Rudd is a sly dog.
He's found a way to silence the chattering classes. Or at least a method to stop them from yelling abuse at him.
Keating must have given him some advice - that the greatest threat to his government in the early days would be from the Left, not the opposition. He had to shut the left up, or their raucous demands would drown out the message of competence etc that the government would be preaching.
He's shut them up now, so he is preaching to a quiet, somnolescent audience. They gaze upon the Messiah in rapture.
Whaling, Kyoto and now Sorry are three relatively cheap ways of giving the dog a bone. Yes, I can call Kyoto cheap because now that Rudd has "done something" by signing the protocol, he can actually forget about it for a year or two. Since Lefties believe that fairy dust will magically step in now to save the planet, the government can do nothing whilst appearing to do something. A couple of lefties might wake from their Rudd-induced slumber in a few years and wonder why our CO2 emmissions are not declining, but at least he has bought their peace and quiet until then.
The same with whaling. Plenty of nice headlines for very little outlay. That story has a fantastic cost/benefit ratio.
Same with Sorry. Again, he can do nothing for a few years now and the left will stay off his back, because to then, Sorry was the main issue. Doing something concrete was not the main issue. Symbolism is more important to them than action (like beating drums to ward off bushfires instead of bulldozing firetrails), and he has given them the symbolism they crave. So what if mainstream Australia doesn't give a fuck? The left has been silenced.
The left is like a fat chick. They've been ignored for a long time. Fat chicks absolutely adore men who have sex with them.
Rudd's screwed the fat chick three times now, and the fat chick is in love. Or should I say, luuurve. They've fallen for him hard. He's such a consumate performer, he didn't even feel the need to wear a paper bag. I reckon he's got two years at least before the fat chick works out she's been conned.
Hang on, they're lefties. They'll never work out they're being conned.