You think it’s about Rudd v Gillard? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Crean was trying to find a compromise between a party power structure that has lost its relevance and a challenger whose popularity rests on not being part of it. It failed because things have gone past the point where a compromise is possible.
What is more important is that Gillard and Labor, detached as they (like the Coalition) are, can be seen to relate to someone in society.
To anyone to look at the events in Canberra last week, barely any of it would have made a lick of sense.
In Australia, a Prime Minister facing even the most inevitable of defeats still holds to the end one power of incumbency – deciding when it will happen. Now even that has been thrown away.
It wasn’t a masterstroke, it was just the way the ALP works.
Whether they like it or not Rudd is the only one in Labor with enough popular support to be a battering ram against those holding power and who are the ultimate target of reform.
Rather than holding the government back, the hung Parliament has forced it to adopt the reforming agenda of the independents that at the last election, it made clear it didn’t intend to have.
While Fair Work Australia had allowed for the weak state of the union movement, it did not allow for what would happen when an employer would take advantage of a weak government.
The government mistake in still thinking it’s all about policy on asylum seekers, rather than its own authority, is why it cocked up so badly on Thursday.