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.

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47 Responses to Disfranchised

  1. daddy dave

    Her predecessor as PM wasn’t John Howard it was Kevin Rudd.

    Very nice catch on the use of “my predecessor.”
    Has anyone else caught this yet? If not you deserve props for being the first.

    On the other hand, I can understand what she means by “Labor budget.” She merely means that it is in keeping with Labor principles.

  2. Bit of a joke considering in her speech after the independents chose her as PM she never once acknowledged the Australian people, and never once promised to govern for all Australians. She’s got power, for the moment, but principles is one thing she’ll never have.

  3. daddy dave

    Sinclair, I clicked through to Gillard’s speech but managed only to skim a few lines.
    It’s unreadably bad. Literally unreadable.
    It seems to be a disconnected string of slogans, feelgood statements, and one-liners.

    On the other hand, her line that Abbott’s the “love child of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump” seems to have gotten traction with the media.

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    DD – yes, the speech is very similar to the fatal November 2009 Rudd speech where he snarled at everyone but had nothing to say.

  5. C.L.

    Julia Gillard: love child of Nancy Pelosi and Jimmy Carter.

  6. daddy dave

    Bob Brown and Dame Edna Everedge.

  7. Jc


    I’ll pick one partner from each of you

    Bob Brown and Nancy Pelosi

  8. Quentin George

    Bob Brown and Julian Burnside.

  9. Jc

    By lord it’s a terrible speech.

    Even if the crap was written by a speech writer, she would have added to it and certainly had veto power over the worst bits.

    It’s pretty obvious this woman is pretty dumb in comparison to others.

  10. twostix

    Poor old Rudd, next he’ll find his image as Prime Minster erased from official ALP photos.

    The far left really can’t escape their roots can they?

  11. The troll formerly known at Tom N.

    Her predecessor as PM wasn’t John Howard it was Kevin Rudd.

    Good to see Sinc focussing on the key issues. Unfortunately for him, and for DaddyDave who thought Sinc’s effort worthy of props, the dictionary does not require that a predecessor come immediately before the subject. According to dictionary definitions, both Howard and Rudd can correctly be labelled as having preceded Gillard as PM and as being predecessors of her.

  12. Jc


    1. A person who held a job or office before the current holder.
    2. A thing followed or replaced by another.  More »
    Dictionary.com – Answers.com – The Free Dictionary

    wrong tommy as fucking usual. The plural is always understood previous office holders, not the singular.

    I hope you don’t do policy that way you post on blogs or the country is is serious trouble.

    Oh hang on, you do and we are.

    You’re so unimpressive Tomsie.

  13. big dumb fu

    Time’s up for Gillard. I don’t see her still being PM after the winter break.

  14. Jc

    Oh and tommy

    if the hyperbowlic twit had said … one of my predecessors.. it would have been fine. Predecessor would always mean consecutive order.

    go away Tommy

  15. big dumb fu

    Of all the things to defend. Tom, prepared to defend anything else from this gas bag and certified liar?

  16. Jc

    the scary thing is that she may be the best of the bunch until the libs win the next election.

    in any event the bobbsey twins seem to be backing her as those two idiots want to run the full term.

  17. Jc

    Tommy will defend the Greens ALP to the hilt for obvious reasons. His union has a say who runs the ALP and therefore there is money involved.
    Tommy knows which side his bread is buttered. He’s such a tart.

  18. The troll formerly known as Tom N.


    JC’s own listed dictionary definitions of predecessor include the following:

    1. A person who held a job or office before the current holder.

    This in fact demonstrates the point from my original post, that the dictionary does not require that a predecessor come immediately before the subject. Both Howard and Rudd, and indeed Fraser and Whitlam, qualify as predecessors of Gillard as PM by that definition.

    JC would have realised this if he had taken the time to think about what he was writing, but as usual he could not contain himself and simply thrashed and frothed.


    PS BigDumbFu, I agree that this is a minor issue, but it was Sinc who introduced it. Don’t blame me for correcting Catallaxians’ attempts to score cheap points.

  19. Quentin George

    Well, I’m glad you cleared that up Tommy. Gillard may be useless, incompetent and the worst Prime Minister of this nation, but she was using the word predecessor in an accepted manner.

    Now, on to other matters.

  20. C.L.

    I think Tom’s right, unfortunately.

    If Benedict XVI says “when my predecessor Paul VI wrote Humanae vitae…” that’s perfectly correct.

  21. Jc


    You left out supporting definition no.2. Why?

    Let me tell you way because it doesn’t support your case and why I posted it along with no.1.

    And yes you would steal candy from babies. You more or less do it now, Tommsie.

  22. Jc


    I see what you’re saying , However I think that the proper way of effectively communicating that would be to say:

    “One of my predecessors”, or even in singular, “a predecessor”.

    Whereas my predecessor does suggest the previous office holder.

    Having said all that, I think we can commonly agree that Tommy is a pedant.

  23. The troll formerly known as Tom N.


    My claim, JC, was that “the dictionary does not require that a predecessor come immediately before the subject.”

    For that claim to be correct, it is a sufficient condition that there be just one dictionary definition that is specified in that way. The first definition you cited is in fact specified in that way, so my point is proven (and thanks for your help in that regard).

    It is not necessary for my claim to be correct that there be no other definitions that require that the predessor come immediately before the subject.* Thus, your complaint that I “left out” your second definition is just another example of your inability to partake in rigorous argument.

    You are truly an intellectual lightwieght, but keep frothing and thrashing around if you must.

  24. C.L.

    More importantly, Tom, you’ve now written far more words than Sinclair’s on the predecessor issue…

    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?

    The substance of the post concerns Gillard’s (non existent) mandate.

    Which is rather hypocritical given your initial declaration:

    Good to see Sinc focussing on the key issues.

    Pot, kettle etc.

  25. Jc


    Try as much as you want but
    “my predecessor” is the last person holding office, not three down the line.

    As for intellectual lightweights.. lol. Dude go take a good look in the mirror and remind yourself that you recently explained to us how your public service racket job made you a superior human being to the rest of us mortals.

    Prove to us how superior you are by going out in the private sector and holding a private sector job… that is instead of making the most dangerous place in the world standing in between youself and the elevator on a RDO.

  26. The troll formerly known as Tom N.

    A fairish question, CL, although irony was in fact my goal. I saw the whole post as being a cheap, point scoring exercise on Sinc’s part. The central underlying claim is along the lines that you can’t do a budget for “all Australians” unless they all vote for you, which is both incorrect and juvenile.

    Sinc does some decent posts, but also, from time-to-time, slips into a somewhat juvenile ‘gotcha’ mode. I suppose its entertaining for some, and for others like JC the ‘arguments’ in such posts are clearly the most intellectually sophisticated material that they can handle, but none of it qualifies as a “key issue” in my book.


    PS JC: With the arrival on cue of your latest comment, it appears that we can now add “digging” to “thrashing and frothing”. As I’ve said previously, its no skin off my nose, so keep going if you must…

  27. Jc

    There isn’t a single comment you’ve made a this site which adds any value. There isn’t a time you’re not outraged by some thread opinion or comment. True to form you pedantically deal with the definition of a word rather than the body of the post.

    You’re embittered because you know you can’t defend the Greens/ALP Alliance without appearing like a complete clown but then do so anyway by trolling.

  28. The troll formerly known as Tom N.


    On cue, another feather duster attack from JC. You just can’t contain yourself, can you.

    Anyhow, as I said earlier, its no skin off my nose, so feel free to keep frothing, thrashing and digging a deeper hole if you must. I’m going to bed though.

  29. Jc

    You prove my point again. Not one single comment from you that adds any value other than trolling or outrage.

    If you do policy the way you comment here, the taxpayers are being short changed to the full extent of your compensation with interest.
    You don’t just thieve oxygen, you also steal our money it seems.

  30. m0nty

    Not that I necessarily want to start another war of pedantry but… I always thought the word was “disenfranchised”. Google says removing the “en” is technically correct, but has ten times the references for the word with “en” in it.

  31. benson

    A Labor Budget is a Budget for all Australians.

    Do Labor voters really get off to these cornyisms?

  32. big dumb fu

    Further to my earlier comment I see now that Arbib has said Gillard has the ALP’s full support. That can mean only one thing. Night, night.

  33. daddy dave

    Okay m0nty, I concede to you in your war on pedantry. Rather than get hung up on details, let’s talk about the big picture instead. Like, how badly that speech sucks.

  34. daddy dave

    Incidentally, the “love child” comment wasn’t smart because it invites a retort from the Coalition (hopefully not Abbott himself).
    Julia’s the love child of Kath and Kim.

  35. Tim Quilty

    Julia must be up to her 12 month mark as PM. So she gets the lifetime benefits in perpetuity now, and can be kicked out at any point. She probably won’t even fight it….

  36. Sinclair Davidson

    M0nty – my understanding is that dis-en-franchised is exactly wrong. In a previous life I had colleaque who was a bit of a grammar-nazi and he used to carry-on and on about this.

  37. Jarrah

    I wouldn’t use disfranchise, but there are examples of each pattern in English. Then again, the more common pattern is of non-loss. Some examples:

    Enthrall, encapsulate, enact, endorse, enhance, endow – don’t lose the ‘en’ when they are negated by ‘dis’.

    Enable, encourage, encrypt – lose the ‘en’ when they are negated by ‘dis’ or ‘de’.

  38. Sinclair Davidson

    discourage, disable as opposed to disenthrall, disencaptulate, disenhance? Admit it – you cheat at scrabble don’t you. 🙂

  39. Jarrah

    Technical/academic terms are still words, Sinclair 🙂

  40. Sinclair Davidson

    Geeky computer terms not found in dictionaries would get you shot in a scrabble game. 🙂

    (I hate scrabble btw.)

  41. The troll formerly known as Tom N.


    Another counter-case (well, almost) is “disemboweled”, as in the example sentence “The Black Knight was disemboweled, but nevertheless continued to froth, thrash and dig a deeper grave for hiself by posting comments on Cattalaxy that even his fellow travellers could not support.” Of course, one doesn’t lose the “em” in moving from “emboweled” to the longer version, though this example is complicated as “to embowel” can mean the same as “to disembowel” (and the prefix is “em” rather that “en”).

    Another case of sorts can be seen in the almost axiomatic statement “JC is continually discombobulated”. Of course, it could be countered that there is no standard form – “combobulated” is not a word – but as JC is never likely to attain such a state, perhaps that doesn’t matter.

    That all said, I realise that we all, Sinc, DaddyDave, Jarrah and Monty, should not be wasting time on the meaning and construction of mere words, even ones that Sinc himself has based a point in his initial post on, because as JC has indicated, this post is really about much more important issues – you know, do you need ‘all Australians’ to vote for you to be able to set government policies for them?


    OK, its as “em” rather than an “en”, but

  42. Pedro the Ignorant

    I thought “disfranchise” looked rather odd, but I see it is perfectly correct, with “disenfranchise” being an acceptable alternative. (Collins).

    That’s why my Thesaurus is horribly tattered and dog eared (and one of the few reference books I find easier to use than online sources).

  43. JC


    Was the RDO on Friday or tomorrow?

  44. Tiny Dancer

    Tom, piss off to LP – they like that sort of macho intellectual crap there. You would fit in well.

  45. m0nty

    M0nty – my understanding is that dis-en-franchised is exactly wrong. In a previous life I had colleaque who was a bit of a grammar-nazi and he used to carry-on and on about this.

    Don’t get me started on your execrable use of dashes!

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