I am very proud I lived to see Julia Gillard lead Australia
Yesterday, at about 4:30pm Australian time, I received a phone call from my friend who works for Channel 7, a leading Television station in Australia informing me that the woman I supported her ambitions three years ago has been ousted as Labor Party leader by the man she ousted. He was referring to Kevin Rudd, the bloke we like to call “Heavy Kevvy” back in Melbourne. My friend who happens to be an ardent fan of opposition leader Tony Abbot categorically told me that labor party is a farce and only diaspora community members like me supports their government. Frankly, I don’t and for the record Contador Harrison is member of the Green Party Australia.The caller also informed me that a party that cant manage itself, cannot expect Australians to trust them with management of the country. The developments of Gillard ousting left me wondering what do politician really want because I simply cant understand why a prime minister who has delivered low unemployment rates and much coveted triple A credit ratings and statistically,the third lowest rate of debt in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development was uprooted ruthlessly from leadership by an average performer.It is exactly three years and two days ago, me, my mother sat in our living room in Melbourne and we had a long chinwag on how Ms. Julia Gillard was poised to be the best prime minister our country has ever had in our generation. My mom, a political scientist by profession, was optimistic that Ms. Julia Gillard will navigate Australia through the financial meltdown and truly to her prediction, Gillard managed it effectively. My mom had also predicted that Australia could take up a seat on the UN security in Gillard’s tenure and that came to pass. Ms. Julia Gillard is a premier whose reputation will never be erased in the annals of Australian history. In my opinion, her greatest achievement is the introduction of carbon pricing and an emissions trading scheme that has significantly reduced carbon emissions in Australia to the range of 7.8 to 11.7% and that will forever remain her greatest achievement in government. Another accolade was her role in constructive reasoning on the Gonski review for the overhaul of the entire primary and secondary education sector.Gillard’s leadership was unquestionable, unrivaled integrity and her will to reach compromise on various thorny issues saw her pass a record amount of legislation for a post war Australian Prime Minister, an achievement those angling for her post in coming elections may never achieve. She will also go down as the premier who oversaw Australia’s first national disability insurance scheme, a direct benefit to more than 500,000 Australians living with disabilities.
Although some bigots will disagree, I will never forget her for instituting radical policies meant to improve indigenous communities literacy levels and her staunch support on minority communities that I partly belong to courtesy of my mother. I must commend her for overseeing an impressive 14% growth in Australian economy and equally impressive policy reforms. With all due respect, I find Kevin Rudd as power hungry and somehow hypocritical. Unfortunately, most people have this mentality that if Kevin Rudd is in charge, Labor party will perform better in governance and economic development agenda. I beg to disagree because after exit of John Howard as premier, the Labor party under Kevin Rudd was to be kicked out after first term, but a last minute leadership coup by Julia Gillard saved the party from jaws of defeats from the opposition. Even after that development, Gillard was only able to form the government with the votes from the Greens and the Independents.I bet Tony Abbot must be all smiles as he now knows that victory is halfway guaranteed. There were downsides of Julia Gillard’s government as well with most notable one being the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and the infamous intervening of aboriginal communities and the largely unpopular changes to welfare that reduced the benefits to single moms. I strongly believe that Gillard was knifed by Labor stalwarts mostly because of the ongoing poor performance in the opinion polls with elections just months away. At the time of her exit, Julia Gillard’s primary vote was down to as low as 29%. She never became the “Australian Thatcher” but she was competent and hardworking. Her commendable leadership was what made Australia to be the only developed economy to survive the global financial crisis, and just to remind what I had mentioned earlier, under Gillard’s leadership Australian economy grew by 14% and interest rates and inflations remained relatively low. The ousting of Gillard is a step backward to Australian women’s march towards high ranks in government but I certainly believe there will be plenty of them in the future.