Down under, upside down; or, names that rhyme with Mudd

So the Labor caucus in Canberra will vote at 9 a.m. — soon — on whether Kevin Rudd should remain as the party’s leader and therefore as Australia’s prime minister. The betting is, he’s toast — vegemite toast, mate — and his lieutenant Julia Gillard, who had of course denied any such ambition, will replace him. Australia news front pages here, here and here. A very basic blog post to help you get up to speed is here.

The heart of the problem is shown here — national polls show the right-of-centre opposition coalition (cue coalition geek schadenfreude) gaining on Rudd and that the pain is most acute in swing ridings Labor needs for victory.

Gee, if only someone would explain What It All Means for Canada. Way ahead of you. Here’s a column I wrote before Christmas about Tony Abbott, the Stock Day/Stephen Harper-ish leader of the opposition, whose brash social conservatism seemed merely novel only six months ago but has now pushed a sitting prime minister to the brink.