Lots of things about today ordinarily would have made me euphoric. A huge poll bounce in newspoll for the ALP, a record number of women installed as Ministers in the Government and record number of women in Cabinet. All great news stories in their own right, and worthy of celebration.
But, you can probably tell by my tone, I’m not jumping for joy. Sure, I am still pleased about those things, but in an ‘oh good’ way, not in an ‘Oh, that is bloody fantastic and about time’ way.
You see, I’m still in the hazy, cant believe this has happened aftermath of the change in Prime Minister that happened last Wednesday. It gutted me, such was my disappointment. Not only did we lose an awesome Prime Minister, who also happened to be one of the best parliamentarians around, and a good person, with compassion, and skills to bring people together, not to mention skills on the international stage where she was respected far more highly than here at home, we also lost her to parliament full stop, as she vowed to not contest the next election. As promised when she called the leadership spill on Wednesday afternoon, in losing the leadership vote, she agreed to leave politics. Respect Julia Gillard, respect. What a shame Kevin Rudd didn’t do the same thing in 2010. Kevin wasn’t even brave enough to test his numbers in 2010 to show the Australian people just why we had to have a change of leader.
I’m still angry with Kevin and angry that his white anting and destabilization have been rewarded, and the destablilisers and white anters behind him have also been rewarded. What a sorry message that sends out. It further shows me that Julia Gillard truly is a wonderful person that she will not do the same back, that she will give him clear air. Respect Julia, respect.
Following on from Julia Gillard’s departure is a list of decent and hard working politicians, who will also not contest the 2013 election, people like Craig Emerson, Peter Garrett, Greg Combet and Stephen Smith, and others. I feel sad knowing that this collection of Labor people will no longer be a part of Federal politics. I’m feeling a bit of a dull federal politics malaise.
For the past 3 years I’ve been passionate and enthusiastic about politics and the future of our country with such ground breaking reforms coming through; things like the NDIS, the Gonski education reforms, carbon pricing to finally tackle climate change. It was like we were doing things that are good for our nation as a whole and our nation’s future, and not just for individual groups or interests. We were fighting the big fights, the difficult battles that have always been put in the too hard basket. Anyone else leading this hung parliament would have done one of two things
1) gone to an election sooner rather than later, or
2) nothing, just plodded along.
The fact that Julia Gillard took on some of the huge challenges facing our country, and actually passed the legislation makes me burst with pride.
So, whatever Julia, and Craig, Peter et al decide to do post politics, I trust it will be good and worthwhile and I’ll keep a keen eye on the direction they take. I’ll play along with the political discussion leading up to the election, because no, I don’t want Tony Abbott to become Prime Minister, but I’m not about to march in the street for a Kevin Rudd led ALP…but I would have for Julia.