Labor leadership ballot

December 2, 2006

Kim Beazley, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, has called a ballot on the leadership of the party. The 88 members of parliament will choose Monday between an experienced leader (Beazley) or fresh and new ideas (Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard).

Beazley returned to leadership two years ago. He is a well known politician and has a carreer of 26 years in parliament.

The challengers Rudd en Gillard entered parliament in 1998. They never been in a government. But they are popular. For half of the Labor caucus the duo is a sign of hope. Rudd en Gillard want a renewal of the Labor Party and want to take risks so that Labor can win the elections.

The principle difference between Beazley and Rudd & Gillard is freshness. They take the same stance on important issues as health care or uranium and are situated on the right wing of the Labor Party. Rudd is from Queensland, the state where the Labor Party is not succesfull. He has also more charisma than Beazley.

Whatever the result, it is said that Beazley looses, even if he wins the ballot. “A narrow victory would be so damaging that it would prove to be just a way-station to a more emphatic defeat early next year”.

The ballot is scheduled for Monday.

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