About a week ago, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted in a coup by Julia Gillard. Kevin Rudd was doing particularly poorly with voters. Dumping the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), introducing the 40 per cent Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), and pouring taxpayer funds in government advertising--the reasons for Rudd's unpopularity are varied. As soon as Gillard politically assainated Kevin Rudd, she renegotiated with big three miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and XStrata, managing to settle a deal with them that will see the mining tax significantly emasculated.
I am not a fan of the RSPT because I think it unfairly singles out the resources sector while exempting the agriculatural sector and the banking sector. In my opinion, all taxes should be replaced by one or a few simple and broad taxes that apply to everyone, e.g. a 45% income tax on everyone or some sort of land tax.
Gillard's backflip with the RSPT shows that she really caves in when the pressure is on. She is even against gay marriage, which is surprising given her background. Everyone is talking about how Gillard is Australia's first female prime minister, how she lives in a simple house, and so forth, but all this is irrelevant because the characteristics of the prime minister does not matter. This bloodless coup illustrates that the prime minister is forced to conform to the party line under threat of political assassination. It therefore makes no difference whether Rudd or Gillard is in power because behind the figurehead leader are power brokers who control everything. When you're voting for a charasmatic female leader or a charasmatic black leader, you're not really getting what you're voting for.