Kevin Rudd’s fall from power was mainly caused by his decisions to “shelve the emissions trading scheme, to toughen asylum-seeker policy and to impose the resource super profit tax on mining companies,” according to an article in the online Australian current affairs and culture website, Inside Story.
“Kevin Rudd was absolutely wrong to claim that he had been elected by the Australian people and not by Labor factions,” writes Geoffrey Barker. “Rudd was elected as the member for his parliamentary seat of Griffith in Queensland. Nothing more. He took the leadership from Kim Beazley by putting together the numbers within the caucus [the Labour Party MPs]. It is the caucus that creates and destroys, that gives leadership and takes it away, and it is false and fanciful to try to suggest otherwise.”
A visitor to Australian shores, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, might best have exemplified what’s wrong with local politics, reports the Herald Sun in Australia.
Perhaps both politicians and the public take the nation’s democratic tradition for granted.
Mr Nasheed, from an island nation that stands to suffer immeasurable damage from climate change, launched a staunch defence of Mr Rudd and his decision to delay the introduction of an emissions trading scheme.
The first democratically-elected leader of the Maldives, Mr Nasheed, who spent much of his life a political prisoner, made it clear to journalists he wasn’t just trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister.
“I’ve spent half my adult life in jail, and I’m not a person to say things that I don’t believe in,” he said.
President Mohamed Nasheed will depart this evening on his first state visit to Australia, at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The President is to be given a full guard of honour when he is received in the Australian capital of Canberra, where he will meet Rudd and the Governor General Quentin Bryce.
Nasheed will also meet with Maldivian students studying in Canberra.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair noted that the Australian government will fund most of the costs associated with the trip, aside from airfares.
“Our country is becoming increasingly important on the world stage. People now listen to what the Maldives has to say on issues of international importance,” Zuhair said.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has commended President Nasheed on his efforts at the recent Copenhagen summit.
Speaking to TVM, Rudd said Nasheed “did a good job” in representing small island nations. He also referred to Nasheed’s statement climate change was not only a Maldivian problem, and that it would affect the whole world.
Australia is a key partner in the development of the Maldives and Rudd promised his country’s help in assisting the Maldives to deal with climate change.