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Kevin Rudd: From Hero to Zero

24 June 2010

Kevin was yesterday's Prime Minister, literally.

Two and half years ago in November 2007, he created a "ruddslide" in Australia's political landscape and claimed general election victory with massive swing. During the next two years, he enjoyed consistent high approval ratings in the polls and became one of the most popular prime ministers in Australian history. Even a few months ago, he was still quite a heartthrob and pin-up boy of many Aussies. It is not without reason - a man of dignity, courage and intelligence, Kevin Rudd is a hero who led Australia safely through the recent global financial crisis. As a true humanitarian, he pushed reconciliation forward by bravely offering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the "stolen generations" crimes committed by the government and Christian churches.

Then how could a hero be reduced to zero in less than 24 hours?

Most attribute his downfall to the unpopular mining tax, but which in fact is just the last straw that broke the camel's back. Others blame on the internal factions within the party that hold sway within the Labor ranks, but which actually is the result of his political demise.

Many observers reflect on the change of the mood among the Australian public after he announced to put on hold the Emission Trading Scheme, which was one of his core election promises. Since then he was no longer listened to by the voters who regarded him as a man of over promise and under-delivery.

The lesson of a hero's fall:

1) Don't make a promise that you can't keep; 君无戏言!

2) Or you will have to sleep in the bed you made. 人、党、国无信不立!

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Australia's first woman Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the original member of Kevin's Gang of Four. Very articulate, highly professional, Gilard's eloquent talent is phenomenal (Wow!).

Many observers may one day also like to reflect on the change of the mood among the Chinese public after the announcement of some popular policies, repeatedly, but with no adequate follow-up actions; and of some unpopular policies, repeatedly, despite of massive public backlash. It may result the leaders no longer to be listened to and flowed by the people. Beware.

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