Thursday, June 24, 2010

Julia Gillard - a new era

I've been glued to the tvs, papers, blogs and twitter all morning.

We have a new Prime Minister. Australia's first female Prime Minister. Historic? Absolutely. Momentous? Oh, yes. Exciting? Definitely. Remarkable? I don't actually think so....

But first, how did it happen?

Well, where did Rudd go? In the beginning he was everywhere, all the time. On TV. Prime time tv even. On radio. Everywhere. Highly visible. But lately, he's been noticeably absent and Julia has been eveywhere. Acting PM. On TV. Taking Tony on head-to-head. Making jokes. Sounding relatively normal (well, as normal as a politican can sound - why is it that they have to use so many words to say the simplest thing?). Being SEEN.

SHe's also been left to talk to the public about lots of tricky and controversial subjects. Emissions Trading Scheme. Refugees. other yucky stuff. Whether Kev wasn't here, or whether he knew no-one could understand him (god, he speaks some gobbldy-gook), I don't know. But Julia has been a consistent voice.

Not that this kind of thing makes a huge difference; after all, in Australia we don't elect our Prime Minister. The winning party chooses who leads them.

But it has obviously helped her party to think she's pretty ace. Her being a woman hasn't stopped them from seeing this. And so we see the leadership challenge.

Poor KRudd. I do feel sorry for him. And not just because of his terrible chin. He's actually my local member. Not that you'd know it. And thus, the absence rears its head again.

Yes, Julia Gillard is our first female PM. But I really hope we don't let her gender become the talking point, rather than her capabilities. It is absolutely historic, of course, and extremely significant for women especially in Australia. But it's not the only thing that defines her, nor is it even the most relevant.

I actually think the whole leadership challenge has been extremely gender-less, to be honest. The powerbrokers who kickstarted the leadership challenge wanted Julia for the top job not because she is a woman, but because they reckon she's the best person for the job.

Whether she is remains to be seen. So let's hope, like we would with any PM, that she does it with integrity, strength, intelligence, tolerance (and fabulous shoes :)).


  1. Yes, lets hope she does all those things. It has happened very fast with no warning. What happened? What has Ruddy done? It just seems a little strange to me...

  2. So true Jen! I'm still in a bit of shock over the whole thing - it seems like it happened so quickly. We have an interesting time ahead!


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