Articles on Kevin Rudd

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Since Kevin Rudd welcomed Tony Abbott to The Lodge 17 months ago, startling parallels between the prime ministerial struggles of the two populist leaders have emerged. AAP/Alan Porritt

Problem with cut-through politics is leaders can swiftly be cut down

The unsuccessful Liberal leadership spill on Monday arose from two disjunctures: between the electorate and the political class, and the leadership and backbench. This former disjuncture has occurred since…
Wayne Goss claims victory in the 1989 Queensland election, when Labor won government after 32 years in opposition. AAP/Queensland ALP

Wayne Goss, a modernising leader who left Queensland a better place

Thank you, Queensland. You’ve been good to me. I hope I’ve left you a better place. So said Wayne Goss as he resigned the role of premier on February 19, 1996. He had served since the election in December…
Julia Gillard’s My Story is about defending her legacy, but she is not blind to the faults of the Labor Party nor to her own mistakes. AAP/Dean Lewins

Book review: Gillard’s My Story, a defence of her prime ministership

Julia Gillard’s autobiography, My Story, presents a comprehensive defence of her prime ministership. Gillard dives straight into the heart of her story, beginning on the day she was sworn in as prime minister…
Senator John Faulkner’s call for political parties to re-engage with Australians through social media is laudable, but his own efforts illustrate how much politicians have to learn. Facebook/John Faulkner

Politics as usual? Ailing parties fail to get to grips with social media

After his speech about party renewal last week, I went to Labor Senator John Faulkner’s Facebook page. It has about 2700 likes. The page features links to speeches and pictures of events that Faulkner…
Kevin Rudd faces the media after losing the prime ministership in the 2010 party leadership spill. AAP/Alan Porritt

Why would anyone want to be PM? Understanding what it takes

Why would anyone want to be prime minister? Why indeed? It is a job that will almost certainly end in failure. Only one prime minister in the last 100 years has left office at the time of his own choosing…
Tony Abbott made political capital out of the Home Insulation Program’s problems, but will he heed the lessons from the Royal Commission’s findings? AAP/Alan Porritt

Insulation royal commission exposes fatal market flaws

The most important finding in the final report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program is the one the Abbott government is least likely to heed. One of the two crucial flaws Commissioner…
To find a revolution in campaigning comparable with micro-targeting you have to look back beyond the ‘Kevin 07’ online pitch to Gough Whitlam’s 1972’s TV-driven ‘It’s Time’ triumph. AAP/Dan Peled

Big Data meets doorknocking: the political contest’s new frontier

Australian election campaigns are facing another revolutionary change, which has the potential to transform the electoral contest, redefine campaign funding and even revive political parties. The “micro-targeting…
Rudd’s legal wrangles: political theatre, but beside the point when it comes to improving public programs. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Rudd humbled, but real lessons of insulation scheme go unlearned

It’s understandable that coverage of Kevin Rudd’s appearance before the royal commission into the home insulation program should focus on the image of a former Prime Minister humbled over a policy that…
By declaring climate change a ‘great moral challenge’, Kevin Rudd owned the issue. That set him up for a political fall when the Coalition and Greens blocked his path. EPA/Matthew Cavanaugh

Climate campaigns trip up on democracy at critical points

Climate change is a problem for democracy. The scientific modelling is compelling and the evidence alarming. The problems begin when the science crosses into the democratic sphere of politics and public…
2013 saw a decisive change of government in Australia. What else happened? AAP/Lisa Maree Williams

2013, the year that was: Politics + Society

Three prime ministers, four Labor Party leaders, two popes. 2013 was nothing if not a hectic year for the Politics + Society desk at The Conversation. And while it’s repeated so often as to go beyond being…
Former prime minister Paul Keating argued governments need to use their political capital to drive reform. But this is becoming increasingly difficult in a poll-driven political climate. AAP/Paul Miller

Keating, reform and the difficult notion of ‘political capital’

Throughout Keating, a series of interviews that finished airing on the ABC earlier this month, the former prime minister makes reference to the notion of political capital in relation to the Labor government…
Governments in Australia appear to be voted out when they veer to far to the political Left or Right. Are we just a nation of centrists? AAP/Alan Porritt

Take a walk on the mild side: the attractions of the political centre

Ongoing reflections on the fall of the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments continue to feature suggestions about the impact of policy shifts to the Left, especially under Gillard (possibly influenced by her…
Bill Glasson, with his wife Clare and daughters Nicola and Gemma at the last election, will have another tilt at former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s Brisbane seat of Griffith. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Glasson reveals his heart won over head in run for Griffith

The Liberals will have their star candidate Bill Glasson running for them in the by-election for Kevin Rudd’s former seat…
Kevin Rudd leaves parliament with his future as uncertain as his legacy. AAP/Daniel Munoz

The Rudd legacy: we need to talk about Kevin … or do we?

Should we care about Kevin Rudd’s legacy? Will anyone care? Australian political historians gaze with envy at the United States, where past presidents are revered and books about the “founding fathers…
Voters in Griffith will soon be forced back to the polls – only this time, there’ll be no Kevin Rudd. Who will win the south Brisbane seat? Liz Minchin

Rudd’s poor timing will likely cost ALP in Griffith

Kevin Rudd’s final speech in parliament last night was delivered in his customary egocentric fashion. There will be many think pieces on Rudd’s career and his legacy, but perhaps the more interesting immediate…
Kevin Rudd, who announced he’s quitting parliament during a speech at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday night, at the Labor Party election night event in Brisbane. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Rudd makes his final zip

Kevin Rudd has bowed out of politics in a tearful farewell to Parliament that drew a heartfelt tribute from Tony Abbott and a highly emotional one from former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull. Ending…
There is no better example of the debasement of Australian political discourse and process than that which has surrounded action on climate change. AAP/Alan Porritt

A values deficit, toxic politics, and the climate change debacle

We live in an age of unprecedented prosperity, in which the major influences have been secularism, materialism, utilitarianism, urbanisation, remoteness from nature, institutional failure (especially in…
Bill Shorten is reportedly reconsidering the Labor Party’s position on the question of a carbon tax, the latest chapter in Labor’s long history with climate change policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

From Hawke to Shorten: the ALP’s vexed history with the carbon tax

As the new leader of the Labor opposition, Bill Shorten has a number of issues to deal with that have been left over from the previous three years of Labor government. Working out Labor’s climate change…

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