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article imageOp-Ed: Gillard faces spill, no confidence motion in Parliament

By Paul Wallis     Mar 20, 2013 in Politics
Sydney - Australian PM Julia Gillard has had better days. Minister Simon Crean called for a vote on the Labor leadership. Gillard said no. Members of Caucus then petitioned for a vote under party rules.
Things promptly got worse. Opposition leader Tony Abbott moved a no confidence motion against the PM.
Labor’s problems are huge:
In New South Wales, the Obeid/Macdonald corruption scandal is poisoning every politician associated with it, including even Coalition politicians. New South Wales was the scene of a massive disaster for Labor in the state elections two years ago.
Polls are showing a massive swing away from Labor.
Gillard couldn’t get several bills through the hung Parliament, specifically the media control bills which were stirring up News Corp.
Kevin Rudd, the former Labor PM ousted by Gillard may not be keen on standing for leadership. There’s some reason to believe that he’s also not in a hurry to clean up the train wreck.
After the call for a spill by Crean, the next move was that the requisite numbers for a vote were obtained, with signatures, in about 20 minutes.
The Opposition called for a no confidence vote against the Prime Minister within 10 minutes of the opening of Parliamentary question time.
Gillard is said by the Sydney Morning Herald to have "agreed" to the leadership vote- In practice, with the quorum, the vote would happen anyway.
Crean’s own earlier statement was to the effect that there “should” be a leadership vote. He said he’d support Rudd, but Rudd himself has had nothing to say, or had no opportunity to say anything.
Gillard’s speech against the no confidence votes was pretty good without a script, showing guts if in a godawful position.
The no confidence motion failed by 3 votes to suspend standing orders to proceed. The leadership vote will take place at 4:30 PM today. The PM closed question time, obviously to manage the leadership vote.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Gillard leadership vote 21 March 2013, Simon crean, Australian government, Australian labor party
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