Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

24 June 2010

A Disturbing Trend - and a Tribute to my Dad

So, we have a new Prime Minister.  Last night at 10pm AEST Prime Minister Kevin Rudd emerged from crisis meetings to announce that Julia Gillard, his deputy, had challenged him to a ballot for the leadership.  It was to take place at 9am AEST this morning. 

This morning Julia Gillard emerged from that caucus meeting the new Prime Minister, elected unopposed, after Kevin Rudd decided not to contest the leadership ballot.  He is the first Prime Minister to be ousted before even completing his first term.

At this point I should say that
1. I have nothing against Kevin Rudd,
2. or Julia Gillard,
3. or Tony Abbott for that matter, and
4. I am politically naive.  Extremely so.

That said, today is an historic moment in Australian history.  We have our first woman Prime Minister. 

And I feel something between sad and outraged.

I caught wind of these events last night, slept poorly, woke up to the news and then, in a moment of unusual political outspokenness, changed my Facebook status to say,

Meredith disagrees with political parties, state and federal, spilling their leadership positions at the first sign of trouble. Where is the strength in that? I guess we live in a throw away society...

It's a disturbing trend.  When things get difficult, the party throws out the current leader, be they in government or opposition, in the hope that someone new at the top will turn the polls around.  A new leader means a policy gone wrong can be overturned.  But then we have a blurring of what the different parties stand for and an attempt at a quick fix to a complex problem.  It's all about the polls and has little to do with governing.

There is no strength in that.  There is no leadership in that.  There is little opportunity to govern in a climate like that.  And this trend has been on the rise in state and federal politics over last five or so years.

Mind you, it has happened once before.  Apparently when Malcolm Fraser tipped Gough Whitlam out of office during the 1970s my dad was outraged.  I was too young to be aware of what was going on, but those old enough to understand in our household were apparently tip-toeing about the place for quite a while because Dad was so upset.  I have often smiled at the thought of this...but never really understood it because I am rarely passionate about things political.  But today I think I understand.

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