I feel a little prescient, though, about his comments on same-sex marriage. It's a vote-winner among some parts of the electorate and Rudd is keen to win votes.
"Wherever I go in Australia, it just hits you in the face what young people think about this, which is that our current arrangements are just wrong and offensive to people."Let's see how much ground he gains with this, and how much he loses. There will undoubtedly be some people who are totally opposed to it and will vote against the ALP because of it. Rudd's almost playing a no-lose game with the issue. He's put the challenge out for a free vote. If Abbott agrees then Rudd wins a small victory by showing leadership. If Abbott refuses, then Rudd wins a different small victory by being able to decry Abbott for squashing the vote. If the vote goes ahead and is approved, Rudd wins by getting the issue through. If the vote goes ahead and is rejected, Rudd can be disappointed and say that it was the parliament's fault.
Seems like he can't lose, right? Except that if he was such a man of conviction on the issue he might also be able to simply push it through with a vote along party lines. Suppose he wins the federal election with a majority, what's to stop him putting the legislation through with the numbers from his own party? Only his willingness to retain support from party members. Despite the noise he's made about it, it's not at the top of his agenda of real things to do, but it's near the top of things to talk about in order to win votes.