Rudd sound politics

Rudd sound politics focuses on the general politics of Kevin Rudd and his time as Prime Minister of Australia.

The speech which Kevin Rudd delivered as his last act as Prime Minister of Australia set out the incredibly significant set of achievements of his government. The government was undoubtedly a huge success in the way in which it addressed a number of long outstanding issues. Rudd sound politics was a hall-mark of his government. Numerous articles have and will be written about the successes, and more particularly the failure, of the government. Crikey has contributed a number of these to add to the "reporting" by (the American

controlled!) "The Australian".

The focus of much of this reporting failed to provide a balance or to highlight the extent to which two features stand out as failing to be part of Rudd sound politics. These three items are the real key to Rudd's demise. For those who want to learn about politics, these key features are crucial.


In the day to day thrust of politics, it is very easy to fail to build and maintain relationships. Kevin Rudd was never one to have strong faction support. However, he could work very effectively at building relationships that he knew were critical. From the time that we discussed his need for him to form a relationship with an ambitious, effective female from the Left (and preferably from Victoria), he was relentless in identifying Julia Gillard as the person and then ensuring that their political relationship was sufficiently solid to get him the leadership of the ALP and the Prime Ministership.

Understanding the research and effort he put into building that relationship would provide a very solid knowledge of how Kevin Rudd operates. In government, that relationship was still nurtured. However, it was often at odds with another quite unusual relationship.

The reasoning behind the relationship between Kevin Rudd and his Chief of Staff, Alister Jordan, is far less well clear. There can be little doubt that the actions of Jordan in canvassing the opinions of Caucus led almost immediately to Rudd's removal. This level of arrogance and naivety is appalling but common in political advisers.The lack of media attention about the now highly critical role of Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister is concerning.

In essence, the Chief of Staff, through attempting to ward off any challenge to the leadership ensurred that it not only occurred - but was stunningly successful. In Kevin Rudd, there were two failures. Firstly, there was a failure to select someone with sufficient life experience and political undestanding to perform the role. Secondly, there was a failure to manage the relationship between his Deputy and his Chief of Staff. Imagine how much better the Rudd government would have been with John Faulkner as Rudd's Chief of Staff.


The lack of factional support was often an issue for Kevin Rudd. It was both his strength and his weakness. He was capable of developing strong relationships but he struggled with building and maintaining relationships that were not especially close. In particular, he had little relationship with the vast majority of the members of his caucus. The lack of understanding how to address this issue was the third key to his failure.

In fact, it is again an area where an experienced person in the role of Chief of Staff could have provided a very useful service. Imaging how much better those relationships would have been if an effort had been made to ensure that each of them felt acknowledged. The technology to make that easy is available (For details on how this system would work, complete the contact me) - it just required a little input from Kevin and an effective Chief of Staff.

If you wish to become involved in politics, it is vital you understand the importance of relationships. Rudd sound politics failed to provide sufficient appropriate emphasis to this key area. In your pursuit of politics, you should also take the opportunity to understand other areas as you progress through the Politics How To and Succeed in Politics sections.

Challenge your knowledge on key issues - and contemplate some different views. Feel free to join the future updates through the RSS feed or by opting-in for email updates.

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