Australians once again have a new prime minister we didn’t elect, with the swearing in of Kevin Rudd to the top job this morning.
Admittedly, we did elect the “Kevin ‘07” version of Kevin Rudd, but his reinstalment as prime minister has come on the back of opinion polls and a vote manoeuvred by the so called “faceless men” of the Labor Party.
The chaos called by the leadership spill is far reaching. Senior ministers have fallen or resigned and the government’s policy is up in the air.
To win the spill, it appears Rudd has been able to convince his Labor party colleagues he is a changed man.
Or perhaps he just convinced them he is Labor’s only chance of winning the election.
Whatever has happened behind closed doors, this is an election which must be brought forward to let the electorate decide, putting an end to the uncertainty over Australia’s government.
Rudd has to articulate his policies, and do it quickly, so he can bring some new ideas to the election.
The Daily Telegraph reports Rudd has been working on a policy agenda for two years, which will focus on cutting taxes to small business and dropping the carbon price.
“He will seek to immediately drop the carbon price to a floating mechanism. He has a plan to cut tax for small businesses to 25%,” the newspaper says.
But until the election occurs consumers are going to continue to lack confidence and business will have to continue to be cautious.
As it stands, the election date has been set for September 14, but Rudd has it within his power to bring the election forward as early as August 3.
He must do this for his own legitimacy and to end the instability Australia faces.
Whether or not Rudd’s leadership will be enough to see the Labor party over the line is another issue altogether.
But a vote is needed, and needed quickly, to clean up the mess and give small business a break.