Julia Gillard’s done a ‘Steven Bradbury’

I saw that headline today and laughed. I didn’t laugh at this though:

…”What do Australia and McDonalds have in common?….They are both run by a red headed clown.”

Lame I know. And I also I know I am venturing into dangerous territory here writing about Australian politics especially when I confess that I do not have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of political parties.  However the unelected appointment of Welsh-born Julia Gillard as the first ever Australian female Prime Minister has left a sour taste in my mouth and I’m not laughing.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

This isn’t about starting a political debate or firing pot shots at anyone for holding certain political beliefs. A wonderful attribute of this great country like many great countries such as the UK and Canada is our democratic right to vote, believe and express whatever we choose. Except we, the Australian public have not been given the right to vote in this new Prime Minister. Whether we liked it or not, Kevin Rudd was voted in as Australia’s Prime Minister at the last election and this past week’s events has simply proven that not even the Australian public’s vote has any say, power or control over who decides to govern this country. In my humble opinion, this has been a blatant disrespect and attack on Australian voter’s rights and I’m not sure why then voting is compulsory in this country.

I was never a fan of Kevin Rudd or the Australian Labour Party for that matter but the way the former Australian PM was treated has been nothing short of despicable. While watching his farewell speech, to my utter amazement I actually found myself feeling sorry for this smarmy, smug, little man who’s bruised and battered ego has been magnified across the globe.

Yes it is wonderful for the women’s movement to finally see an Australian female politician rise to the top job. God knows the executive board rooms of many Australian organisations are still occupied by an overwhelming majority of men and hell we are still getting paid less than them. But what sort of example does this set when our new leader cannot be trusted? My trust in Julia Gillard has fallen to new lows after the way she rose to the top job. For our first female PM, I would like to have seen a more honourable and dignified way to receive the right to govern our country.

Julia Gillard has proven she is ruthlessly ambitious and untrustworthy and even more so the power and hold the big unions have on this country has never been more evident. When the dust settles, the significance of yesterday’s events will be even more shocking. Rudd was a toxic bore, but he was denied the opportunity to complete even his first term as Prime Minister. Stabbed in the back by his trusted deputy, and tossed out by his own party, who are driven by poll anxiety and nothing else. The Australian people were denied an opportunity to judge this Government after a term. These were momentous events that say an awful lot about the Australian Labour Party. At least Gillard got one thing right. She has not been elected to office by the Australian people and therefore she should call an election immediately.

Yes it was swift and bloodless and it didn’t draw out to a long conclusion. Kevin Rudd had the carpet swept from underneath him so quickly, he is just feeling the sting of the fall now. Whether you voted for Rudd or not this is tantamount to a coup. The people who voted for Rudd DID NOT vote for a change of leader. They did not vote for Gillard. They did not ask Arbib and the other factional powerbrokers to dethrone the PM.

What a way for Australia to have its first female PM. I would have been very happy to have VOTED in a female PM.


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~ by Shae on June 28, 2010.

7 Responses to “Julia Gillard’s done a ‘Steven Bradbury’”

  1. Sorry Shae but I have to correct you on a number of fronts. The people of Australia do not and never have formally voted for the leader of this country. When we vote, we vote for our local representative and the party with the greatest number of elected representatives form the government (or in the case of the Liberal Party a coalition with the National Party) which then governs the county. The only way in which we could vote for our leader would possibly be if we had a change in constitution and became a republic. If this was the case, you would be correct and what happened to Kevin Rudd would be nothing short of a coup. However, each party has the right to change its leader whether they are in government or not. The Liberals have done it several times within this last year and although extremely uncommon, this is not the first time that this has happened to a PM. Hawke was forced out by Keating (although not in his first term) who then went on to be re-elected and take the role of PM at the following election. Costello would have liked to have taken over from Howard midway through his final term but it would seem he never had the numbers to support him. Maybe if this had occurred the Liberal Coalition may not have lost to Rudd and have Howard become only the second PM to lose his seat.

    I also want to defend Julia from your accusation of her being “ruthlessly ambitious and untrustworthy”. From all accounts Julia had been resisting such a move up until the last couple of days. She had repeatedly stood up for Rudd as PM until she felt that she had to step up and stand up for her beliefs and principals. Kevin Rudd appears not to have done himself any favours in the way he treated the members of his party, excluding them from discussions and the decision making process. In the end it was the resentment that this caused within his own party which helped to ensure his downfall was so swift.

    I am happy we have our have our first female PM as it is something that I wasn’t sure that I would ever get to see in my lifetime. I’m therefore willing to give Julia a go and see how she handles things. I had been a happy Rudd supporter initially, but had gradually been turned off by the way he talked with such excessive rhetoric and the way in which he no longer seemed to stand for anything. When the challenge came I was cheering for Julia and hoped she would have the numbers to oust him from the leadership role in which he was no longer effedtive. Now we get to see what happens. I for one, hope to see a change for the better.

  2. Correct me if I am wrong Shae, but the people of Oz voted for the Labour Party. The leader of the ALP is voted on by the party itself. He got voted out by his party because the little dweeb did not do what he promised to do and I beieve he thought he could make all the decisions without consulting his party members. I think the party members could see that they were going to lose the next election. (Mind you I still hope they lose as I am not an ALP supporter!!) Just a simplistic view but I could go on forver as to why he got voted out. Keep up the good “writings” they certainly give us food for thought

  3. So to say Gillard is somehow illegitimate because she has not been elected Prime Minister reflects a deep misunderstanding of our constitutional system on my behalf. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  4. The people of Australia might not FORMALLY vote for the leader of this country, but a lot of people do of course they do. If I have heard it once I have heard it a hundred times “We have a woman PM she’ll get my vote”.

    I agree Shae my trust in her has fallen she sat behind Kev in Parliament nodding in agreement with every word that come out of his mouth only now we know she didn’t really agree. We know who is pulling her strings just look at who she handed her portfolios to.

    I quite liked Julia even though I don’t agree with her beliefs so if she gets voted in good luck to her but I hope its for her policies not just because she’s a woman but watch your back Julia Wayne and Bill are sitting in the wings.

  5. She looks set to be both Australia’s first woman PM *and* Australia’s first woman leader of the opposition.

    That’s quite a pair of achievements. Well done, Julia.

  6. Interesting views – I think it shoukd be remembered however that Julia was one of the “gang of four” that, with KRudd initiated most of these disasters that they are now trying so hard to fix – it seems a little poignant that all the blame now sits squarely on the shoulders of KRudd, while Julia and Wayne are seen as saviours….did I miss something? Judy’s observation about Julia avidly supporting KRudd in Partliament over the very issues that he was overthrown for are very valid – this was not Julia Gillard saving Australia from the big bad PM leading the country into financial ruin – it was the factional powerbrokers of the ALP doing what they needed to to gain another three years of Government. If Julia had been against what he was doing – she could have made a stand before now.

  7. I agree interesting views indeed. I think we as people have a tendency to blame and fire bullets at someone, anyone who we perceive to be left of the status quo.How brave of Julia to stand up and defend her values and beliefs and question that of a man she can no longer have faith in. Isn’t that what we profess inspires us?? The courage and wisdom and sheer faith in one person to be brave enough to say ” no not any more i want more, i want better” Well done Julia for your bravery and self belief. Far better to have ventured then not have tried at all.

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