Into a vacuum could step somebody that has never made a point of standing for anything (or behind anyone) in particular. From that angle, Labor might have just found its best candidate.
The end of that tension in Labor is because Rudd’s failure has meant there is now no one in Labor who can turn an attack on the party’s existing power structures into an electoral asset.
The debate showed how much Rudd, rather than maintain the aura of incumbency he so well established when he returned, has needed to take up the negativity himself. Shouldn’t the ads be doing that?
The political agenda we see now are the leftovers from a time when the major parties represented clear social bases in the electorate which they no longer do.
The lack of a convincing reason on the source of Rudd’s popularity, is not because political commentators are thick, but because the answer is uncomfortable.
Politics is becoming more cyclical, but only because the nature of politics is changing from what it was in the 20th century.
If the EU-appointed technocrat governments have no legitimacy, neither do the Parliaments that voted them in.
This is a struggle over the dead soul of the Labor party.
Whatever madmen do, no matter how horrific, has no political meaning. End of story.
Australian politics in 2011 centres around one question: can Gillard shrug off the backers that put her into power?