Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kevin Rudd: stuck between a rock and a hard place

Life isn't all to good for Kevin at the moment. Trying to implement his RSPT is proving more difficult than imagined, as the mining industry and its bitch, the Liberal Party, are doing their best as Rudd destroying the 'golden goose.' I can't imagine for the life of me why so many people are opposing the tax. I can understand why the mining magnates are furious, as they will probably be able to buy one less luxury yacht because of it. But asides from them, everybody stands to gain from the tax. However, smears are notoriously effective, and Rudd stands to lose several seats in WA because of the intense opposition there. Whether this will be enough to give us an Abbot Administration (**shudder**) is to be seen.

However, running parallel to this is a growing narrative about Rudd. He had been elected on a plank of action on climate change, and his collapse on the issue and deferment of it to 2013 has pushed many Kevin07ists to the Greens, which can now legitimately claim to be the only party that's willing to take action. This policy backflip-after Rudd had called it "the greatest moral challenge of our time"-created the appearance of a weak leader. A guy who wanted to make change, but was too spineless to push for it. If Rudd were to collapse on the RSPT, the narrative would be complete, and he would become almost as untrustworthy as Howard.

If Rudd were to junk the tax, the only possible way he could salvage his reputation would be to immediately claim to plan on implementing a new carbon tax in 2011, and state his to negotiate with the Greens on this issue. Doing so might reestablish his green cred, and signal a push to a more progressive Australia, which would reduce the primary Green vote. Unfortunately, Rudd is a firm right-winger, and the idea of negotiating with the Greens to him probably sounds worse than negotiating with Abbott (there's a reason why Labor dedicates so much time to hating them). Thus, Rudd is stuck: continue with his RSPT to the (very) bitter end, or dump it to push for the green vote. Neither is attractive.

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