...but we have a woman PM. Interesting. But frankly, it doesn't interest me a whole lot. Namely, the way Gillard became PM. I never liked Rudd, but from the ALP's perspective, he was a savior. John Howard was seeming indestructible. He took on the ALP right in the 98 and 01 election against Beazley, and when Labor put on a comparative lefty, Latham, Howard didn't just win-he even took the holy grail of mandates, control of the Senate. The concept of Rudd becoming PM in the next few years would be as ludicrous as saying that Obama would be the next President back in 04. However, with some luck, Rudd pulled it off and put Labor back in power after 11 years in the wilderness.
However, all it took was a few bad opinion polls to turn the factional bosses against their savior, ditching him with an obvious lack of loyalty and replacing him with a fresh face. I understand Julia really didn't have a choice; it was going to happen anyway. My problem isn't with her; it's with the ALP culture of winning the next election at all costs. I doubt Labor would be terribly troubled by the concept of Abbott winning. He would be unlikely to last more than a term, and would probably scare so many centrist voters, it would be the 13 year golden age of Hawke/Keating all over again. It's clear the ALP doesn't mind the far-right too much; the right faction, after all, was willing to preference fundie Steve Fielding over what should be Labor's coalition friends, the Greens.
All in all, it's the ALP culture that I dislike the most. The Liberal Party may be comprised of the big business/industry's bitches and lunatic theocrats, but it's clear there's more flexibility toeing the party line and voting with your conscience. There's a good reason why the LPA factions get more news coverage than the ALP factions; LPA factions are allowed to freely express their thoughts. As we've seen with Garrett, there is no such freedom within Labor. It's toe the party line all the way.
I was quite pessimistic about the amount of 'change' a supposed member of the ALP's left faction would bring about as well. Gillard had continued Howard's policies of a two-tiered education system, wherein the children of the wealthy received a better education than the children of the poor. This pessimism was vindicated today, when Gillard confirmed that she would continue the ludicrous and discriminatory policies of preventing gays from marrying.
Once again, the Greens have proven to be the only party progressives should vote for.