The Leadership Spill: Explaining Australian Politics
Are you confused about what’s going on in Australian politics? Let me explain.
Malcolm Turnbull was afraid that his party would be voted out of power at the next election, so he called a leadership spill to take over the reigns from the deeply unpopular Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott was voted into power because the Australian public wanted to vote the deeply unpopular Labour Party, led by Kevin Rudd, out of power; Kevin Rudd was in power because his party was afraid that they would be voted out of power so they removed the deeply unpopular Julia Gillard from office and replaced her with Kevin Rudd. She had been in power because her party were afraid they would be voted out of power because their then leader Kevin Rudd, though popular, was a maniac.
Kevin Rudd’s popularity was somewhat mitigated by his inability to organise things. This came to a head when he changed his mind about climate change, which he had called “the great moral challenge of our age”, and suddenly cancelled an Emissions Trading Scheme which had the support of the Australian public and even the then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull. Tony Abbott, who had also once supported the ETS, changed his mind to appeal to the climate-change skeptics of his party, and then won a leadership spill against Turnbull over that very issue. He then lambasted Rudd for changing his mind about an ETS, before Gillard took over from Rudd having changed her mind about it as well, before changing her mind back to supporting it once she was able to form a minority government against Abbott, but only after sort-of saying she would never change her mind back to supporting it, at least not the way Abbott said she did.
So when Rudd dropped the ball on the ETS, Abbott seized power from Turnbull and Gillard seized power from Rudd, so that Gillard could drop the ball on the ETS and Rudd could seize power from Gillard, so that Rudd could drop the ball on the most things and Abbott could seize power from Rudd, so that Abbott could drop the ball on pretty much everything and Turnbull, who always wanted an ETS, could seize power from Abbott, but not institute an ETS because now it is political poison.
Meanwhile, the last Prime Minister to actually serve a full term, John Howard, left office in 2007.
Damn you, ETS.