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Friday, September 13, 2013

Bill Shorten runs for Labor leadership

Bill and wife Chloe Bryce, daughter of Governor General

Bill Shorten announced his intention to run for the leadership of the Labor Party and will not back away from carbon pricing or the NBN. You have to admire his courage at the outset to stick with two politices very unpopular with the electorate.  Tony Abbott pledged to scrap the carbon tax and the NBN and would argue that he now has a mandate to do it.

Labor Caucus meets today at noon and they have a lot to discuss. Anthony Albanese has yet to enter the race but he and others have until next Friday to nominate.  The candidate will be elected under the new rules put forward by Kevin Rudd just before the election.  The winner will be voted in by the majority of Labor Party members, regardless of how Caucus votes.

Labor Stategist and Rudd supporter Bruce Hawker defended the new rules which seem to make a lot of sense.  "There is no doubt that moving away from factions and some affiliated unions to the rank and file, there will be a much greater influence exerted by ordinary members" he said.

But the new ballot rules could leave the leadership vacant for more than a month until all the votes are counted and it's been ridiculed by Labor Senator Stephen Conroy as ridiculous.  Other MPs think it's the best way forward for the party and it will be interesting to see if they abolish the new rules or retain them.

Bill Shorten can never distance himself from the part he played in the political death of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard but now he wants the party to "draw a line under the division of the years of the Rudd and Gillard era" and give him a chance to bring the party back from the grave.

We watch and wait with interest.