I don't fancy myself any kind of politically aware person. What I do fancy myself is a keen observer of people, of personalities, of what motivates people. As a writer, I'm always watching people and over the years I've discovered I have a very good bullshit radar.
Twenty months ago, Julia Gillard was manipulated through pride into the position of deposing Kevin Rudd. I will not go as far as to say she was a complete innocent in the matter - there is no doubt in my mind that Julia is a woman with a sharp mind.
At the time my twitter stream was full of 'Go Julia! Finally a woman Prime Minister! KRudd didn't deliver, Julia will!'
In the intervening months I've seen much disappointment over Julia's failure to deliver things she never promised in the first place (gay marriage for one). There have been quite a few people who have said perhaps Kevin would do better...
So now we have the big upheaval of another caucus vote and questions over who will lead the Labor party as of Monday. I'm not here to say who it will be. I know Rudd doesn't have the numbers in the caucus despite polls of the people suggesting he is their preferred Prime Minister (and even then there are big questions about how accurate these polls are - they certainly don't reflect my left-leaning twitter stream, as I say)...
All I can say is who I would prefer, and why.
I would prefer Kevin and this why...
Yes, he is smug. The man can't keep that smirk of his face, he is loving the attention, he is loving the people power, he is loving that finally he is making Julia and her backers nervous. He is a bitter man and has been for a while.
The thing is, I'm bitter, too, so I get how he feels. I think, quite possibly, a lot of Australian's a bitter at the moment.
The other thing Australian's are is supporters of the underdog. By deposing Rudd after he signed the Kyoto agreement, after he apologised to the Stolen Generation, the faceless men created a sympathetic underdog - and one who holds grudges. They created their own worst enemy.
I have had ideals and wanted to make great changes and sometimes made mistakes and been judged far too harshly and far too prematurely, only to be proven right down the track, when the shit has hit the fan.
I get how he feels.
Meanwhile, Julia is PR managed to the hilt. I'm sure she had very strong emotions on many topics but she is a master of the poker face and the impassive mask and I don't trust that - she is a politician, after all.
Rudd is no god, he is no saviour, he is no saint. However, he is quite transparent in his motivations and his feelings and so he is a known quantity.
Julia is much more a person to play her cards close to her chest.
Actually, the fact she has come out and personally attacked KRudd has lessened my dislike and mistrust of her because now she's showing all I have sensed lay beneath the mask. Still, it's too little emotion, too late.
I don't necessarily want a Prime Minister who is completely rational. Rationalism lacks humanity. Humanity is passionate and far from flawless.
KRudd is not cuddly and doesn't give me the warm-fuzzies. I wouldn't have him as a friend because he seems like a man who's single focus is for self-actualisation. However, there isn't much that is hidden about him and he has the ability to be humble and to admit getting things wrong, even if it is a rare occurrence. Whereas Julia believes in her own sanity and rationality - a character trait I cannot fully trust.
In the end, if Julia holds her position on Monday, I believe she will probably lead Labor to defeat. Labor will elect a new Opposition Leader and Kevin will be waiting in the wings. Ultimately, he has nothing to lose at this point and to some degree he can thank the faceless men for helping him become the underdog and creating the perfect 'what if...' situation.