Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gillard and the girls

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."
-Charlotte Whitton
Australia has a new Prime Minister. RIP Kevin Rudd. Long live Julia Gillard.

There are all kinds of interesting things to say about this transition, from Rudd's inability to trust, to whether Gillard's move was its result or justification, from his record popularity earlier this year, to the hundred million dollars spent by the mining industry on undermining him, and from the single Liberal vote that ousted Turnbull and sank the ETS (with the help of the Greens), to Rudd's failure to use his double dissolution trigger. We can talk about a figure from Labor left taking the reins, the role of Labor right in bringing it about, of the likely timing of an election, of Gillard's chances against Abbott and of likely shifts in emphasis. Will the mining tax be dropped? Will the ETS be revived? We can even note the milestone that Gillard will be Elizabeth II's 150th prime minister.

However, just for a moment, can we notice something really novel? Not only is Julia Gillard Australia's first female prime minister, a notable landmark in itself (and on her first half-birthday crushing my daughter's possibility of being the same), but look around a little more and notice that this isn't an isolated phenomenon. For the first time, I am represented by women at all three levels of government: local, state and national. But it even goes beyond that. Can anyone beat this?
"Women really do rule the world. They just haven't figured it out yet. When they do, and they will, we're all in big big trouble."
- Doctor Leon


byron smith said...

On a more serious note, Australians, don't forget to register. The election could seriously be called any day now. Make sure you are not caught out if your details have changed (NB This is also a reminder to Jess and myself that we really need to get onto this for ourselves!).

Meredith said...

Don't forget that another woman from the Labor left, Tanya Plibersek, is the federal MP for Sydney...

byron smith said...

Ah, yes, of course! I'll add that. And of course Carmel Tebbutt too!

Anna Blanch said...

wow....that's some record there Byron.

So, how do you register to vote while in Scotland - do we vote based on our last australian electorate - i probably should know this too...

byron smith said...

Anna - Go to the AEC site for details.

Matt Moffitt has posted an open letter to Kevin Rudd.

David Palmer said...

Rudd lost out because his performance and that of his government fell dismally short of his rhetoric.

Too many backflips, too little humility, too much about me.

It wasn't the advertising by the mining industry that undid him, after all they were only matching the Government on advertising.

Rather it was a scheme introduced without consultation with the miners, their opposition and that of Abbott and the Opposition with all the opinion polls suggesting, as well, a failure to carry the public on the issue.

My predictions for the Red Maggie

* Labor vote up, Greens down
* Settle with the miners
* Promise a carbon tax
* Bring in marriage look alike for gays next term
* Wins election without question

What I find interesting is how Labor when in trouble goes for a woman.

Love your Dr Leon quote.

BTW Kirner was a disasterous Premier of Victoria and Keneally's Government will not survive next year's election while in both Victoria and NSW a lot of those Emily List women will lose their seats.

Greg Clarke said...

Bono on this: 'Women of the future hold the big revelations.'

Anthony Douglas said...

Somebody tried, but couldn't match you for the princess.

Best of luck to you, my good man!

Anonymous said...

i can tick all those boxes (including the princess) plus i work at a girls school with a female principal. any points on offer for that?

Jonathan said...

A few km away, I lose out on the Mayor and the federal MP, but I do have women as the top two in my reporting chain at work (and it's not even a girls' school).

Byron, is there any reason you mentioned both ETS and the mining tax, but not about asylum seekers with unsanctioned arrivals?

byron smith said...

Jonathan - no, just laziness. I could have added many more issues. I just picked a couple that I've been following a little more. I am also interested in what happens to the asylum seeker policy, though haven't followed any of the recent debates about it.

Joel - Haha, I knew someone would raise the bar!

Anthony - that guy at Column 8 didn't mention the local representatives either.

David - It wasn't the advertising by the mining industry that undid him, after all they were only matching the Government on advertising.
I'm not defending Rudd's decision to break his pledge about advertising, but you have to grant that the mining industry (a) spent more and (b) started first.

You really think Gillard is going to go for a carbon tax rather than some version of an ETS? That would indeed be interesting.

And when you say "Labour vote up, Greens down", do you mean compared to recent polls or to 2007?

byron smith said...

SMH: Grace under fire, a sympathetic look at the down-to-earth Gillard.