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Baillieu’s bombshell resignation: where to now for Victoria?

The resignation of Ted Baillieu as Leader of the Liberal Party brought an end to his premiership just two years after guiding the Coalition to a narrow victory in 2010. Baillieu, an architect by trade…

Denis Napthine may have resigned as Liberal party leader in 2002, but he is now Premier of Victoria. AAP/Julian Smith

The resignation of Ted Baillieu as Leader of the Liberal Party brought an end to his premiership just two years after guiding the Coalition to a narrow victory in 2010.

Baillieu, an architect by trade, had a lengthy history with the Liberal Party before entering parliament in 1999. Most notably, he was the Victorian Liberal Party President during the years of the Kennett Coalition government.

He began his parliamentary career when he was preselected for the safe Liberal seat of Hawthorn in 1999.

Baillieu’s rise to the premiership began when he replaced Robert Doyle to be leader of the Liberal Party in 2006.

While Baillieu led his party to defeat in the election held in November of that year, it appeared that his job was relatively safe as the Party did not appear to have a candidate that would replace him.

Baillieu’s premiership

After grinding through another four years in opposition, Baillieu led the Coalition to a shock election victory in 2010 when it ousted the Brumby-led Labor government, winning 45 seats to Labor’s 43.

The political problems Mr Baillieu grappled with during his two years as premier have their roots in the unexpected victory of 2010.

Holding a majority of just one seat always meant that his government would be one seat away from crisis. The decision of the Frankston MP, Geoff Shaw, to resign from the party over as yet unspecified disagreements with Baillieu’s leadership precipitated the premier’s downfall.

Baillieu was also grappling with secret police phone recordings a story broken by the Herald Sun, which appeared to undermine his authority and power within the government. Bubbling issues concerning healthcare, law and order and the pay and conditions of the state’s teachers were also beginning to take their toll on his government’s popularity.

As recently as the start of this week, Newspoll showed that the opposition was holding onto a significant lead in two-party preferred terms.

Victoria’s new premier

The incoming Premier, Dennis Napthine, is also a long-serving MP. First elected to parliament in 1988, Napthine currently represents the seat of South-West Coast and was Minister for Ports, Regional Cities, Racing and Major Projects in the Baillieu Cabinet. He was also a minister in the Kennett government.

Napthine first became leader of the Liberal Party in opposition following the Kennett government’s loss in 1999. Opinion polls, however, showed Napthine was failing to gain the support of voters and the party replaced him in 2002 with Robert Doyle. After being unceremoniously dumped by his party over ten years ago, Napthine’s rise to the highest public office in Victoria suggests that persistence pays in politics.

Ted Baillieu confronts the media after the resignation of Liberal MP Geoff Shaw, one of his final acts as premier. AAP/Julian Smith

While the change of leadership serves as a circuit breaker for the government, it also raises many new challenges for the Liberal Party and the Coalition government.

In the first instance, Napthine will have to work to garner the support of the disaffected Geoff Shaw. Getting Shaw’s undertaking to support the government’s budget and fend off no-confidence motions would be an ideal start for the incoming premier. If he is unable to do so, then the government may yet fall.

What of generational change?

Another challenge for the Liberal Party concerns its next generation of leadership hopefuls. Matthew Guy, the state’s planning minister and former chief-of-staff to Napthine, has been touted as a future leader. Guy, however, is in the upper house.

While there is no constitutional rule that would forbid Guy from becoming premier, it is traditional for leaders of the government in Westminster systems to hail from the lower house of parliament. Indeed, in 1968 John Gorton became the only prime minister in Australian history to come from the upper house. Within a few weeks, he contested a by-election for a lower house seat which he subsequently won.

Guy’s failure to take over immediately from Baillieu can partly be attributed to the fact that he is currently in the Legislative Council.

While other potential leaders exist within the parliamentary wing of the party, the decision to install Napthine suggests the party placed its faith in the “old-guard” rather than take a chance on its new generation.

Baillieu was seen as an unconventional politician and his exit from office came swiftly. He leaves the government in the same situation with which it started; holding a slim majority that can be undone by the decision or action of a single MP.

Join the conversation

81 Comments sorted by

  1. Gavin Moodie
    Gavin Moodie is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Adjunct professor at RMIT University

    Baillieu was criticised by Liberal supporters for not advancing Liberal policies or interests sufficiently quickly and vigorously. Yet with so little time to establish himself before the next election it would be brave for Napthine to depart too far from Baillieu's cautious path, making the Government vulnerable to criticism that it has done little to address Victoria's challenges during its almost accidental term.

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    1. Lynne Newington

      Researcher

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      Gavin, whatever Mr Baillieu's cautious path may have caused the Government, he was in the right place at the right time, answering the calls of mothers and other's, for a Parliamentry Inquiry into the abuse and abuse related suicide by Catholic clergy in this reference, of their sons and daughters.
      Setting a precedent in both being the first Premier to step down without completing the full term of his tenture, and in the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry.
      Not a bad legacy, his epitaph is already written in stone.

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    2. Gordon Young

      Environmental Consultant

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      "not advancing Liberal policies or interests sufficiently quickly" - seriously? In half a term he's gutted the public service, defunded every environmental program he could find (including insisting 'climate change' be referred to as 'climate variability' by government departments), attempted to keep police, nurse's and teacher's pay low (kinda coincidental the cops get their pay rise just before they cleared out Occupy Melbourne, no?), and scrapped the Vic Transport Strategy.

      What more exactly were they expecting him to do? Win the Federal election?

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    3. Venise Alstergren
      Venise Alstergren is a Friend of The Conversation.

      photographer, blogger.

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      ZAREH: Perhaps you should have made the point more forcefully that Ted Baillieu wouldn’t have got into power without the NCP’s Peter Ryan’s seat. As a dutiful servant, Baillieu brought more than the alpine grazing matter onto the menu, (no pun intended.) He encouraged the sporting (?) shooters to massacre ducks, and allowed farmers in East Gippsland to annihilate all the geese and swans which were feeding on some of their grass. Done under the aegis of the Victorian Department of Environment and Sustainability. Ha!

      All these issues are very close to the Nasho’s hearts and I hope Ted Baillieu chokes on his breakfast tomorrow.

      On the other hand, he did do something which would have outraged Peter Ryan; he implemented a commission to expose the Catholic priests' sorry history of sodomising small children.

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    4. Lynne Newington

      Researcher

      In reply to Venise Alstergren

      Thanks for acknowledging that; [your last papragraph].
      You know the old saying, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, [mothers voices that were cying out for justice].
      Yes and it was shameful that Peter Ryan, a strong practicing Catholic among others, did nothing.

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    5. wilma western

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Venise Alstergren

      Not Peter Ryan's seat of Gippsland South but the seat of East Gippsland ,once also a NP stronghold but in 1999 won by Craig Ingram an Independent . Nats and Mr Bull promised the return of cattle to the alpine national park - quite ridiculous - the traditional lessees were on to a good thing and the damage done was clear. Also people with licences were still allowed to graze cattle in State Parks. Of course the Mountain Cattlemen's leader was Ted's brother in law.

      Ted was remarkably selective when it came to "election promises" for favoured individuals - see the outrageous planning restrictions on new windfarms in Vic. compared with the treatment of teachers.

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  2. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    Goodness me - politics is a funny game.

    So funny its serious.

    Ted's out and in comes Dennis.................probably a nice guy, but where is a fresh new broom to sweep the place clean. Matthew Guy was probably a goer, but recent controversy and some shonky planning decisions seem to have scuppered his chances.

    This new episode will only re-inforce the view that Australian politics is currently an amusement park of epic proportions. But sadly at the time we need strong government and leadership to steer the ship of state, we seem to be getting a ship of fools - perhaps too strong a metaphor, but hey that's what it seems like.

    All sides of politics are acting like carnival hucksters.

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    1. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      "All sides of politics are acting like carnival hucksters".
      "Acting" is the operative word. The somnambulist electorate in it's
      befuddled state seem to demand it or at least politicians think so. Sad state of affairs indeed.
      One thing we should remember we will never progress as a nation if we accept the status quo or go backwards See:.
      http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/joe-has-no-idea/
      Beware who you vote for.

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    2. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      NB. I am glad this issue was addressed by somebody other than Michelle Grattan.

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    3. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Hi hardy

      there ain't much choice these days.......damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      I just hate the calculated spin of it all.................we are being treated like fools by these people.

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    4. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      True.
      Compulsory voting is a problem. If ordinary people understood that in a democracy casting a vote is a privilege, a duty and an obligation we would most likely end up with quality leadership.
      Also, as long as vested interests trough the MSM/ABC are continuously beating their drums this makes it neigh impossible to change..

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    5. William Boeder

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      In reply to your comment here Stephen John Ralph, you are by far a keen political observer, your use of the term carnival hucksters is quite an appropriate descriptive for the nowadays headline hunting noises of the , (hollowed-out) Victorian Liberal Partry) as back in my early years these sorts of characters were aptly referred to as 'side-show barkers.'
      I have to wonder why there is that evergreen element of dumping on one's colleagues, that seems to be the de-rigueur for Liberal Party Premiers especially.
      Meanwhile another former party faithful has thrown his hat in the ring for the job , if only to test how long he can hold his head above the torrents of discord among the officer ranks of this spinning vortex political party.
      Above all do be part of the team to dissuade the return of the insufferable blowhard Jeff Kennett

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    6. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to William Boeder

      Hi William

      at least the old side-show barkers held out the promise of a bit of fun - throwing balls at objects etc.

      These days its all barker and no bite of the cherry for us.

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    7. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      "...we will never progress as a nation if we accept the status quo or go backwards..."

      Nice tautology, Hardy.

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    8. Bill Budd

      Lecturer, Researcher

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Politics is a funny game in Australia where democracy is secondary to the self-serving interests of politicians and political parties and where government has largely become a function of the public service.

      Baillieu's resignation is another extrodinary example of political interests overiding democracy and the wishes of the electorate. The Obeid enquiry and the Rudd Dissmisal has provided voters with plenty of insight into the chronic disregard politicians have for the democratic process and…

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    9. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Bill Budd

      Hi Bill

      probably TB was a nice guy......but ultimately that's not enough to oversee the running a state.

      Whenever ted appeared on teev he seemed to have the enthusiasm of Louis 16th approaching the guillotine.

      I know substance should always triumph over hype, but TB needed to show a little more animation in delivering the substance.

      We need a premier like Bracksy or JK..........even John Cain could get the juices flowing occasionally.

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    10. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Me too.

      Of course, given that it relates to problems being experienced by the Liberal Party and doesn't involve either Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd, that comes as little surprise. But, as in the past, Zareh has produced a sober, factual and reasonably thoughtful piece that doesn't try to do too much mind-reading or crystal ball gazing.

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    11. Kim Grierson
      Kim Grierson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      teacher

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Compulsory voting ensures democracy.

      Look at the leadership in countries that don't have compulsory voting. They have leaders voted in by part of the voters. A good example is the U.S.. There the voters are more likely to to be people who feel that their vote matters, they are important, and tend to be the wealthier end of the electorate. More down and out people feel the opposite- that what they do doesn't count- so are less likely to vote. We need to have government that looks out for the interests of all, so keep compulsory voting.

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    12. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Kim Grierson

      Of course, to be fair, it's not strictly compulsory VOTING - more compulsory turning up, collecting a bit of paper and putting it in a box. As someone who often does scrutineering i can assure you that the one thing that unites all the scrutineers is awaiting the best "Why don't yous all get f#@$ed!" scrawl on a ballt paper.

      So there are plenty of options to vote informal if you really don't want to vote.

      The thing I like about it is that it forces you to turn up and, at least briefly, think about it. I believe/hope that tends to reduce the possibility of adopting a 'don't blame me, I didn't vote' kind of position...

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    13. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      I just love tautologies. I thrive on them! don't you?

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    14. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      "I just love tautologies."

      They're great. You never go wrong with a tautology.

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    15. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Kim Grierson

      Right. Compulsory voting in and by itself won't do the trick. Agree. Remember I referred to the mindset of the electorate. They need to understand the fundamental importance in a democracy to cast their vote (privilege, duty, obligation). I wonder if this is being taught at school these days.
      Another vital point.
      Under the last regressive government the undermining of our democracy accelerated. The psyche of our nation deteriorated. The current administration mostly in light of the media's struggle for relevancy in an increasingly competitive environment has been unable to halt the downward spiral. I hate to think what will happen under a more radical regime.

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    16. Hardy Gosch

      Mr.

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      State government’s I am afraid have reached their use by date. The sooner they disappear of the scene the better. Good riddance.

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    17. Lynne Newington

      Researcher

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Imagine if we were sitting under Tony Abbott's rule, with the likes of Cardinal Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher reminding him of his Catholic obligations.
      The latter made no bones about expecting no favours from him if going against the church, when only a Chaplian supposedly with no borders to the secular Victorian Parliament.

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    18. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      I must demur Hardy. To here I was in agreement.

      Rather, Democracy is a participation sport and voting, or rather attending a polling booth, is a civic duty. Otherwise, you cannot complain when big business and government walk on your face ... as happens in other third world countries.

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    19. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Bill Budd

      Well said Bill Budd. Napthelene was reported as saying that he was just going off to pledge his allegiance to Baillieu when Baillieu announced his resignation. To a political cynic that appears to be a quiet backroom execution kept from the churnos to maintain the mirage of political stability that the Liberal Notional Coalition claim is their strongest claim to the government benches.

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    20. wilma western

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Bill Budd

      I really relished Napthine's explanation that the change is absolutely according to the principles of the Westminster system - thoug h of course far more gentlemanly than that latter-day Lady Macbeth's action !!! The "Ted resigned because he's a loyal friend" story looked pretty unconvincing when Peter Ryan stated twice on 774 ABC the "Ted didn't have the numbers". Sounds like they were counting heads after all!

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  3. Tim Kottek

    Freetimer

    Hi

    "architect by trade" I thought Architecture might rate it as a profession. No disrespect to trade - those skills are in another domain.

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  4. Ronald Ostrowski

    logged in via Facebook

    The turmoil in LNP Victorian politics has hardly been covered by the MSM on a national basis as is the case with the Obeid matter in NSW. The Liberal MP accused of defrauding Parliamentary, and who has been under police investigation, has not had the same national coverage as the Peter Slipper's matter in respect to the pathetic sexual harassment allegation and travel allowance investigation (despite the Minchin principle allowing all other public servants and politicians to pay back monies they…

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    1. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      "...an LNP Government Victoria is now in a recession, while under a Labor Government the national economy is vibrant."

      And SA & Tasmania under a Labors governments are in recession, while WA, NSW, and QLD under liberal governments are experiencing growth.

      Best not to cherry pick this stuff, Ronald. Just makes you look kind of .. biased?

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    2. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Geoffrey, given that the article is about Victoria and Ronald only refered to Victoria it's manifestly unfair to accuse him of cherry-picking.

      Your point about the other states is obviously perfectly fair, but it could have been made without a false accusation.

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    3. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Felix,

      "... Ronald only refered to Victoria..."

      Ronald's statement compared the Victorian experience under an LNP goverment with the national experience under an ALP government. The implication of Ronald's satement - that the problem was somehow a function of political affiliation - seems rather obvious.

      If he had said made a simple state v national comparison sans party affiliation, then I might agree with you.

      I believe that the "accustation" was entirely fair.

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    4. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Geoffrey, my context here is the cherry picking by the LNP/MSM/ABC and the LNP support base attacking Labor Governments. This not only includes the scandal stories, but also the economic management ones as well. I was merely addressing the inbalance which we usually find in the MSM/ABC reporting and commentary about these issues.

      As for my bias. I side with truth and facts, and not an alternative universe where claims of Labor's absolute economic failures, or Joe Hockey's "Give us back our country" statement are presented for my consideration as being rational and factual.

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    5. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      "cherry picking by the LNP/MSM/ABC"

      - You don't combat cherry picking with more cherry picking.

      "I was merely addressing the inbalance which we usually find in the MSM/ABC reporting and commentary about these issues."

      - An imbalance that you percieve, not one that is neccesarily present. I find it quite charming that both sides of the political spectrum in Australia cry bias at the merest hint of criticism.

      "I side with truth and facts"

      - Yes, and so does everyone else. Such a pointless statement.

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    6. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Geoffrey, it simply isn't fair. I think you misused the very useful term "cherry picking", which should only be used for a situation where someone leaves out intrinsic and important material directly related to the question at hand. It shouldn't be used merely to criticise someone for narrowing his comparison, as Ronald does.

      The 'sans party' idea you suggest is meaningless. Ronald was obviously making a political statement (after reading his post, I should have thought the old Australian expression…

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    7. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      " It shouldn't be used merely to criticise someone for narrowing his comparison, as Ronald does."

      - I don't believe Ronald was merely "narrowing his comparison"

      "Ronald was obviously making a political statement"

      - in which case my cherry picking "accusation" is relevant.

      "it doesn't become cherry picking merely because you name two things and compare them to each other."

      - No, It doesn't. But the intent of Ronald's statement was beyond a simple comparison - it was, as you yourself admit, a political statement.

      "I can just as easily accuse you of cherry picking because you haven't included historical comparisons"

      - And I would defend my reasons as to why I believe the data I have selected is the only data relevant to the case I wish to make. I argue, you refute, I try again. That's the way these things go.

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    8. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Geoffrey, you are giving my post far more analysis than it deserves, and I am humbled. While I do not agree with your observations or conclusions about the intent of my political opinion (some may call it a rant) about MSM/ABC coveragre I need to make sure that people reading your posts about mine are not dissuaded from clinking unto 'read more'. My key point can be reflected in my statement: "There's plenty of material for the MSM/ABC to explore if they want attention grabbing headlines, or do they want to continue to see their sales figures drop as they give us constant re-runs of Gillard bashing?" Yes, I have an ego.

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    9. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Sorry, Geoffrey, but you've so shot yourself in the foot when you compare your fourth paragraph with your final one that nothing I could say could add to the case.

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    10. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Geoffrey Edwards

      Come now Felix ... simply "everybody knows" that you are the nom-de-plume of an unpaid political hack of the Liberal Party, an apologist by writings of a Party without policies or costings having a (mis)Leader without majority, following the old adage "tell a lie often enough and people will believe that it is the truth"... a 20th century democratically elected German regime comes to mind here ....

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    11. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      "your final one that nothing I could say could add to the case."

      I didn't actually say that. Read it again if you wish:

      "I would defend my reasons as to why I believe the data I have selected is the only data relevant to the case I wish to make"

      Stating the "reasons as to why I believe" that the data selected is sufficient does not mean that the data IS sufficient. My beliefs may not be reasonable.

      I might defend these reasons against your claim that other data should be considered. However, this doesn't say that nothing could or should be added, only that I believe nothing further needs to be added until convinced otherwise.

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  5. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    One might have hoped that the concentration if capable thinkers at the Universities that made this blog, combined with the multitude of reporters, observers, opinionists, commentators, interviewers .... would have known about this happening some time in advance and told us all.

    Really, if this happens with no prior warning, what is the purpose of maintaining schools of political science, journalism, etc?

    Epic FAIL. Go to the naughty corners and do something productive.

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Harsh but Fair

      I find Zareh to be one of the best Authors on political topics as he stears clear of reading the tea leaves and buying into the hype

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  6. Michael Shand

    Software Tester

    Thanks for the break down, it will be interesting to see why he left

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  7. Tony Grant

    Student

    No poodle attack dog on this one...Gratten?

    Where is all the grand "newspeak" from our friends in the media?

    The rising tide of discontent in the conservatives forces...ACT coup d'état has gone very quiet?

    Now Victoria...

    Ashby/Brough Affair being put on hold because of a "High Court" stalling by manipulators of justice?

    Thomson stalled by "former Victorian Police leader...now Liberal MP/Minister in Victoria?

    NSW A-G Smith stalling DPP procedures involving "catholic priest child sex abusers"?

    WA Premier (due to illness) ready to hand over to the disgraced Troy Raymond Buswell post WA election?

    THE former health minister Michael Wooldridge faces a ban from corporate life over his stint as chairman of the company that ran the failed "Prime Property Trust" plus other activities which have left ordinary elderly folk "penniless"!

    Because all these issue plus aren't written or spoken on the TV's doesn't make them go away?

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    1. Tony Grant

      Student

      In reply to Tony Grant

      Plus...A-G rejects conflict of interest claim against Costello
      By Melinda Howells...ABC 12.05pm?

      It just gets better...and who's house is full of "questionable individuals and policy"?

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    2. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Tony Grant

      hi Tony

      sadly - all too true.

      Is it any wonder we stand gutted and bleeding from the charade of what passes for government in this country at the moment.

      At least one politician in Italy admits to being a clown.

      Here in Oz, we don't have to send in the clowns - they're already here.

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  8. Dianna Arthur

    Environmentalist

    As theatre, thank you Liberal Party for providing as much entertainment as the federal Labor Party. Going to be interesting to see if same crowd who disputed J Gillard's ascension will be the exact same people decrying the fall of Baillieu.

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      Yeah its totally different isnt it,

      one lost the confidence of his members and stood down to avoid being voted out

      The other lost the confidence of his members and didnt stand down but had to be voted out

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    2. Gavin Moodie
      Gavin Moodie is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Adjunct professor at RMIT University

      In reply to Michael Shand

      To be more precise, it seems to me that there are 3 substantive differences between Baillieu's and Rudd's demise.

      (1) Speed: Baillieu's position seemed to deteriorate over months, while Rudd's seemed to deteriorate over days or even hours.

      (2) Public: Baillieu's loss of confidence of his party room has been reported widely in the Melbourne press, Rudd's not so public.

      (3) Finality: of course it is very early, but Baillieu seems to accept that there is little chance of his returning as leader before the next election. Rudd doesn't seem to have accepted that as recently as before xmas.

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    3. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Michael

      Didn't take too long at all, Mr Moodie didn't even wait a minute (check timing of my and Moodie's comments) before attempting to claim moral high-ground.

      The same people who who waged a campaign of negativity towards Gillard ARE the exact same people supporting the change of leadership in Victorian politics.

      Who'da thunk it?

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    4. Gavin Moodie
      Gavin Moodie is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Adjunct professor at RMIT University

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Sigh! (1) I have not waged a war of negativity against Gillard. (2) I don't support the change of the Victorian Liberals' leader.

      Even a review of my comments on this article would suggest that I support implementing Gonski and thus Gillard's continued prime ministership and that 'I thought Baillieu wasn't as bad as a Coalition [leader] could be and as many are'.

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    5. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Thanks Robert - I was struggling to work out what difference gavin was refering to!

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    6. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      Apologies due to you then Gavin.

      However, beg to differ that Libs and Labor reshuffle is from a different ideology - only few details such as Rudd being loathed by his peers and Baillieu simply not being seen as 'powerful' (kennetty) enough. Strategy identical.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      I think they were also wearing different coloured socks at the time, which strikes me as being almost as relevant as the distinctions you make.

      (1) It was hardly news among those who kept up with federal politics or had any awareness of what was going on in the ALP or the bureaucracy that there were problems and rumblings with Rudd's Prime Ministership for some time. The key word you use here is 'seemed'.
      (2) Not quite sure what you're trying to say here, but I think the response might be much the same as above, as it appears to me to be simply a rephrasing of the first point.
      (3) I think you can only claim finality after the fat lady has sung, so that's an empty point entirely.

      In summary, I think the differences you raise are at best debatable and almost certainly nugatory. I mean, what difference would it actually make even if what you said were true?

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    8. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      Were I a betting man Gavin I'd be putting a few units on Big Ted deciding to resign after firstly sniffing the numbers and his party room's response to the Shaw situation and minority government and secondly, after a call to Canberra where he was told in no uncertain terms that he was not to go down fighting like Rudd and create any immediate parallels.

      Rules 1 through 5 of political life: Never resign.

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    9. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Thank you for the correction Diana ... Napthine rather than Napthelene ... still, the whole affair stinks of a palace coup and is very much on the nose!

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  9. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    It hardly bears mention that there are examples in history of good governments being neighbours with less good governments.

    I used to show people Landsat images of the orderly farming in California, over the border from the ragged mess of Mexico. I'd go to Hong Kong, then wander into the PRC for a comparison. Compare Cuba with Florida. East Berlin and West Berlin. I've not been to Korea, but it might be the best example.These are pairs of places where many matters are held relatively constant…

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Actually, Geoffrey, I have been an active member of a political party for twenty years and put in a lot of work at all levels, from policy development through to handing out how to vote cards.

      So kindly shove your lecture back where it came from.

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  10. wilma western

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    Fair enough general outline but there remain plenty of unanswered questions here.At an earlier meeting of the Lib parlt party some backbenchers were openly expressing their dissatisfaction with the leadership - demanding "balls" and an end of the communication breakdown. Of course ex-Premier Kennett had already publicly called for better communication by Ted.
    Supposedly the Premier's resignation was about Ted's "loyalty" to previous Howard advisor Nutt caught on tape offering Tristan Weston $22,000…

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  11. Jack Arnold

    Polymath

    Thank you Zareh for a nicely written article complying with the guidelines for balanced political comment and analysis.

    Ms Grattan is presently struggling to comply with the aforesaid guidelines in her offerings and the editors appear to support her non-compliance.

    Would you be so kind as to forward a copy to Ms Grattan so that she may become aware of the requirements on contributors to this fine place for political debate rather than political propaganda.

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  12. wilma western

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    Today's news- Peter Ryan stated firmly he both had supported Simon Overland all the way and stands by the OPI report .

    The Age mentioned that Liberal Upper House member Philip Davis who resigned recently from a powerful parlt committee and has not told anyone why he resigned had been undermining Ted for quite some time. When asked on 774 ABC why Davis resigned Ted repeated several times "you will have to ask Philip Davis" When in trouble, Ted would just repeat his answer several times. Davis…

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    1. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      While such acts of selfless solidarity are deeply appreciated Stephen the appreciation would be much much deeper if you'd agree to take a few boatloads of refugees ... disgraced ministers, bent coppers, property moguls, public servants ... we're up to our armpits in 'em up here and frankly it's starting to stink.

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    2. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      But peter -

      who'd be left to run the state?

      And can you use some deodorant - complaints are coming in as far south as Wangaratta.

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    3. wilma western

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Paul Mullett is no longer the power behing the Police Association though they still are pretty influential .Mullett would never forgive the OPI for interrogations that led to accusations against him of perjury. The present Chief Commissioner Ken Lay publicly supported Overland who now works in Tas. Ken Lay worrked his way up from being a country cop, is an old-fashioned police type - i.e. not a "managerial" whiz , but has done a couple of good things - for example insisting that reports of family…

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  13. William Boeder

    Conservation inclined and wizened ex-serviceman.

    At the end of the day many relevent comments have been submitted.
    Though it is my own contention that there is much in the way of denied corruptions, denied accusations, allegations pigeon-holed or too simply claimed as bias or gutter politics. The main thrust by whichever person is selected to become Premier should ever be to rid the Liberal Party of its blatant and borderline corruptists as well as those same lesser number found in Todays State Labor Party.
    The failure for the full introduction of a significantly powered corruption investigation commission, including its appointed officials, is something that had been tactfully left in the too hard basket by Ted Baillieu.
    Australia's current levels of State government integrity are still being menaced by the many in the Victorian State Liberal Party..

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