Gough Whitlam and Australia in 1975 - "It's Time!"

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Arty1995
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Gough Whitlam and Australia in 1975 - "It's Time!"

Postby Arty1995 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:35 pm

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Edward Gough Whitlam was the Australian Prime Minister in 1974 and was dismissed in 1975, only months after entering office. Now, you may think "sterling silver butter knife, he must've sucked bigger balls than <The most hated person you hate>." But to your surprise, that's not why he was dismissed by Sir John Kerr. (The Governor General at the time) I will start from when he entered office and slowly work my way to when he was dismissed.

After Gough Whitlam gained Government power in the 1974 election, he promised much change would happen while he was in office. He kept to this promise but it was also his downfall. We'll get to that soon. The Whitlam Party made the following reforms:

-Self Determination Policy. (Giving Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders rights and allowing them to make decisions without anyone's permission, such as leaving the country)
-Family Law Act 1975. (Letting Women not carry the Guity Stigma after leaving abusive relationships and settling ownerships of children/property with devorces)
-Medicare *Known as Medibank now*. (An insurance scheme to give every Australian citizen free healthcare and discounts on any medical payments like subscriptions)
-Adult Wage. (Giving females in the workforce an equal pay rate to men, this is still not enforced however. Both men and women have the same minimal pay but some jobs vary this minimal payment for both genders)
-Racial Discrimination Act 1975. (Racism was no longer tolerated in Australia. Sure...)
-Various other public insurance schemes and policies I cannot remember on the spot.
-Gave the Gurindji people their land back in the Northern Territory. (As part of the Land Rights policy)

You now have an understanding of the 21st Prime Minister, yes? You are probably thinking, "This guy was great! How could you have kicked him out? You upsidedown people are weird..." Well, not so much. You'll find out why now...

1973. The Oil Crisis made prices soar which made it difficult for reforms to pass through, but they happened anyway.

With all these reforms so suddenly and the Oil Crisis, don't you think that the country's coffers may be low? You guessed right. Whitlam was sucking up all the money the government had. The government estimated by the end of 75' they would be completely bankrupt. Something had to be done to stop the flood of reforms. Whitlam scoffed at these estimates and continued his reforms which were being passed.

I shall simplify the events of parliament so we can all understand it.

A wild Malcom Fraser appears!
Malcom Fraser uses 'Block Appropriation Bills'! (Appropriation Bills is tax payer's money to approve reforms)
It's super effective!
Gough Whitlam flees.

A wild Sir John Kerr appears!
Sir John Kerr uses Dismissal!
Gough Whitlam has fainted!

Faser was the opposition leader and he was not very happy about all these reforms going through so he got the Senate to block the appropriation bills which, if it lasted any longer than it did, floral-patterned bedsheet would have done more than hit the fan, the fan would be part of the smudge on the wall.

After Gough Whitlam was dismissed, we partied like it was 1999 :toot: and then got back to business: Filling back our coffers. It was sad day for tax payers but we quickly got out of the mess.

In conclusion: Edward Gough Whitlam was doing what he saw was best for the Australian people, not for the Australian government. The government got pissy and kicked him out.

P.S: I learnt all this in school and I wanted to post it here to see if I learnt it well.

Do you think Whitlam should or should not have been dismissed?
Why?
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Re: Gough Whitlam and Australia in 1975 - "It's Time!"

Postby lethe_naiad » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:48 am

I don't think anyone outside of Australia is going to understand any of that :p

I think that Gough Whitlam wasn't the greatest Prime Minister of all time, and maybe he should have gone, maybe not. But I think you've missed the key element here.

When K-Rudd was disposed, it was by his own party. The Australian people do not elect a leader. The Australian people elect a governing party and that governing party chooses a member to be their leader and the 'Prime' Minister of Australia.

In least year's situation the Labour Party changed leadership which happened to result in a new Prime Minister, but the Australian people had voted for Labour, not for K-Rudd. Labour was still in power. This is constitutionally valid.

What happened to Gough Whitlam was entirely different. He was kicked out not by his own party. The whole party was kicked out by the Governor-General. For those unfamiliar with Commonwealth politics, the Governor-General is the Monarch's representative in the country. In Australia the role has traditionally been filled by an Australian since the time of Isaac Isaacs, but the GG really is just a stand-in for the Queen.

The uproar that surrounded the Whitlam case was that the Governor-General dismissed the elected Labour party and declared the Liberal Opposition, led by Malcom Fraser, to be the government.

It came as a shock to most people that the Sir John Kerr, the Governor-General, was allowed to dissolve a government elected by the people. By most Australians it was seen as a sign that the Monarchy had too much power in the Australian government, and that there was danger as well as wastage in maintaining connections with Britain. This was remembered in the Referendum of 1999, where the Australian people voted on becoming a republic. Ultimately the vote was lost because the terms present were disagreeable.

So I think the topic you should be going for here is not 'Should Gough Whitlam have been dismissed' but 'Was it right for the Governor General to dismiss the government?'.
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Re: Gough Whitlam and Australia in 1975 - "It's Time!"

Postby Arty1995 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:35 am

My question still stands tall. Whitlam: in, or out? Why do you say in/out?
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