Will Ausssies elect a childless woman as PM?
Old 08-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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LINK - The Globe and Mail

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You see, Ms. Gillard and Tim Mathieson live in sin. Not only are they not married, but the flamed-haired Prime Minister doesn't have children and, at the age of 48, isn't expected to change her mind.

The childless, unwed leader of the centre-left Labor Party has been battling these issues throughout the campaign leading up to the Aug. 21 vote, including accusations that she would not understand issues around families and parenting because she is, as one opposition senator once put it, “deliberately barren.”
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Shortly after she became Prime Minister, reporters asked whether she would finally marry Mr. Mathieson to help her chances at the polls.

She shot back: “If you went up to your average Australian and said, ‘Would you get married because you might get a promotion at work?' they would say, ‘No, I wouldn't dream of doing it.' ”

An Australian sex therapist chastised the Prime Minister's “marriage lite” status, writing in one newspaper: “As a popular role model for women, her lifestyle choice may influence other women into making big mistakes about their lives.”

One commentator joked: “We're used to having strong, single women with no children in charge in Australia. They used to be nuns.”

While Ms. Gillard is still favoured to win the election, her lead has narrowed significantly as the debate grew about her life choices.

“She doesn't fit a traditional female norm,” according to Margot Young, associate law professor at the University of British Columbia, who specializes in social justice.

“It makes us uncomfortable because our norms don't associate women with power. We see women as nurturing, as conciliatory, as selfless. Think about the characteristics you associate with a good mother, they are not dissimilar from what we think of how women should behave just generally.”

What particularly bothered Prof. Young about the Australian campaign was when a reporter asked Ms. Gillard if she would apologize to her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, for ousting him in a party coup in June. A male politician wouldn't have been asked the same question, the professor said. “In men, it's applauded.”
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Of course, not everyone in Australia questions Ms. Gillard's way of life. The family-status issue has also prompted some reality checks in a country where the number of unmarried couples is on the rise and more women are choosing not to have kids.

Herald Sun columnist Alan Howe recently cited a string of childless male prime ministers in Australia's past.

Perhaps most poignant was what happened to some leaders who did have families. In particular, former PM Joe Lyons, who had 12 children. “Naturally it all proved too much,” Mr. Howe wrote, “and he collapsed and died on April 7, 1939, the first prime minister to expire in office,” at the age of 59.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i'm going to sit back and watch the shit fly in this thread
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i wouldn't vote for someone with red hair and without a family. i find it funny how they're comfortable with childless males, but not females. is that the norm? childless men are more impressive cause they're too busy at the office for babies?

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr. Mxyzptlk View Post
i'm going to sit back and watch the shit fly in this thread
Meh, Cory is out of town. I probably should have just dumped this in the Alimony thread. I think this story is relevant to some of the points raised in that discussion.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
i wouldn't vote for someone without a family


My sarcasm detector is broken. Seriously? If that's genuinely how you feel, maybe you could explain why?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Meh, Cory is out of town. I probably should have just dumped this in the Alimony thread. I think this story is relevant to some of the points raised in that discussion.
cory said he was out of town... he also said his last name is watts, which it isn't...
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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cory said he was out of town... he also said his last name is watts, which it isn't...
I still have my own theories on who he is.

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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if i didn't know better i'd think this article was coming out of 1940 fascist germany
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My sarcasm detector is broken. Seriously? If that's genuinely how you feel, maybe you could explain why?
i seriously wouldn't. it's not something that would sit right with me. obviously i would have a different opinion if the person/partner weren't fertile, but really, i would feel more comfortable with decisions being made with the best intensions with my child in mind. i don't think a individual career orientated person would offer me that.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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cory said he was out of town... he also said his last name is watts, which it isn't...
True enough. But, as I'm sure you can appreciate, I may well have used the phrase "out of town" as a euphemism for "not in the mood to be refuted by 'trane."
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Im moving to Australia and hope whoevers elected is up to task
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i seriously wouldn't. it's not something that would sit right with me. obviously i would have a different opinion if the person/partner weren't fertile, but really, i would feel more comfortable with decisions being made with the best intensions with my child in mind. i don't think a individual career orientated person would offer me that.
Based on some of your other posts, I had a different understanding of your world outlook. I thought you might have been making a sarcastic joke.

Well, what types of "intentions" are you worried that a "career" oriented person would overlook? What sort of decisions are your fearful of that person making?

Many social and economic policies are dictated by party ideologies, not simply a specific individual party leader.

I see this as a "wedge" issue used to avoid having to beat the opponent on the basis of real policy decisions. The funny thing is, her party may well support policies that are more "family friendly" than the others. That's why I think it's always best to focus on actual policies, regardless of what's most important to you. If you care about your kids, look at which party's recent track record and proposed platform are most conducive for ensuring the type of future you want your child to have. That's just my opinion.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
i seriously wouldn't. it's not something that would sit right with me. obviously i would have a different opinion if the person/partner weren't fertile, but really, i would feel more comfortable with decisions being made with the best intensions with my child in mind. i don't think a individual career orientated person would offer me that.
Keep in mind that the career to which she is "orientated" is public service. Certainly that is a positive and relevant factor, no?

More crucial is that it really has not been explained why a "career orientated person" would be incapable of governing with the best intentions for your child in mind. There is absolutely no reason why that should be the case. Even if she herself were incapable of understanding relevant legislation, she is surrounded by advisors who could (and likely do) specialize in such decisions.

Lastly, your whole argument is fallacious. You're addressing the person, not the issues of substance. Which policies of hers concern(ed) you?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What is ironic is that her atheism does not seem to be a big deal. Just a few weeks ago, I was remarking to a friend how pleasantly liberal the Aussies were in their acceptance of her religious beliefs. And then I read this....
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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my world outlook is believing in marriage, families, babies, gay rights, human rights, equal rights, animal rights, the right to vote, pro-choice and the right to feel and think as i please. i'm honestly cool with my outlook

i get what you're saying, but the leader of the party, more often than not, is the representation of the party. i normally voted strictly on policy, but these last two elections i found myself voting on representation due to the poor leadership from my party. i'd love to know what the majority of people vote on. i'm pretty sure the liberals are a minority because of deon. i'm also pretty sure bush was re-elected because kerry was a dink.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
What is ironic is that her atheism does not seem to be a big deal. Just a few weeks ago, I was remarking to a friend how pleasantly liberal the Aussies were in their acceptance of her religious beliefs. And then I read this....
It could very well be that the talk about her lack of children is a means of pointing out her atheism by using code words that don't directly broach the subject of religion.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
my world outlook is believing in marriage, families, babies, gay rights, human rights, equal rights, animal rights, the right to vote, pro-choice and the right to feel and think as i please. i'm honestly cool with my outlook

i get what you're saying, but the leader of the party, more often than not, is the representation of the party. i normally voted strictly on policy, but these last two elections i found myself voting on representation due to the poor leadership from my party. i'd love to know what the majority of people vote on. i'm pretty sure the liberals are a minority because of deon. i'm also pretty sure bush was re-elected because kerry was a dink.
Yeah, I'm pretty cool with your outlook (not that it matters what I think), I just disagree with your thinking in this case. It wasn't a shot at you, but rather me explaining that I made an erroneous assumption about you, based on my own perceptions of your past posts.

You're probably right about the Liberal minority.

In my opinion, Kerry lost because he was "swift boated" and he was "dink" ..lol Kerry was the target of some "wedge issue" politics as well. He was a bit of douche too. But Bush was a bigger turd. *cough* South Park *cough*
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Ok a little off topic but I had to ask. Does anyone really know how Politics in Aussie land works? Last I checked they have like 12 different parties and virtually always run into a minority gov't. If anyone has info on this please share
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Ok a little off topic but I had to ask. Does anyone really know how Politics in Aussie land works? Last I checked they have like 12 different parties and virtually always run into a minority gov't. If anyone has info on this please share
It's pretty similar to Canadian politics.
There is a house of representatives which has 150 seats that represent the various constituencies. The leader of the party with the most seats is prime minister.
The senate functions differently than in Canada. Members are elected by the public rather than appointed by the Governor General. The Australian senate may block legislation put forward by the house of representatives.
Certain government functions are the responsibility of either the federal, state, or municipal governments obviously. Just like in Canada and the U.S.
So basically same old same old; lots of minority governments and fucking over aboriginal peoples even more than we do.
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