Thursday, June 24, 2010
Julia Gillard becomes Australia's first female prime minister
CANBERRA, Australia – Australia's ruling Labor Party ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday in a sudden, stunning revolt that also delivered the country its first female leader.
Rudd's deputy, Julia Gillard, was elected leader in an uncontested vote about 12 hours after she surprised many colleagues by challenging a prime minister who until recently had been among the country's most popular.
Rudd was one of the West's few Chinese-speaking leaders and helped broker the Copenhagen climate change agreement, but his quick removal showed his party had lost faith he could win a second term in national elections due within months.
Many foreign policies, including Australia's 1,500-strong military contribution to the war in Afghanistan, are not likely to change under Gillard.
But the leadership change immediately eased hostilities between the government and big mining companies over a proposed tax on so-called super profits from burgeoning mineral and energy sales to China and India.
Gillard quickly ended an advertising campaign that promoted the tax, keeping a Labor promise that Rudd broke to never use taxpayers' money for political advertising.
Why is it even news that Australia has a women PM? nO ONE REMEMBERS HELEN REDDY'S ASSESSMENT OF THE AVERAGE AUSTRALIAN MALE?
AUSTRALIAN labour PARTY