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article imageJulia Gillard becomes Australia's first female Prime Minister

By Paul Wallis     Jun 23, 2010 in Politics
Canberra - Australia has its first female PM. In an unusually realistic display of political pragmatism, the woman who “didn’t have the numbers” according to pundits on the weekend has sailed through the leadership vote.
This is the Australian political equivalent of “Don’t argue”, and nobody did.The unopposed leadership challenge is rare, but when it happens, it’s a real decision. Rudd would have had no chance at all, and would have been told so in as many words. In practice, media reports indicated that he was well short of a majority in a split. It would have been a futile gesture to oppose. Rudd stood down, and put his prime ministership out of its misery.
Julia Gillard is Australia’s 27th Prime Minister. She’s personally popular, and very credible with both the public and the political machines of both sides. This clears the decks for some fence mending with just about every mining company in the country, and gives Labor some breathing space electorally after a nose dive which was starting to look like a train wreck.
The next step is a revamped Cabinet, and the policy revisions which will inevitably follow on from the new leadership. Australia is hoping that a bit of dignity may now resume in the political leadership of the nation.
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