the recent questioning of Gillard over her husband's sexuality however what goes around comes around. As a result of her brilliant efforts in deposing the previous Labour Leader, the Labour Party is going to get crushed in the next election and Rudd will probably end up replacing her.

How dumb can Labour be.

Radio host sacked over Australia PM Gillard interview

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22900880

 

NorthReport

Almost too late for that.

Doug wrote:

Congratulations Julia Gillard! Now your job is to avoid becoming the Australian Kim Campbell.

NorthReport
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The thread title is unintentionally insulting to the memory of Gough Whitlam, the last genuinely progressive Australian prime minister, who was, in fact, the victim of a bloodless coup in 1975:   http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-forgotten-coup-how-america-and-britai...

NDPP

Speaking of which...

Sixth Australian Prime Minister Ousted in 11 Years

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/24/turn-a24.html

"Amid unprecedented scenes of chaos and conflict, Malcolm Turnbull was today ousted as prime minister of Australia after a political campaign against him organised by the most right-wing faction of the ruling Liberal Party. The extraordinary events of the past week point to the mounting instability and fragility wracking the parliamentary order.

Turnbull told a media conference yesterday that the coup against him was 'a very deliberate effort to pull the Liberal Party further to the right.' And those leading the charge against Turnbull have been figures closely associated with the US-linked military and intelligence forces..."