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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 11:50 am
Imre Salusinszky proposes the ageing unit theory of Australian elections:
The electorate is considering a change of government for the same reason I just traded in my old Commodore: as any unit ages, it becomes less reliable.
While voters have, in fact, been toying with a political upgrade for some time, Labor has previously failed to satisfy one of the basic criteria: sound leadership.
Voters thought Mark Latham was too volatile, Kim Beazley too soft. But in Rudd they are prepared to embrace a leader every bit as conservative, temperamentally cautious and safe-handed as Howard.
A disclaimer: the above theory is not original. It was unrolled before me by Rudd himself, five months ago, in the bookshop at Sydney Airport, as we stood leafing through Anne Applebaum’s superb new study of the Soviet gulag and pondering whether to buy it. (I did; he didn’t.)
He might be on to something. (By the way, Imre is an expert in the field of unreliable units; he’s the only person I know who’s experienced two cars catching fire.)