Tag Archives: Australia’s first female Prime Minister

Kevin bows out as Julia takes the helm.

As you all know Julia Gillard has been voted in as the leader of the Federal Labor Party and as such Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd has had his say and Julia has made her first speech as PM.

Kevin Rudd’s speech was one full of emotion with tears seeming to be just below the surface. He outlined his achievements, as expected, thanked the Australian people and the Labor Party for their support during his time as Prime Minister. He also confirmed that he will stand as a candidate in the next election.
Like I said Kevin Rudd’s speech was full of emotion with his family standing behind him in support. At one stage he joked that “What I am less proud of is the fact that I have now blubbered.” Perhaps if had done a bit more blubbering and shown a bit more human emotion he would not be in this position now. It worked for Bob Hawke so it was worth a go.

On to Julia’s speech which of course is quite important for the future of the current Government and an historic moment.
She paid tribute to her parents and the hardworking values that they taught her. It was these hardworking values that were to set the mood for the rest of her speech.

I won’t go through the whole speech here. There are plenty more places where you will be able to read about that.
What I thought were the biggest things to come out of her speech were her wishes to focus on leading a hard working Government focused on providing quality services for the people of Australia. but some of the big changes in direction will come with Julia Gillard “throwing open the Governments doors” to the mining companies to negotiate on the mining tax issue.
Julia will halt the Governments advertising campaign on the mining tax and asked the mining companies to halt theirs as well. Although she would not say it in questioning, she did seem to indicate that everything was negotiable including the previously non-negotiable 40% tax rate. This could be the one thing that makes the biggest difference as it has been the biggest weapon used against them in recent weeks and has done a lot of damage.

Julia did recognise the part she has played in the Rudd Governments shortcomings but also claimed credit for its success.
Of course there was the compulsory tribute to Kevin Rudd.

When asked about the change in her commitment to Kevin Rudd as leader she stated that it had become more and more apparent to her that the government had “lost its way” and she had done what she could as Deputy Leader and it was time for her to move to take the leadership.
Upon being asked whether she would be living in The Lodge Julia Gillard said that should would continue to live in her house in South Australia and her flat in Canberra. Obviously there is no benefit in moving house if you may have to move again in a few months time.

Wayne Swann also spoke but really only echoed what Julia Gillard had said and created a united front for the new Labor leadership.

Tony Abbott has also had his say on the matter saying that despite the change in leadership it makes no difference. It is “the same product different salesman.” He sought to capitalise on Julia Gillard’s line that “the Government had lost its way.” He also tied Julia Gillard straight back to the failings of the Rudd Government saying that she was the “co-author” of its policies along with Kevin Rudd.
It was predictably full of the political spin that you would expect from Tony Abbott.
Highlighting the fact that Julia Gillard was not elected as Prime Minister and he stated his dissappointment that the style of New South Wales Labor had come to Canberra.

One thing That Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard both agreed upon was that they are each there to make sure that the other is not elected as Prime Minister. Well of course they are that is usually how elections work in our system.

Julia Gillard has now been sworn as Prime Minister by the Governor General Quentin Bryce.

While Julia Gillard would not be drawn on when an election would be held she did say that she would be visiting the Governor General soon to ask for an election to be held.

Certainly this election will be interesting.
How will a Gillard Goverment afect the election campaign and its eventual result?
How will Julia Gillard’s leadership change to direction and feel of the Federal Government?

Certainly Julia Gillard has a job to do. She may not have intended to “crash her head through any glass ceilings” but now that she has she will need to justify her acheivement and buckle down to the hard task ahead of leading the Country and leading the Government to the next election.

Julia wins.

Julia Gillard is now Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

Julia Gillard and Wayne Swann – Photo from ABC TV

Julia Gillard now has the job of leading the Labor Party into the next election but can she lead them to victory? Only time will tell but one thing is certain her job will not be easy.

Mike Foreshaw announced that Julia Gillard has been elected by the Labor Caucus unopposed after Kevin Rudd stood aside during the Caucus meeting. Indeed there was a lot of pressure on Rudd to stand aside and save himself the embarrassment of a messy leadership vote. Wayne Swann has also been elected as Deputy PM by the Labor Caucus.

Big changes will be needed. Changes to the mining tax. Action on the ETS. Certainly a less a less arrogant leadership style will be required.

With Julia Gillard as PM how will this change the look of Labor’s from bench. Wayne Swann is deputy PM but who else will fill the new cabinet. We will have to see who will take on Treasury and other key ministries. Certainly people the of Julia Gillard’s Cabinet will speak loud about who is behind and where her influences are.

With Julia Gillard now Australia’s first female Prime Minister is this really an important issue or is it more important that the person be right for the job.

I wish Julia the best of luck she will certainly need it.
Now is the time to see what people have to say most of all Julia Gillard.

Looks like a done deal.

With about 30 minutes before the Labor Caucus starts its leadership meeting it looks like Julia Gillard has the numbers to win.

With an estimated 66 votes out 115 Julia Gillard looks to be our first female PM.

I can’t help thinking that if Kevin Rudd had listened to other people more instead of blindly pushing on with his own ideas he may not be in this position now.
In what seems to be just another sign of Kevin Rudd’s arrogance I have heard that rather than make calls to Labor MP’s himself, he had staffers make the calls. If any MP’s were having a bit of trouble making up their mind that call just made it so much easier.

Whatever happens we will find out after 9am who will be Prime Minister.

How will this change Labor’s direction and how will it change the upcoming election?

Rudd’s job on the line.

Kevin Rudd has announced that there will be a leadership vote at 9:00am tomorrow morning (Thursday 24th June).

In his recent press conference tonight Kevin Rudd went over what he has achieved in his time so far as Prime Minister, things like the economy, education and apology but says “there is much more to be done.”

When asked questions about whether he felt betrayed or whether he would expect Julia Gillard to stand down as Deputy PM if she lost, Kevin Rudd totally avoided the questions.

According to many news reports and Labor sources Kevin Rudd does not have the numbers to win the leadership vote but said in his press conference that he will be standing against Julia Gillard in an attempt to keep the Prime Ministership. He also said he felt he would win. Is this just positive thinking or is he just fooling himself.

Some Labor members have already come out and publicly said they will be voting for Julia Gillard. Kate Lundy, a Labor Senator for the ACT has said on Twitter “I will be voting for Julia Gillard in the l’ship ballot. She will be an inspiring PM!”

Most importantly for Julia Gillard is that she has the support of the AWU, the union that supported Kevin Rudd to his election win in 2007.
With such powerful support Julia Gillard certainly has the upper hand in tomorrow mornings caucus meeting.

Paul Howes, the National Secretary of the AWU says “Labor’s message had been lost for the last few weeks, and in fact months, under the Prime Minister’s leadership,” he told ABC’s Lateline program.

“We have to look at what’s in the best interests of our members, of our union, to ensure that fairness remains in our members’ workplaces.

“We think that Julia Gillard is the best option to lead Labor to victory at the upcoming election.”

They have clearly positioned themselves behind Julia Gillard which will almost guarantee her a victory tomorrow but of nothing is certain in politics.

The timing to also adds an interesting twist to these events. With Federal Parliament about to break, will this be an advantage for Julia Gillard, allowing her to settle into the Prime Ministers position without the distraction of Parliament Will it just make it harder for her to get the new Labor message, that come with her, out to the people she will be asking to vote for her and her party.

If Julia Gillard wins,will she be able to lead the Labor Party to an unlikely election win? If Kevin Rudd wins I am sure nothing will change and Labor will loose for sure.

With nothing more to be done tonight other than watch the Socceroos play Serbia in the World Cup tonight we will all have to wait until tomorrow morning to see what happens.

Rudd could be close to getting the arse.

Labor Party leaders are locked in talks tonight about Kevin Rudd’s leadership.

In what seems to be a move coming from the Victorian and South Australian Right, powerful party figures have been secretly canvassing numbers for a move to dump the Prime Minister and replace him with his deputy, Julia Gillard.

Haven’t the Labor party learned that leadership spills don’t win elections or are they just desperate to salvage as many votes as they can.

Now for what it is worth, I think Julia Gillard would be a leader, but can she win the election. Only time will tell but it will be a long shot.

I think the one saddest part about Julia Gillard possibly becoming Australia’s first female Prime Minister is that she won’t have been voted in by the people. Just like Kristina Kenneally, the NSW Premier, she will be there for political reasons not democratic ones.

Somehow I can’t help feeling that Labor would be better off getting Kevin Rudd to change some of his more unpopular policies and show that he is willing to listen and represent the people instead of creating the instability that always comes with a leadership spill.

According to a number of sources, much of the support for the spill comes from the AWU, who were instrumental in Labor’s election win in 2007.
Could this union backing along with a Gillard leadership make the difference in the election or will it end up just being a desperate attempt to salvage what Labor can.

As I write this Kevin Rudd is about to hold a press conference so stay tuned this could be interesting.