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174039-leadership-cartoons.jpgJULIA Gillard has declared Monday's Labor leadership ballot between her and Kevin Rudd will be a test of character, temperament and strength.
“Talk is easy, getting things done is harder and I am the person that gets things done,” she declared, barely an hour after Mr Rudd formally declared he would challenge for the Labor leadership on Monday.
The Prime Minister said she was confident she could lead the party to victory at the next election because voters wanted a leader who could deliver.
Ms Gillard said she had been reassured that she had strong support among the caucus ahead of Monday's spill.
Unlike Mr Rudd, who has promised to hand Labor MPs back the power to select the ministry, Ms Gillard said she would continue to select her own frontbench team on merit.
She honed in on Mr Rudd's claim that the contest was one of trust, saying her rival had failed to deny having “secret conversations” over a long period to undermine her government.
Ms Gillard said the nation would “still be a nation that needs to be governed,” on Monday, and highlighted her achievements as Prime Minister.
Ms Gillard said Mr Rudd had been unable to get a carbon price through the parliament while then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull supported the policy, while she had delivered one in a hung parliament.
She said she had also delivered the structural separation of Telstra and major health reforms, in contrast to Mr Rudd.
The reforms tackled by Labor under her leadership had taken a political toll, she admitted.
“Hard reforms are not always easy. They can be politically costly and we have paid some costs,” she said.
“The political price I shouldn't have to pay is the political price that comes from undermining and destabilising.”
Ms Gillard accused Mr Rudd of making contradictory statements, saying he would allow the factions to decide the make-up of the ministry despite attacking the “faceless men”.
She refused to guarantee that rogue ministers Martin Ferguson, Kim Carr, Chris Bowen and Robert McClelland would keep their portfolios after Monday's ballot.
This leadership ballot will determine who leads the parliamentary Labor Party and who leads the nation as prime minister,” she said.
“The choice that the nation faces and my parliamentary colleagues face on Monday is a choice as to who has got the character, the temperament, the strength to deliver on behalf of the Australian people.”
Ms Gillard said she remained confident of a win on Monday.
“I have been speaking to my caucus colleagues,” she said. “And I have been reassured that I've got strong support.”
With Lanai Vasek
For the Australians on this board and any others who are interested, I've decided to start a thread dedicated to the discussion of the leadership issue (or, according to some, a soap opera) that has been happening for months within Australian Labour Party and Rudd's attempted leadership coup. I will post my opinions later when I have more time.
A live blog on the matter from the Telegraph website
Firstly, just putting it out there, but I'm pretty sure political issues are meant to be off-limits on Librarium Online. Admittedly I haven't checked the rules in a while so things may have changed...
Secondly, seeing as I'm here I may as well put some comments in, perhaps against my better judgement (seeing as I did just say it could be breaking forum rules...)
I seriously think this has been a completely media-driven challenge rather than a political one. I mean, I don't really know what's been going on behind the scenes, but to me it just seems Rudd got sick of everyone bad-mouthing him in the press so decided to challenge.
And it's the reporters asking the questions of Gillard and all the other ministers that allowed this - how many times in the early stages of all this media outcry of an imminent leadership challenge did Gillard and Rudd say neither of them were interested? How many times to you have to tell the media 'there's absolutely nothing going on' before they'll actually believe that?
Honestly the more I think about it now, the more I'm convinced the Labour party actually called this poll just to shut the media up and actually get them reporting on what's really going on politically rather then because there was concern over the leadership of the party. It would have been pretty obvious to Rudd that he couldn't win from the outset, and as it turns out, he didn't. I've only half listened to the results but I think the vote was about 70-30 in Gillard's favour.
So it's done. Over. I just really hope the media shuts up about it now.
Maybe we can go back to bagging boat people, since they'll obviously be the death of Australia and are all terrorists. (Heavy sarcasm there, in case it isn't obvious)
In short I hate the Australian media, and blame most of this on them. Any coincidence most of the media outlets are owned by financial supporters of the Liberal party?
(I guess I just may be biased by the fact I tend to fall on the side of Labour in most things. Or maybe it's just I'm not a fan of Mr Abbot and dread the thought of him running/ruining the country)
I too have nightmares about me abbot running/ruining the country. But hey, the only real thing a leader of a nation needs is a good speaking voice and the only person in recent history to have that quality was ruddy. Stutter-umm Howard, mono-tone gillard, and relentless stupidity abbot are nowhere near as good as sh*t-on-live-tv Rudd.
I'll give Rudd that - he certainly has always had personality, even if it's not a particularly good one
To be honest I actually miss Malcom Turnbull as Liberal leader. He struck me as a pretty reasonable guy, and for a time it seemed like politicians were actually achieving something because he wasn't gallivanting around the country just saying 'No' and 'Great big tax' unlike the guy who knifed him in the back because he doesn't believe in climate change.
I guess that's not really contributing much to the discussion of a Labour leadership spill, is it?