Australia's New Prime Minister is Not Religious!

My friend Kevin lives in Australia and sent me a message this morning about their new prime minister Down Under. Julia Gillard is the first female prime minister of Australia, AND this is what she says about her personal life:

Gillard has never married or had children.  Her partner since 2006, Tim Mathieson, is a hairdresser. Gillard said through a spokeswoman that she was a "non-practising Baptist" and "not religious". She is tolerant of public interest in her personal life, stating that "People want to know who you are, the shape of your life. That is legitimate."

Very interesting! Australia has voted in a woman who is Not Religious! How did that happen? That's wonderful! She is the first person in high politics I've ever heard of who has said that.

Let's hope she does a great job and that other "non-religious" politicians follow suit and run for high offices and succeed. I wonder if we could ever get that far here in America? Wow, I'm really reaching for the stars now!

Good luck, Julia. I hope you do great things in your run as prime minister.


  1. She was not elected by the people, she was appointed by the labour party's 112 members after the sitting PM got the boot. She will be running for the office in October.

  2. Thanks Matt, that makes sense. I am not up on my Aussie politics, as you can see. Hopefully she'll do great work between now and October and will get voted in by the people then. :)

  3. Actually, she wasn't so much appointed by the Labor caucus as she was made way for after the Australian Workers Union withdrew support for Kevin Rudd and put their support behind Julia. All without debate in the caucus - which is why it went so quickly.

    Rudd was going to contest the leadership, but after reconsidering the numbers, stood aside for Julia to ascend. There wasn't much of a leadership tussle at all.

    This is somewhat unprecedented given that all previous leadership battles in the ALP were resolved by debate (and factional head counting) between power brokers in the party caucus. This was a foregone conclusion even before many in the caucus knew exactly what was happening - some didn't know exactly what had happened ever after Gillard had won.

    I definitely prefer Gillard, and perhaps if she had been the leader from Labor's 2007 win onward the preconditions for my leaving the party wouldn't have occurred (namely Steve Conroy's office trying to get a colleague of mine fired). But the way Julia won the leadership (or had it won for her without a fight) is disturbing.

  4. That would never happen in the US. As soon as they knew, the retarded right would slam any non-religious candidate. That aside, I don't think either that any party would risk appointing a candidate like that, since, again, the retarded right would slam not just the person, but the whole party. More than they ever do.

    Hopefully one day I will be wrong about it.

  5. Wim Kok (former Dutch prime minister) is an agnostic in a sense that's indistinguishable from an atheist to me (but agnostic is what he says...), Frits Bolkestein (former Dutch leader of one of the biggest parties and former EU commissioner) is an outspoken atheist, Job Cohen (current leader of Labor) is a Jewish atheist, Wim Duisenberg (former president of the Dutch national bank and later EU national bank was an outspoken atheist, etc.

    The Christians suffered a major defeat in the last elections (from 41 to 21).

    We still have lots of ridiculous Christian laws from the '50s (anti-communist era) which haven't been enforced in practice for years, but some of them might actually be taken care of in the next few years (like the anti-blasphemy law) due to the huge non-Christian majority in the house of representatives.

    Not that I think the situation in the Netherlands is utopic or anything (heck, I moved to Belgium for a reason :P), but being religious is mostly a non-issue except for a minority of Christian voters. Most Muslims actually vote for issues, contrary to the stereotype of them living in the middle ages.

  6. Thanks Bruce. Very interesting how your politics work.

  7. No, you're right, Diego.
    What I find even more disturbing is how after the smear campaign is started, how the whole country of sheeple fall in line and bleat their disapproval and agree with the propaganda, based on some dubious commercials.

  8. That's awesome, Frans! Thanks for giving us such a different perspective of the world. :)