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25 June 2010 @ 02:27 am
I'm conflicted ...  
On the one hand, Australia now has its first woman Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. And she's a ginger! Or a ranga, as they say here (yep, short for orang-utan). And she's Welsh!

She was sworn in at lunchtime, by Governor General Quentin Bryce, who is also a woman, and who is the representative of the Queen for non-Commonwealth readers. So we finally have a full set of women governing the country in a political sense, and I am very fond of all three of them.

Alas, on the other hand, Julia's victory means Kevin Rudd's defeat. And I am also very fond of the RuddBot. He is that unpopular thing in these times of soundbites and immediate over-reactions to polls: a politician who is about the policy and public service. Absolutely he could have been better at communication and consultation, but  when all is said and done, his policies have been pretty right, if at times autocratic. Excellent article here on what a waste it is to toss him at this point. He has said that he will stay on in parliament and will be happy to serve in the cabinet in any capacity. Which is humble and gracious. I hope he gets Foreign Affairs!

During his resignation speech he was overcome with emotion a few times, even to tears, especially talking about the Stolen Generations, who finally received an apology as one of his early acts. He spoke of many successes of his government, and said that he was proud to have served. "What I’m less proud of," he said, "is the fact that I have now blubbered." I, too, had a little eye moisture moment at that point.

Gillard has invited the Rudds to stay on at the Lodge (the Prime Ministerial residence) for as long as they need to, especially given they still have a kid in school. She really is a decent person, from what I know of her, though also a hardarse, in the good ways. Interestingly, she is not a religious person: making her only the first or second non-Christian PM of the country, and I think the first not to be married. Her long-term male partner is a hairdresser, and before you ask, yes, she has fabulous hair, but it is as nothing compared to her collection of what Americans would recognise as Hillary-esque pantsuits ;-)

In excellent news, the Australian dollar dropped against the greenback. I say this wholly because I am so concerned about those poor wee starving exporting miners, and not at all because I failed to cash my cheque in US$ the other week when we were several cents lower. We're a risk! Dump us! And then pick us back up when I say it's okay!

And England beat Slovenia -- after which I stayed up to watch some of the tennis, and it was Mahut/Isner -- I gave up at 42: 42 because I was exhausted, I can only imagine how they feel! Tonight I failed in my bid to have NZ win a World Cup game, but am very happy watching Stuart Broad take wickets as I do, bless him! Must go to bed before 4am!
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Susanlil_shepherd on June 24th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
It's interesting the way it is being reported over here (and, while it didn't top the UK news, it only came behind the dumping of McCrystal.)

The BBC seem to be blaming it all on the dropping of emissions trading.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
It's certainly when his popularity with the public slumped, but his party got it all wrong and panicked over the mining super profits tax. Panic was not the right response there, and if they now focus on it and ignore emissions trading, they will fail to win back any mileage with the voting public. Thickies the lot of them!
oceaxeoceaxe on June 24th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Oh nice! Woman PM, and not Christian! You Aussies are giving me hope! WOAH - and NOT MARRIED! Holy shit, you guys! You know America could never ever ever elect an unmarried woman. What if she, you know, didn't want/have children???

Well, this is good news to start the day (yes, I start my day at 10am)...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 24th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
The IDEAL time to start the day! And Julia is on the record as having never wanted children, though she is by all accounts a fine aunt -- I feel such a bond!

It is quite exciting, it's as though the country woke up and decided to come over all Scandinavian :-)
pingridpingrid on June 24th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Well, hurrah for the firsts! :D I'm kind of sad about the Ruddbot too, although I suspect my affection for him comes mostly by Brammers-proxy. That, and inherent approval of competent, shiny-tail-less politicians. Here's hoping it all turns out well!
jamie2109: general - wavecurljamie2109 on June 24th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
I did feel bad for Kev. I think the emissions trading thing broke his patience more than anytihng. After that he was more volatile and clearly bitter about things. The tight little mouth moue he'd make and the obvious social discomfort were dead giveaways. One of his biographers said last night that he always blamed himself when things didn't work, like saying that it was his fault he didn't work hard enough and he just had to work harder. I find that really sad, and perhaps indicative of why things went off course recently.

I love Julia and I think she'll be a great PM. I like how pretty much all the political commentators agree that she will be beholden to neither left or right in the ALP. And I don't think for one minute she wanted things to go this way.

What's been known by politically savvy followers and possibly known but not understood by the rest of the population, is now clear. The power brokers in the caucus are not elected by the public. These people have the power to remove a Prime Minister. That will make some people uneasy.
lokifanlokifan on June 24th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
*sighs* I'm sad to see Rudd go! I totally get the mixed feelings. I admire Angela Merkel hugely but I'm still all conflicted about whether I want her to actually win things...
Wenchilada: Ripper!wenchilada on June 25th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
"Thanks very much, Kerry. Great day for red-heads." - pretty much sums it up!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 25th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
She broke Kerry! On her first day! Genius!
lyraslyras on June 25th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
God, does this mean the dollar's going to drop against the pound as well? Please, please, please. *is paid in GBP*

I feel bad for KRudd, as well (although I enjoyed the rehashing of the Kevin07 campaign! Been a while since I heard that phrase), but as someone said on twitter yesterday, we have an unwed, childless, athiest, prime minister, and I've never felt more represented. So, yeah, mixed feelings.

I watched the end of that tennis match last night, in between watching NZ fail to score against Paraguay. Amazing! How they had the mental energy to keep it going I have no idea.
lyraslyras on June 25th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
And bah, I can spell atheist, honest.
auntpurl: boys are dumbauntpurl on June 25th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
As a completely uninformed outsider, I can only say, YAY MORE LADIES IN CHARGE! :)