Plibersek, take the wheel!
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Anthony Albanese, the federal Labor and opposition leader known for doing basically nothing over the past three years, was in a car crash recently, but that still isn’t his biggest news. We’re pleased to say Mr Albanese is physically okay, but his position as leader might not be. Rumour has it he might be removed as Labor leader prior to the election, likely to be held in early August.
As Lady Whistledown would say, desperate times call for desperate measures, and as far as the Labor party is concerned, these are dire times indeed. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating is currently sitting at 61%, and has remained above 60 for the best part of a year, following reputational recovery from his Hawaii vacationing.
The Liberal National Coalition is on track to win the 2021 election again, following their surprise victory in 2019. It’s widely agreed that Labor leader Bill Shorten had a lot to do with Labor’s unexpected loss in the last election, which of course contributed to Albanese’s becoming the Labor leader. But if the whispers are true, he won’t be up against ScoMo come August.
The leader rumoured to replace Albanese is Tanya Pilbersek, the Shadow Minister for
Education and Training and previous Deputy Leader for the Labor party (under the infamous Bill Shorten). A woman at the helm might sound like a good thing, but hold your horses - Plibersek taking the reins won't be a positive if the Labor party loses.
In case you missed it, we published an article (and corresponding Instagram post viewable below) that explains the phenomenon of the glass cliff, and this might be another unfortunate case of it.
Along with the issue of a glass cliff situation, the Labor party will undoubtedly face significant criticism from the public for switching up their leaders once again. Citizens have still not forgotten the embarrassing succession of leadership spills Australia, where we saw four PMs in as many years.
Plibersek was, in fact, in the running for the top spot after Bill Shorten was removed from the position, but mysteriously bowed out of the race only 24 hours before the vote was held, saying “now is not my time.” Suspicious. She claimed family responsibilities were in the way of her being fit to lead the Labor party - something that, history tells us, very few male politicians let stop them.
The Labor party has been having somewhat of an identity crisis on a federal level and even loyal Labor supporters have said they’ve ‘lost their way’. Labor voters across the country feel as though the ALP is moving closer to the political centre in order to pick up more conservative voters, and have left (haha) the more progressive voters behind. The Greens party have been gaining voters each year, which could be linked to Labor’s loss of more progressive voters.
Lots of experts suggest that the 2021 election will be a sure thing for the Coalition, and that Labor won’t stand a chance, no matter who’s at the helm. The risk of putting a woman in charge of a ship that’s probably already sinking (or going off a glass cliff) is that many people, and the media (looking at you Murdoch), will have her to blame for Labor’s (likely) inevitable loss.
Another loss for a female Labor leader has consequences. Women across the country are still feeling pain for Julia Gillard who was removed from office before her time was up, and Plibersek’s leadership career will be cut extremely short should she be at the helm when the ALP loses an election. If Labor does lose this year, whoever the leader is will be removed. And I just hope it’s not a woman brought in at the eleventh hour.