Julia connects with people
JULIA Gillard will be more inclusive and “connect” with Australians better than Kevin Rudd did, according to two leading political commentators from Southern Cross University.
Dr Ros Irwin, a lecturer in politics, and Professor Colleen Cartwright yesterday both expressed their excitement at the appointment of Australia’s first female prime minister.
Dr Irwin said Ms Gillard’s stunning rise to the top was a milestone for the country, not just because she was the first female to hold the top office.
“I have to say, like Julia, I would have preferred her to get there under different circumstances, but it is a great thing nonetheless,” Dr Irwin said. “Regardless of gender, I think she will make an excellent prime minister. She is highly intelligent, she has a sense of humility, compassion, she works well with people and has firm leadership skills, which are all qualities I think any politician should have.”
Professor Cartwright expressed similar sentiments.
“I think that Julia Gillard will do an excellent job as PM and I do not really think the Labor Party had any choice but to make a leadership change at this time,” she said.
“Although I think Kevin Rudd had great vision for what Australia could be, he did not really connect with the Australian people and it seems (he) was not consultative with his colleagues either.
“My impression of Julia Gillard is that she will be much more inclusive and more broadly consultative and will allow her ministers to do their work without micro-managing them.”
Dr Irwin agreed, suggesting Ms Gillard was extremely pragmatic.
“Her comment about ‘sometimes delighting and sometimes disappointing’ says that she is very pragmatic and I would much rather have someone leading our country who is prepared to try their best for the country across the board rather than for a certain ideological persuasion.”
She said Ms Gillard would be a different leader with a different style, not because she’s a woman, but because of her inclusiveness.
However, whether this translates to votes is yet to be seen.
“Like the old saying goes, ‘the only poll that really matters is the one on election day’. Would people have voted for the Opposition and Tony Abbot if Kevin Rudd was still prime minister? I don’t know,” she said.
“I don’t know if people will come to Labor in droves now because there has been a change of leadership. I do think a lot of women will be delighted and vote for her, but I also think there will be people who are not pleased by the way she got there and probably pay her out for that.”
She said Ms Gillard’s decision not to move into The Lodge until she was elected by the people was a clear example of her compassion and common sense.