Wednesday, July 7, 2010

julia gillard

So, we have a new Prime Minister.

First of all: please let's not get too preoccupied with the ethics and morals (or lack thereof) involved in Kevin Rudd's downfall. Politics is a dirty game. One person's success relies upon another's failure. Politicians know that they have to constantly be on top of everything - policy, scandals, polls - and if they slip up, someone else will use the opportunity to get ahead. Kevin Rudd did it to Kim Beazley, Tony Abbott did it to Malcolm Turnbull. Peter Costello tried to do it to John Howard, during his term as Prime Minister. Of course, anybody with a heart can't help but to feel awful for Kevin on a personal level, especially when he "blubbered" (yes, even me). But Julia's ascention is not as unscrupulous as Rudd and Abbott want us to believe - and it is entirely in line with the structure of our political system, whether we like it or not.

I don't try to hide my political persuasion. I am a "Young Liberal". That's not because I am a strong supporter of the Liberal Party of Australia. In fact, I can't stand Tony Abbott, and I find a lot of his beliefs pretty scary. I am a "small l" liberal, in the idealistic sense. My utopia would consist of a progressive, minimalist, secular government that provides infrastructure, law and order, protection and aid for the most vulnerable members of society - and no more. I am at odds with the Liberal Party because I find some of its policies nauseatingly conservative, including its opposition to a republic, indifference to the plight of asylum seekers and resistance against the legalisation of gay marriage.

Julia Gillard is not exactly the answer to my prayers - yet I can't help but admire her and entertain the thought of voting for her party, now that she is at the helm. It's not because I agree with her policies. In fact, she has already voiced her aversion towards two policy points that I feel very strongly about - compassion toward asylum seekers and the legalisation of gay marriage. No, what impresses me is her character. She exudes a trustworthiness, earthiness and diligence that I just couldn't see in Kevin Rudd. Is that enough? It shouldn't be. But the truth is that there is nobody in Australian politics who has the power, or the desire, to create my ideal society. So I am forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. At this point, Julia Gillard is that lesser. I just hope that she lives up to my expectations.


Greer said...

I like to call a "liberal" such as yourself (and I like to think of myself as well, although our boat people stances are polar opposites!)the "New Conservatives"

A young person today cannot agree with everything their parent says. Or else I would working in an advertising agency from the age of 15. (Yes, Dad did decide that this was better for me then school.)

Bella, never trust a redhead.

Love you longtime.

Kate Morgan said...

It sounds like you have a very intelligent approach and know what you are talking about, except I would guess that you are more of a 'swinging' voter, which is really much more intelligent anyway. You decide on a party or politician on their merits each election.
Great blog.

Laura Valerie said...

Greer, I am a "liberal" but I am not a "Conservative"... the problem with Australian politics is that liberal and conservative are synonymous. If I were American, I'd be a Democrat supporter, no question.

You're right, Kate, I am open to reconsidering my vote when there is a change in policy or leader. Thank you!