Federal Politics

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Nobody wants a Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard remake - except one person

We've seen this movie before, the one where the main players engage in ever-heightening levels of narkiness​ and personal treachery until each is so consumed by anger, bitterness and selfishness that they forget anyone other than themselves.

The rest of us, the ones who put them there, are completely forgotten as personal power takes over and any sense of the common good is thrown off the edge of the cliff.

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Sure, we were gripped by the saga, hanging out of the window of the fast-travelling car that was Australian democracy as it hurtled past a sedan that had crashed into the side of the road because neither Kevin Rudd nor Julia Gillard could let go of the steering wheel.

But it doesn't mean we want to watch it again.

Coalition MPs like to refer to that particular period as the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.

Some even use the phrase with a little condescension in their voices, as if it did not take exactly two years and eight days to win government and then decide a sequel was a great idea.


And yet here we are again.

Let's keep a couple of things in mind.

The first is that the vote for the major parties is collapsing.

One Nation's primary vote was 1.3 per cent at the July 2 federal election last year. Recent polling puts it at 10 per cent.

Opinion polls have put the combined first party preference votes for the Greens and One Nation at 20 per cent (and that's not counting people who are undecided or say they would vote for that mysterious political player "other").

That's one in five voters.

Consider that alongside the declining level of faith Australians have in their political system.

The Australian National University's regular post-election analysis found Australians' satisfaction with democracy has collapsed to its lowest level since the Whitlam dismissal and revealed a populace that is increasingly disdainful of government, believes politicians do not know what ordinary people care about and are only interested in governing for the big end of town.

Tony Abbott is correct when he says Australians are sick of politicians and will vote out the Coalition if it does not get on and do some sensible governing in the national interest.

But he forgets Australians are excellent at spotting a spoiler and know exactly what he is up to when he makes such observations.

When he was prime minister Mr Abbott was fond of saying people did not like "Canberra insider games".

He was on the money.

That sentiment is still there and growing stronger by the day.

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