Julia Gillard made this astonishing claim today
Friends, I saw my predecessor John Howard say a strange thing a few days ago.
He said that I should not have called our Budget a “Labor Budget”, because I should have been speaking to “all Australians”.
I thought this was very telling, because it betrayed the conservative failure to understand Labor’s governing purpose:
A Labor Budget is a Budget for all Australians.
Her predecessor as PM wasn’t John Howard it was Kevin Rudd. But how about the notion that a Labor budget is a budget for all Australians?
According to the Australian Electoral Commission only 4,711,363 of 13,131,667 voters chose the ALP as their first preference at the last election – that means that nearly 65 percent of Australians would prefer some other party to occupy the Treasury benches and bring down a non-Labor budget. For those who subscribe to the 2PP system as being a better representation of democracy only 6,216,445 voters ‘chose’ a Labor budget over an alternative – the other 6,185,918 are completely disfranchised (spoiled ballot don’t count in the 2PP count).
Update: What Gillard said on September 7, 2010
We need to govern, and we will govern, in the best interests of the Australian people, and I know that if we fail in this solemn responsibility we will be judged harshly when we next face the Australian people at the next election, and being held to that test is just the way I want it.
My government will be true to our principles and our beliefs, but we will be pragmatic as well in developing effective policies and programs on the major issues that we face.
Update II: There has been a long debate in the comments about the meaning of the word ‘predecessor’. The Macquarie dictionary defines it as
one who precedes another in an office.
That person in Julia Gillard’s case is Kevin Rudd. John Howard is one of Gillard’s predecessors but not her actual predecessor is Rudd.