A Hole Comments
There would be few outside the union movement who would argue that John Howard was a less than adequate prime minister. However since the electorate made a work choice for him prime ministerial standards in Australia have slipped alarmingly.
Kevin had all the qualities to be an inspiring Head of Centrelink – caring on the outside, downright ruthlessly Machiavellian on the inside – but as PM he seemed chronically incapable of enhancing the lifestyle of anyone other than himself.
Julia could have been a wonderfully nurturing director of a retreat for victims of misogyny. Her effectiveness as PM however was handicapped by the fact that very few people in the community had suffered misogyny and it was an extremely rare phenomenon among men.
The question which must be urgently addressed in Australia is how do we get top prime ministerial talent to take on the PM’s job? I am assuming there is absolutely no chance of achieving this simply by voting Labor at the next election because having lived by the sword it is inevitable that Bill would follow Kevin and Julia into the Labor ex-prime ministerial rehabilitation centre if he ever got the top gig.
Candidates with a proven record of success in running chook raffles would almost certainly offer a welcome rise in standards.
One suggestion gaining support is acquiring the services of people who have already had leadership experience in other countries. This source would only offer limited potential however because the majority of national leaders who leave office are suffering mortal wounds. Berlusconi could offer a proven leadership track record in the Craig Thomson style, Tony Blair could lead the ALP somewhere to the right of Tony Abbott but Gorbachev could bring down the wall in the Senate.
If Gina Rinehart was made PM at least we’d know where the money was coming from now she’s sold her Fairfax shares. James Packer as PM could explore the intriguing proposition that investing Treasury resources at Crown Casino would offer much greater hope of delivering a surplus than the policies of Wayne and Joe.
In the final analysis the real problem in choosing a model PM is the mandate that he or she must be a politician. That’s like searching for the Holy Grail in King’s Cross.