Here is the premise to what I want to argue: Tony Abbott must not become Prime Minister of Australia. The country simply can not afford to have a buffoon like him as its leader, and his band of sexist nationalist intellectual lightweights running the government(We could probably live with a Turnbull government, but not an Abbott/Hockey one).
The reality in this country is that misogyny, sexism and racism are widespread and somehow woven into the fabric of society. Julia Gillard’s marvellous speech last year was a testament to that fact. I can’t think of any other civilised country where the leader is forced to deal with so much crap just based on her gender.
But while I thought Gillard’s speech calling out Tony Abbott as the misogynist he is last year was fantastic, I also had the sinking feeling that last week’s address that she gave to a meeting of Labor women was pandering to the female vote more than anything else, and in a sexist country that means that the males will feel threatened and turn away from you. Which they did. It was a dick move by Gillard, opportunistic, wrong, and it deservedly backfired. We should be able to say that a politician is making bad policy decisions without it being framed as an attack based on their gender, and Gillard has made some very bad policy decisions in her time as PM.
So this is the dilemma. We can not afford to have Abbott and his cronies running the country, not if we value a good public school education, gender equality, women’s rights, our obligations under UN rules for asylum seekers, modern infrastructure, the list goes on…
But Julia Gillard will not be re-elected, we know that now. The only person who can prevent Abbott at this point is Rudd(a guy, naturally). And I think that if you are given such limited options to choose from(someone said on twitter the other day something like “voting in Australia is the choice between electing an idiot or paying a fine”, I paraphrase), then Labor should bring Kevin Rudd back and let him contest the election. Not because he’s a great PM, but because he’s the only chance of preventing an Abbott/Hockey disaster, which may take the country 30 years to recover from.