Why Julia Gillard lost her job as the Prime Minister of Australia

Written by Monica Verma | Updated: Aug 14 2013, 23:30pm hrs
Gillard was a stateswoman who was hated and yet popular. As Prime Minister of Australia, she can be easily credited with tremendous successes such as helming Australia to a GDP growth rate of 14% even as other developed countries got shocked-an-awed by the 2008 financial crisis. She delivered employment, triple A credit ratings to the Australian people, something that virtually no other world leader can boast of, yet she was unceremoniously dethroned by her own party - not by the electorate.

We list here five reasons for her removal:

#1 Replaced elected leader Kevin Rudd: Julia Gillard had replaced Kevin Rudd in a similar ballot in 2010. Here lies part of the reason why she lost popularity with the Australians. Rudd won it for the labor party after a long time when Australians voted him in power to displace an 11-year old coalition government. It was a landslide victory in which for the first time, labor party held government a t every level in Australia. It was this massive support from the Australians which Rudd enjoyed that Gillard challenged in 2010 by announcing a leadership ballot. She later publicly said that Rudd the campaigner might be good but governance is a different domain altogether. This started the bitter intra-party tussle where Rudd ensured she always faced a two front war- from opposition and from her own party.

#2 Carbon tax: Julia Gillard promised to not levy any tax on carbon as the leader of the government. While jury is still out to decide if the market price mechanism which she had introduced to limit carbon use is legally a tax or not but it gave her detractors another stick to beat her political fortunes with. The carbon trading scheme was heralded as a tax by the opposition and Ju-Liar Gillard was repeatedly attacked for the same. So much so that her public image took a serious beating and she came to be known as a cheat for going back on her promise.

#3 The sexist agenda of belittling her: You often give your political opponents an added reason to lambast your policies, when you happen to be a woman. She was a woman and a successful politician. Besides questioning her policies which opposition led by Tony Abbott always did, it was politically paying to question her conduct as a woman. So her decision to not have kids, her decision to wear plunging necklines and even sexual orientation of her partner was successfully made a political issue and attributed back to her image as an inapt policymaker.

#4 The Peter Slipper controversy: Although Julia gave it back smartly to those who played up her gender; she miscalculated the political costs of supporting Peter Slippers continued stay in the speakers position even as he was accused of sexually harassing James Ashby, his former aide. Slipper finally resigned but Gillards defence of Slipper in the parliament stayed on and continued to haunt her anti-sexism image.

#5 Loss of confidence in her leadership: Finally all this formed a deadly cocktail which led to a lack of confidence in her leadership abilities. In an opinion poll organized by Australian newspaper, The Age, more people voted for Kevin Rudd to lead labor party in 2013 elections. What made matters worse for Gillard was that opposition leader Tony Abbott was constantly being touted to win 2013 elections. This was enough to upset the labor party members who chose to place their bets on Kevin Rudd who seemed to be a safer choice for the elections.