| 13.05,12. 03:55 AM |
Gillard urged to cut ties with Greens
May 13, 2012
SENIOR Labor figures believe the Gillard government should cut ties with the Greens and call an early election if parliament becomes unworkable.
The internal debate comes as one of the union leaders who backed Julia Gillard for The Lodge, Australian Workers' Union boss Paul Howes, prepares to publicly urge the party to distance itself from the Greens.
The election option is being discussed by Labor strategists, unionists and MPs despite them conceding the party is not campaign-ready for a snap poll.
Speculation has mounted after the cash splash in the Budget that the Prime Minister has prepared an insurance plan if Labor is forced to the polls by a no-confidence motion or a by-election loss.
Billions of dollars will start flowing this week, with eligible families securing their first carbon tax compensation of a $110 lump sum from May 16.
Lump sum payments for pensioners will be deposited in bank accounts at the end of the month.
NSW Right figures have told The Sunday Telegraph there was a "real question" about whether the parliament would become so unworkable an election was the only option."Why do you put a dog down that could live in pain for another two years," one Labor figure commented.
The risk of an early election is one of the biggest arguments against a return to the leadership of Kevin Rudd, with senior cabinet ministers warning any move to dump Ms Gillard would likely result in a snap poll.
But some in Labor believe calling an election might not be such a bad plan rather than continuing to govern in defiance of angry voters with parliamentary support that hangs by a thread and the grace of mercurial independents.
Leadership speculation is set to flare again with Mr Rudd breaking his vow of public silence next Sunday with an appearance at the Sydney Writers' Festival where he will help launch the new book by independent Bob Katter.
Although the Prime Minister has repeatedly vowed her intention is to run a full term, the decision might not lie in Ms Gillard's hands if the independents force the government to the brink.
Mr Howes is preparing to launch a public call for Labor to resist the environmental movement and take a tougher line with the Greens at a speech at the National Press Club later this month.