So within 24 hours the Labor leadship was contested and Kevin Rudd forced to step aside, making Julia Gillard our new PM. Our new first female PM. And regardless of which party you prefer, that’s pretty damn exciting!
It was certainly an historic and wonderful moment to see our female Governor-General Quentin Bryce congratulate Julia Gillard and wish her luck. Did it move you? Certainly a much more emotional moment for me than watching Kevin Rudd tear up in his final speech.
I never really liked Kevin Rudd. And I guess no-one else in his own party really did either. He was distinctly unlikeable in my opinion – continually defensive, arrogant and pompous. Inauthentic. Policy is one thing, but you could argue the personality and likeability of a leader is more important.
I’m pleased that we now have a female PM – but irrespective of gender, one that seems capable of clear(er) communication and looks to have a consultative, rational approach. I don’t agree with many of Labor’s policies, particularly the mining tax. I am concerned about her close ties to unions and the left faction. So it will be interesting to see how Gillard handles and changes policies over the coming months.
I do feel a sense of disappointment, though, that we as a nation did not have the opportunity to vote in our first female PM. That ironically, the Australian people did not play a part in that piece of our own history. I feel cheated somewhat of that, especially as a woman.
I’ve read some very angry and cynical comments by Australian mums on the net about Gillard’s rise to the top. Along the lines of: it’s only a real step forward for women in this country if our first female PM was a mother, as well as a being successful politican. I disagree – I think it is a step forward for us having a female PM. Personally, I couldn’t care less if she was married or unmarried, kids or no kids, gay or straight. Secondly, let’s be honest – Gillard has got to where she is today, at the age of 48, not just because she’s politically astute, but because she does not have children. And frankly, I think it’s a good thing she doesn’t have children. She can wholeheartedly focus on running our country.
Looking forward to a very entertaining few months of Gillard and Abbott fighting it out!