Yesterday Australia’s Prime Minister was overthrown in a leadership battle within his own party. Former Deputy PM Julia Gillard now has the top job and Kevin Rudd has moved to the back benches. So how did Australia’s most popular Prime Minister ever suddenly fall from grace?
Joshua Gans is a leading Australian economist who has been watching the news from the US, where he is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard Unversity’s Department of Economics. In today’s BTalk he suggests that part of his problem was that he didn’t listen to academics. “Academics” he says “are free thinkers” and suggests that a little more private debate before launching policies might have avoided the unfavourable responses to some well meaning endeavours.
As to Kevin Rudd’s successor, Joshua sees a brighter future. He has met Julia Gillard and, on the Core Economics blog, wrote “I came away with the impression that she was an informed, critical thinker with a genuine desire for evidence that might support what she considered (rightfully) theoretical propositions. There are few politicians that I have met that have left such a positive impression”.