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Australia Gets Its First Female Prime Minister

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the sheila-in-chief dept.

Australia 419

An anonymous reader writes "Julia Gillard has been elected unopposed to the Labor leadership, seizing power in a bloodless Parliament House coup after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided not to contest this morning's leadership ballot. Ms. Gillard will now be sworn in as Australia's first female prime minister. Emerging from this morning's meeting, she said she felt 'very honored' and said she would be making a statement shortly. Treasurer Wayne Swan now steps up as deputy prime minister. He was also elected unopposed."

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419 comments

"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673694)

The news value here being a Prime Minister's gender is condescending to Julia Gillard as a politician.

The news value should be "Aus PM changes: Will she drop Conroy?"

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Funny)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673700)

I didn't know they were dating!?!

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673722)

...and start dating Kate Lundy.

What can't you love a bout a fantapants?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1, Insightful)

TimmyRt (1354547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673716)

The fact that it is our first female PM is what makes it news.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673796)

Really?

You know that Australian political parties outside of minority parties have had a habit of dumping a senior female politician into a dog's breakfast role so she can lose an election? (I strongly doubt this is the case here though.)

What exactly is newsworthy about "the first woman to..."? The gender balance in women pre-selected for electable seats is newsworthy. The gender balance in parliament by party is newsworthy. The first woman to play blurnsball isn't newsworthy, and it is a trite encapsulation of the idea that sexism is about extraordinary individuals, and not every day discrimination against every individual member of a group. Julia Gillard's particular political background, her association with the union movement and her strengths as a minister, are more newsworthy than the contents of her undies.

You know, because Julia Gillard won a Labor caucus vote today, my professional female colleagues suddenly received pay status and seniority top ups to the level of equivalently employed males. In addition, as a result, more women applied for STEM undergraduate positions, post-graduate research, and achieved professional outcomes in line with their performance at University and at work, both institutions suddenly began dismantling their cultures of aggressive hyper-masculinism.

Don't invest Gillard with symbolic imagery: she's a competent minister and ought to be a competent Prime minister. But this doesn't represent the culmination of the day to day struggles of millions of powerful, skilled, energetic women around Australia to achieve in their own lives.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (2, Interesting)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673838)

The fact that it is our first female PM is what makes it news.

TFA is titled "Gillard ousts Rudd in bloodless coup". It mentions her being the first female PM, but that's not the focus of the article.
That would have made it a pretty retarded article. First female whatever is uninteresting non-news.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

warrigal (780670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673936)

Like the first female President of the United States wouldn't be news? Like the first black President of the United States wasn't news?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674046)

The appointment of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama killed two birds with one stone with appealing to women and minorities, and misleading a weary American public into thinking that the two were really about change.

Sad fact is, the guys who really dictate America's policies are still wealthy, conservative white men with large stakes in multinational mega-corporations.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673720)

I'm sick of "First X Elected To Whatever Office." Haven't we moved past this yet? Ideas matter. Gender, ethnicity, heredity do not.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673760)

Unfortunately no, we haven't. Sadly, we don't yet live in a utopia. Most power structures are dominated by men, racism still exists, etc, etc.

*Should* this be news? No. But the sad fact is, it is.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674000)

Who's to say that a world without prejudice would be any better? You may speculate, even wildly, but it's not that certain.

Also racism is coded into our DNA. Good luck trying to undue millions of years of evolution in a decade, with just an idea.

And yes I am racist. It's how I was born. Guess what? You are too. Unless you were born with Williams syndrome [wikipedia.org] . And it will affect my decisions consciously, or subconsciously for the rest of my life.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673772)

Remarkably enough, very few countries manage to look past the gender and ethnicity. We so called backward countries in South Asia have managed it for years, but America, for instance, hasn't managed it yet. Even today, you don't have a proper, black American as President - yet look at the brouhaha. Australia has a right to feel proud of this, they are finally growing up.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Interesting)

Cameron McCormack (690882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673784)

First female PM, sworn in by our first female Governor General, too. Also she is an avowed atheist. I think that's a first for an Australian PM, too.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (2, Informative)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673804)

Let's not forget that in Sydney we have a Female Lord-Mayor, NSW has a Female Premier and Governor. So really this is not new ground for Australia - least NSW.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673950)

Yes, but NSW is only part of Australia. Which most Sydneysiders seem to forget

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674086)

Do you have much of a chip there sunshine?
The fact there mate was that it happens that Sydney / NSW has women heading up at all levels of Government.
If you want to provide the facts about your state, feel free.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

ghmh (73679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674182)

I'm from Sydney, what is this NSW you speak of?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (3, Interesting)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674072)

Let's not forget that Brisbane had Lord Mayor Salary Anne Atkinson way back in the '80s. I guess that predates a lot of people around here, though.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674202)

She was quite bizzare to meet in person and so flirtacious that she gave the impression that she had invited every male in the room to an orgy. She's also the one that introduced the medieval style Mayor's necklace and other bits of costume that's been used since to try to make a Mayor look like they are in charge of London or something. Brilliant at appearance - zero substance.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673842)

Governor General...

Hehe, Canada and Australia are so funny...

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (3, Funny)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673888)

Yes. We also have a Queen. Unlike San Francisco which has so many.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

fuscus2010 (1767234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674078)

POTUS?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

Yoda's Mum (608299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674104)

Sort of; Bob Hawke was strongly agnostic. Not quite the same thing, but still a far cry from the norm.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (2, Informative)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673850)

Actually, what's more interesting is the manner in which she was appointed (as opposed to elected). Internal party politics ousted Kevin Rudd, and appointed Gillard in his place - a few months before a likely Federal election.
It's in interesting idea!

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (3, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673868)

What if X is robot? Did you personally move on past that one?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673902)

Old news.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

NewToNix (668737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673998)

I'm sick of "First X Elected To Whatever Office." Haven't we moved past this yet? Ideas matter. Gender, ethnicity, heredity do not.

Agreed! But your post did invoke a mental picture of Spock as leader of the Klingon High Council...

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0, Redundant)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674106)

I always find "first X is a tribute to non-descrimination" type reports hillarious, if we've overcome descrimination, then why does it matter that they are the first X.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (2, Insightful)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673724)

I can't remember the last time I wish I had the points to mod an AC first post up, but this would qualify. It's her policies that matter, not her plumbing.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673876)

Oh, for fuck's sake. Do you really think the only difference between the sexes is "plumbing"? Stop listening to feminists and observe the world around you once in a while.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673942)

"For fuck's sake" is exactly why I do listen to feminists. =P

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674026)

You may be barking up the wrong tree there.
So to speak.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674030)

You're joking, but it's a serious issue. Almost all of feminism's success is due to weak men who gave in to women's terrible demands, thinking it would get them laid or elected. We all know the sort of people I'm talking about, because they now form a significant majority of the men we know.

But are they the ones who tend to be successful with the women they pursue? I think we all know the answer to that too.

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673828)

MMMhh.. i think there might be a debate as to whether she qualifies as being female...

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673920)

Funny thing is when it started happening I said "whoa, gotta be the first victorian pm in a while". Took a good 30 seconds before I figured out why people were looking at me funny

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674006)

The news value here being a Prime Minister's gender is condescending to Julia Gillard as a politician.

Yeah that's true. The news is really the fact that she is the first ginger [wikipedia.org] ever to hold political power in Australia, setting an example for other gingers to better their circumstances.

With a female ginger I'm sure we will see peace and tolerance and intelligence in Australian politics, with no more support for wars (religious, drug, or otherwise), censorship (the Great Firewall of Australia) or selling out to big business (like ACTA). Because, as they say, if females were in leadership positions, there would be only peace in the world. Now that would definitely be a first!

But it's AUSTRALIAN "news". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674012)

In case you've recently emerged from a prolonged comatose state while under a rock in a cave on Mars, let me explain that there's been a bit of a coup here on Slashdot.

The Aussies (and Aussie worshippers) have taken over.

That's why not a day goes by without at least one "story" on the site, and usually a real bottom-of-the-barrel quality one at that.

Back in the old days, we used to complain about the US-centric focus of Slashdot, but now we're just nostalgic about those better times.

Re:But it's AUSTRALIAN "news". (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674144)

The Aussies (and Aussie worshippers) have taken over.

That's not a story.... THIS is a story.

Now, go put the kettle on...

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674038)

The news value should be "Aus PM changes: Will she drop Conroy?"

I have already sent her (realistically, her staff) an email urging her to take the opportunity to do so, reminding her that the Greens called the Internet Censorship Plan "toxic". Have you?

Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (5, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674088)

Agreed. There are two reasons why this should be a story on Slashdot, and neither of them relate to Ms. Gillard's gender.

1. This is the first time that a serving Prime Minister has been deposed by his own party without even having completed his first term of office (not counting those that died in office, or were temporary caretaker PMs such as Forde). That alone is newsworthy and will make today a notable day in Australian poltical history. What's more, it would have to also be the most rapid fall from grace of a PM in living memory - Kevin Rudd, as recently as three months ago, was enjoying one of the highest approval ratings of any PM, ever. And now he is gone, removed by the very colleagues who as little as 48 hours ago were voicing complete support for him.

2. More relevant to Slashdot as a technology-related site, this coup means that there will be a ministerial reshuffle and a new Cabinet. Which means there is a good chance that Senator Conroy will be dumped as Communications Minister. Perhaps in favour of Kate Lundy (although this is far from certain). Given that the internet filter proposal was already on shaky ground (Labor has quietly been putting it on the backburner as being "too toxic a topic" for an election year), this may be the extra push needed to make sure it sinks into oblivion (and good riddance!).

Whatever happens, it certainly has been a dramatic day in politics. It has made the upcoming election, which was looking to be one of the most boring in recent history, into something a little bit more interesting ;)

I for one... (5, Funny)

Opiuman (172825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673710)

I for one, welcome our new ginger overlord

Re:I for one... (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673726)

Careful, rangas can get pretty offended by reference to their hair colour.

Re:I for one... (1)

cy (22200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673768)

When she was asked to comment on her being the first female (Australian) PM she said in the press conference that she is probably the first redhead to be PM of Australia as well.

Re:I for one... (2, Informative)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673966)

Wrong. first redheaded PM was James Scullin

Re:I for one... (1)

CrypticKev (1322247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673798)

Just so long as she doesn't talk. What is it with that awful, awful, awful accent?

Re:I for one... (1)

hopejr (995381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673874)

It's better than a Welsh one.

Re:I for one... (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673870)

How do rustymuffs survive down under, with the hole in the ozone layer and all that?

Re:I for one... (1)

playerone (903173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673986)

A timeless classic. Bravo!

So... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673736)

Does this mean they're done trying to cut the cable to the Internet in Australia, or is that still on?

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673802)

It's hard to say... it is a toxic policy, and a new leader is the perfect opportunity for a "cabinet reshuffle". If she makes Conroy Minister for Something-To-Keep-Him-Busy-So-He-Can't-Fuck-Up-The-Internet, maybe we will have meaningful change.

There are actually people within the Labor party who are far more qualified to be communications minister and who are actively opposing the filter (along with... everyone else in the fucking country). Kate Lundy would make a good Comms Minister, for one.

Re:So... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674128)

I don't think any major political party is interested in removing the internet filter. They all seem happy to let it slip to the back of the mind.
Also, assuming this all wasn’t some stunt to gain power right from the start (You never know these days) She was in support of each policy put forward while Rudd was in control, so I don’t see her having a change of heart any time soon.

Interesting Historical Fact (4, Interesting)

coppro (1143801) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673756)

Canada's first and, so far, only female Prime Minister also took office by becoming party leader and with no general election in between.

Re:Interesting Historical Fact (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674122)

Hmm that's genuinely interesting. Pretty similar story to what's happened down here today...thanks for that. No mod points to give you unfortunately!

Re:Interesting Historical Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674176)

England's Prime Minister was Margaret Thatcher. She held the job for a very long time.

Please (4, Informative)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673758)

Someone tell me if i should hate her or not, the internet has failed me so far

Re:Please (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673786)

I am prepared to wait and see how well she does at Full Forward for the Dogs.

Re:Please (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673812)

She has been one of the 4 key players in setting the governments policy, The disasterous and disgusting waste of money on the education scheme is her botched piece of shit. If Labour were serious about change then they would have dumped her along with Rudd. So different anme, same shit but even more extreme.

Re:Please (1)

howdotheydothat (1359627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673914)

I'm told she is a total bogan so yes, you probably should

Re:Please (2, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673922)

I guess it depends. If you thought Rudd was doing a bad job then you should hate her too, she is just as responsible for the current state of the government as he is as she is one of the core policy setting pollies. You could also wait a few days to see if she drops conroy, if she doesn't then you should view her with the same disdain we all view him with as a vote her her is a vote for his state driven censorship.

sleight of hand (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673766)

Really this is just the labour party hoping that by dumping their figure head moron Rudd that people will forget Gillard is just as responsible as Rudd for the recent policy disasters. If anything Gillard is even more extreme than Rudd, lets hope the voting public can see past this sleight of hand.

Labour need to go before it's too late. Censorship and economic mismanagement are things that simply can't be tolerated any longer.

Different leader, same old party & policies. (2, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673792)

Unfortunately time and again, women politicians have proven themselves to be just as incompetent and corrupt (especially with their favouritism towards big business and their contributions) as male politicians.

As a women, I have yet to notice any women president or prime-minister leading a western country that has put any additional emphasis over their male counterparts in the same political party on women's only issues: gender discrimination, reproductive rights, healthcare inequalities, etc. So seeing a women as head of state no longer inspires me.

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673934)

That's because for a good 40 years now, the male politicians have been bending over backward to ruin society in all the ways the feminists have continuously demanded. Females could not possibly be more accommodating to the most evil feminists than male politicians already are.

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (4, Funny)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673972)

"As a women" - Are you a hive mind?

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (3, Insightful)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674020)

I'm sorry; I couldn't let this pass without response.

Women's only issues? Seriously? I'm going to assume you're just using short-hand for a more nuanced idea, but still the underlying ideology warrants consideration. Last time I checked the fact that I have a penis didn't make reproductive rights any less of a personal, moral, political, and societal concern. Ignoring the fact that I have a mother, grandmother, sisters, female friends, colleagues, fellow citizens, potential future daughters et al, the fact is that there are underlying issues of fairness, law, and justice that make this relevant to me and mine. I'm not Black but I care about, and am directly affected, by racial equality. I'm not a sportsman but Title IX effects me. I'm not a pirate but IP laws effect me. I’m not a Fox viewer but their freedom of speech effects me. I’m not on death row but their experience effects me. All these things effect my life as a citizen and member of society, they speak to my values, my morals, my interests, and my obligations.

Discrimination affects us all and strikes at the basic fundamental underpinnings of democratic society. Sexism is just as much about relegating women as it is about controlling men and the way they live their lives, it affects the effeminate man, the homosexual man, the artistic and the socially awkward.

A woman shouldn't be placing any additional emphasis on these issues, that's interest politics at their worst. Male politicians often care deeply about said issues, their female counterparts are under no heightened obligation to aggressively pursue an agenda because of their testicular inadequacies.

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674184)

So which reproductive rights were you hoping that your penis is granted?

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674102)

Emphasis on those issues? Or expressed an opinion similar to your own on those issues?

I have no issue whatsoever with women in positions of power. But when special interests start to cloud judgment, incompetence is shown. It mirrors my sentiment toward my own president. And hes a man.

Re:Different leader, same old party & policies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674140)

"Start"? When special interests START to cloud judgment?

Son, sit down and let me tell you a little something about life. I think you're old enough.

In life, we men keep our heads down and do what women tell us to. Sometimes it doesn't seem right, but an important part of being a man is DOING WHAT THE WOMEN SAY.

It hasn't always been that way - just since the New Left killed that evil old patriarchy, and the bad old society that came with it. Ooh, how we hated that society, with its low rates of rape and nearly-nonexistent sexual harassment, and its lack of AIDS and sluts. What a terrible group those men were back in the olden days, running their households like they were in charge, but by golly, we got rid of 'em. It's much better today, when we just have women and weaklings. Yes, sir, much better indeed.

So you run along, and be sure to do what the women tell you to - be sure not to imply that they might be weaker than you, especially if they are, and try to stoop a little so you're more their height. Otherwise they might get mad, and we don't want that.

Strewth (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673818)

she said she felt 'very honored'

No she didn't, Australians can spell.

Re:Strewth (0, Redundant)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673864)

I guess if your country spells the word 'honored' then by the standards of that country you have correct spelling.
I find it pretty arrogant for you to assume that because the United States has gone down a different path in spelling some words, a path which deviates from the "Queen's" English that they don't know how to spell.

Re:Strewth (5, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674040)

Dear good sir,
Your sense of humour appears to have crashed.
Kindly reboot it at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
The Internet.

Re:Strewth (0)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674114)

Mod this up, Funny, as the parent I don't have mod points.

Re:Strewth (1)

m0rm3gil (567905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674044)

And yet she is a member of the labor party (note for non-Australians - the correct spelling of the word in Australia would be labour. A different spelling was used for the party name due to reasons you can wikipedia for yourself if you're keen).

I only wish our politicians were as gutsy (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673820)

Politics would be a lot more tolerable if politicians called each other out in meaningful ways more often. This is the best display of nose-to-the-grindstone politics since Honduras last year.

The Aussie public had no say . . . (-1, Troll)

hopejr (995381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673862)

. . . and they call this country a democracy?

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673886)

We call it the Commonwealth of Australia and the Prime Minister isn't directly elected, but is the politician who commands a majority of the House of Representatives and is thus usually the parliamentary leader of the major party in the Reps.

The Westminster system is straight forward. Why do you expect to have a say in the leader of the ALP by being a member of the general public. If you want a say, join the ALP and work to force them to change their system of election so that the entire ALP membership has to be balloted for this kind of stuff.

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (2, Interesting)

grainofsand (548591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673912)

Unlike the USA where all of the most senior government decision makers, with the sole exception of the President, are appointed? Do Americans get to vote for the foreign minister, attorney general, treasurer et al? No. No they don't. They are appointed.

How democratic is it when the most powerful positions in the land are filled by the unelected?
   

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674158)

That's because the USA isn't a democracy, either. It's a republic at both the state and federal level, something guaranteed in the Constitution. Voters elect people who are delegated the powers to act on their behalf, including the appointment of cabinet members and judges and impeachment and trial of same.

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673982)

I see you paid attention at school when learning about Australian politics.

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (5, Informative)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674066)

The did have a say - they had their say in 2007, and will have another say in only a couple of months.

Australians vote for their local members, and the party (or coalition) with the most members forms government.
The party then elects their leader, who becomes prime minister.

Labor elected Rudd initially, and now they decided to elect Gillard instead.
Also, she was deputy Prime Minister, and went as such into the election, so it's not like people were voting for Labor without the knowledge that she would have some power - and that she'd be filling in as PM from time to time anyway.

Re:The Aussie public had no say . . . (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674160)

They do. Westminster system. We do not elect the prime minister, we elect the parliament. The parliament elects the prime minister. If a political party holds more than 50% of the parliament, then this will be the (party-)elected leader of that party. The only non-members of parliament who voted for Kevin Rudd are the labour voters in his local electorate in QLD. Might wanna read up on how our democracy works sometime...

"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (5, Insightful)

brendan.hill (1218328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673910)

This argument makes me want to kill myself.

Who cares that she was unelected? You voted for a party, not an individual, you moron. The policies of the party are unlikely to change significantly under Julia. The party leader can and is elected or negotiated) by the party, not the public.

I mean are people really this fucking stupid? I'll give you a hint - yes they are.

While I'm ranting, there's another thing I hate. I hate this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf3KovsW1Zo [youtube.com] Actually I love the ad, it's friggin' hilarious. What I hate is the fact that this is the quality of election campaigning which political advisors think is worth engaging in. I hate this because this indicates that this is the sort of thing people are persuaded by when they decide who to vote for. People are persuaded more by a cute, idiotic cartoon, than actual political records, history and peformance. Those people are fucking stupid.

I mean think about it - Kevin was replaced mostly because he was unpopular with voters, and Julia gives Labor a better chance at the next election. This in itself proves the point - despite things not being significantly different under Julia, this change of leader will sway people's votes. WHY SHOULD IT?! It shouldn't, but it does.

Basically I hate the way democratic politics works, it's crap. And I hate stupid people. Stupid people shouldn't have this much influence.

-Brendan

Re:"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (1)

ahixon (1796290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673930)

Mod parent up.

Re:"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (2, Interesting)

grainofsand (548591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673956)

I think the threat by the mining companies to not donate to the election fund this year was the deciding factor in the Victorian and SA factions spilling. A lot of MPs out there rely on mining donations for their election campaigns. Losing those would have made it very hard for them.

The one thing that has come out of this very clearly is that you need the backing of a strong faction. Rudd was never faction-aligned and has now paid the price for it.

 

Re:"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (1)

brendan.hill (1218328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674004)

How do you think this will be handled differently under Julia's reign?

It was nice of everyone to agree to stop marketing against each other, but that's hardly a game changer.

Re:"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (1)

geekpowa (916089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674048)

Rudd's unpopularity is in part a reflection of his ineffectiveness as a leader and a politician. The electorate selected him because they expected significant change. The electorate also voted the previous PM out. Yet Rudd's tenure is marked by a parade of wasteful ineffective policies. He was all talk and no delivery. Disaffection has been brewing for some time now, for years for some people who voted for him only to be quickly disappointed (myself included). We by our politics may disagree on these points, but from my point of view and my political leanings his ousting is a good and rational outcome. Gillard's own policy execution record is flawed but to give her benefit of the doubt she was to some extent executing Rudd's vision. Lets wait and see what new vision she can bring forward as a leader.

The Leader, the PM is actually important. Yes party is important, but so too is the leader. Especially if the leader is a bit of a control freak with a narcissistic streak who genuinely believes (s)he is the smartest person in the room. The PM has significant influence in steering party policy. Just look at opposition party and how its policy focus has dramatically shifted from its parade of leaders in the past 18 months from Howard to Nelson, Turnball and now Abbott - all very different people who all set different policy tones for the opposition party.

Re:"BUT SHe'S UNELLECTED!! BLAAAAHH!!11!!!!!!" (1)

brendan.hill (1218328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674170)

Rudd's unpopularity is in part a reflection of his ineffectiveness as a leader and a politician.

More likely he didn't connect at a personal level with the voters, came across as cold, snobbish and distant. He's also a bit ugly (sorry Kevin). The average people on the street have a general bad attitude towards politicians in general, and don't tend to make cold, calculated evaluations of their actual performance.

Realistically, that's the reason he was unpopular, I suspect.

The electorate selected him because they expected significant change. The electorate also voted the previous PM out. Yet Rudd's tenure is marked by a parade of wasteful ineffective policies. He was all talk and no delivery.

Perhaps, but this is the sort of generic criticism we find levelled at all politicians, from someone, somewhere, basically all the time. There's an almost universal, unstoppable stream of criticism hurled by all sides, at all other sides. This can mean that the actual, specific criticisms of a politician may not be that relevant to their popularity, as anyone who is already supportive or critical will find the praise or abuse they need to justify their bias.

I really find it frustrating, actually. The media is virtually useless when trying to form an opinion on political issues.

Disaffection has been brewing for some time now, for years for some people who voted for him only to be quickly disappointed (myself included). We by our politics may disagree on these points, but from my point of view and my political leanings his ousting is a good and rational outcome. Gillard's own policy execution record is flawed but to give her benefit of the doubt she was to some extent executing Rudd's vision. Lets wait and see what new vision she can bring forward as a leader.

The Leader, the PM is actually important. Yes party is important, but so too is the leader. Especially if the leader is a bit of a control freak with a narcissistic streak who genuinely believes (s)he is the smartest person in the room. The PM has significant influence in steering party policy. Just look at opposition party and how its policy focus has dramatically shifted from its parade of leaders in the past 18 months from Howard to Nelson, Turnball and now Abbott - all very different people who all set different policy tones for the opposition party.

While I believe the actual intricacies of the inner workings of a political party are far beyond the comprehension of the average voter (which is why a funny cartoon could be more persuasive than something of substance)... ...yes I agree, the leader is hugely important to the party, and the party is best positioned to select their leader.

Bloodless? (4, Insightful)

seyyah (986027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32673970)

Julia Gillard has been elected unopposed to the Labor leadership, seizing power in a bloodless Parliament House coup after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided not to contest this morning's leadership ballot.

Oh come on. Did you really need to tell us that the parliamentary "coup" in Australia was bloodless?

Re:Bloodless? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674024)

Well it was bloodless.

The fact that it was only bloodless because Rudd did some last minute polling and found out exactly how much of it he was about to lose is unrelated.

Re:Bloodless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674136)

uh, try it was bloodless because in Australia we are not savages who shoot each other over politics. We have elections and people act within the law. Those who do not are thrown in jail and or fined.

Re:Bloodless? (1)

JazzXP (770338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674092)

Those paper cuts can be pretty nasty sometimes.

Re:Bloodless? (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674206)

It was more a 'Rudd-less' coup from what I hear.

MBCDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32673976)

Hopefully she'll choose someone with some sense for Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. DOWN WITH CONROY!!!

Re:MBCDE (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674148)

Senator Kate Lundy is a contender and she opposes the filter.
Whoever gets the post has to deal with the Telstra monopoly (bastard child of government and private enterprise with the worst aspects of both and none of the good aspects), so it might go to somebody the PM hates but needs to give an important job to keep a faction happy.
Politics is often quite disgusting if you look at it too closely

Is she... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674016)

an upgrade to Pauline Hanson? :)

There is going to be an election (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674156)

Lindsay Tanner announced his retirement right after the new PM got in. That tells me the election will be sooner rather than later. Internet filtering is the main issue of interest to /. so I propose we get organized and attack Stephen Conroy.

Lets all put Conroy last. Copy my sig. Spread the word. Send a message to Gillard on this subject.

Re:There is going to be an election (1)

wokwon (302949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674188)

Sorry, can't do that. I always put Family First members last. Can put Conroy second last though.

Not elected by the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32674172)

Now we have a prime minister in power who was not elected by the people. Hurray for democracy!

Austrialian? Female? (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32674210)

Does she have some sort of pouch in which to store her young?
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