Dr. Anne Tiernan Assesses the Rudd Transition

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Dr. Anne Tiernan Assesses the Rudd Transition
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Australia Department of the Senate
When Kevin Rudd won the November 2007 federal election, he became Australia's 26th Prime Minister. Less than a year after wresting the leadership from Kim Beazley, Rudd led Labor to victory over a Coalition government that had reigned for eleven years and which just months previously, had looked virtually unassailable.Labor detected a mood for change in the electorate and pursued it relentlessly. Throughout the campaign, Rudd offered the Australian people 'fresh thinking', a 'new style of leadership' and 'a positive plan for our country's future'.Though criticized for 'me-tooism' and for casting himself as 'Howard-lite', he projected moderation and caution, reassuring the electorate that changing their vote would be a safe option.Voters rewarded him on polling day with a majority of 23 seats in the House of Representatives.The November 2007 election victory was historic in several senses. For the first time since Federation, Labor governments held office in every Australian jurisdiction. Rudd, a Queenslander as he reminded voters throughout the campaign, became only the fourth Prime Minister to be elected from his home state. His deputy, Julia Gillard, became the first woman to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister.John Howard became only the second Prime Minister to lose his seat, when Bennelong fell to Labor's Maxine McKew - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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