Don’t let the Labor leadership contest fool you – Julia Gillard is more or less the same as Kevin Rudd.
Gillard challenged Rudd for the leadership of the Labor Party and the Prime Ministership of Australia and beat him after the national right faction and ACTU abandoned the incumbent Rudd.
The leadership challenge was a shock, but not entirely surpising. Rudd-led Labor has fallen from grace with the Australian public since the start of this year.
The Emissions Trading Scheme delay, home insulation deaths, Building the Education Revolution cost blowouts and the unpopular Resources Super Profits Tax have been one disaster after another.
Tony Abbott and the Liberals have also found their footing and are now ahead of the government in Queensland and West Australia.
Rudd lost control of the political debate and, with hindsight; it was only a matter of time before he was replaced.
That being said, Julia Gillard will not be that different to Kevin Rudd.
The Labor Party has opted to change the personality of its leader rather than change its policies ahead of the federal election.
Rudd’s popularity collapsed this year because more and more Australians saw him as an arrogant, fake and scripted control freak.
Julia Gillard has a much more appealing personality – she actually sounds like a real person and will not be a one man show.
Labor should recover some points with Gillard as leader because Rudd’s personality was partly responsible for the party’s declining fortunes.
But in her first press conference as Prime Minister elect, Gillard committed herself to many of Kevin Rudd’s unpopular policies.
She said she still supported an ETS and would make it a priority after the next federal election. Yet, no one can actually explain the ETS, why it is necessary and how it will not hurt the Australian economy.
She also insisted the federal government had to play a greater role in health and education.
But this is the same person who oversaw the BER that is an extreme waste of government money and will do little to improve education in this country.
Much like the ETS, no one can coherently explain why the federal government will better run the health system after its track record on the home insulation deaths, BER and the $42 billion national broadband network.
It therefore seems there will be no real policy difference between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.
This point was made clear on Sky News last night. It reported the right faction was behind Gillard, while the hard left would support Rudd. Gillard is meant to be from the left faction and Rudd from the right.
This suggests there is no difference the Labor “left” and “right” factions and that Gillard will be Rudd in sheep’s clothing.