It has been a crazy 24 hours in Australian national politics. In what I view to be a bloodless coup, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was challenged to a leadership vote in the Labor Party and ended up resigning this morning when he didn't have enough support to overcome the challenge of his Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. As a result, Australia now has its first female Prime Minister. I feel sad for Rudd as I don't think he deserved what happened to him today. It's not like there has been any scandal or anything. You might ask what did Rudd do to deserve being tossed out before the end of his first term in office? Well, it seems his greatest failure was falling poll numbers with an election on the horizon. Factions in the party felt is was time for a change, but I'm not so sure there will be much difference in policy. And don't get me wrong, I really do like Gillard and think she will make a great Prime Minister. I just wish she didn't come into power like this.
Here are some articles from The Age that explain everything a bit further:
Phillip Coorey and Tim Lester- "Gillard becomes Australia's first female Prime Minster as tearful Rudd stands aside"
Megan Levy- "Labor Party was losing its way under Rudd: Gillard"
Shaun Carney- "Hell hath no fury like a deputy scorned"
And here is video of Kevin Rudd's farewell speech and excerpts from Julia Gillard's address to the media.