However, sometimes in even the best of democracies, voters can make mistakes.
This happened in 2012, when Australians elected a climate change denying, reputedly mysogynistic Prime Minister, Tony Abbott to office. His deputy happens to be called Julie Bishop. Such titles are usually more readily associated with religious leadership, but this dynamic duo have been heading up what seems like a comedy of errors since their election to government in September of 2012. Perhaps poor Tony is dumb enough, despite having been a Rhodes scholar, that he believed Bishop, was in fact some bloke from a religious order, rather than a woman of the 21st century!
Australians should have been forwarned when Abbott's former side kick Peter Costello, got sick of waiting for his turn at the helm and got out of politics altogether. Yes under Prime Minister Howard, we had Abbott and Costello heading up his team. Comedy duo they were not. Comedy of errors is more like it, but the errors of Tony Abbott alone have been untempered even by his Cabinet.
Most recently, Abbott overlooked Australians of merit to grant Prince Phillip a knighthood. Little wonder, this seeming demotion of rank and misuse or interpretation of Australian awards for Prince Phillip, has been highly controversial and derided, even by the most ardent of right wing satirists!
Prime Minister Abbott succeeded alienating women within a week of gaining office when he appointed only one woman to his cabinet, in the form of his Deputy Julie Bishop. Recently he has attempted to shake off his mysogynistic reputation, by trebbling the number of women in his Cabinet. As a result, Australia now enjoys some three of forty ministerial positions, being held by women. Under the former Labour Government, we enjoyed equal representation of women in Cabinet, for the first time ever.
Of course Aussie women should have faith we are being "looked after", given Abbott took on the Women's portfolio himself. This is an even sadder reflection of the ignorance of the man we call our leader. He is not a woman, nor does, as far as I know, he have any plans for gender reassignment. Only in repressive, fundamentalist regimes have I ever heard of any man presuming to take on such a portfolio. This also demonstrates his level of both dismissal of and failure to recognise the value and importance of women as a whole. Of course, Prime Minister Abbott denies his mysogyny, citing that he is a good husband and father of two daughters, so he has to love and value women. He also denies he is a climate change skeptic. Perhaps now he will also begin denying he is a monarchist?
When it comes to climate change the man is an outright international embarassment. Even the likes of President Obama and Angela Merkel have been unable to enlighten Prime Minister Abbott and convince him the climate change is an ongoing threat to life as we know it here on this planet. Prime Minister Abbott's head remains in the sand as he continues to sweep Australia back to the 1950s, a time and place, here in Australia where boys club membership was exclusive, women were at home raising the kids and standing by their men and the monarchy was up on a very high pedastal. Those were also the days where energy consumption and growth were at the heart of a growing economy. It is also a time before Aboriginal Australians had been recogised as citizens and the White Australia policy remained unchanged since 1901.
There is speculation that Abbott's leadership will soon end. Key elements of his policy platform and budget keep getting rejected by a hostile senate, but in the last week, it is clearer than ever, that it is not only those outside the government that are embarassed about Abbott's leadership.
The question is, should Julie Bishop become Prime Minister, will she be subjected to the same degree of ridicule and sexism as was former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard?
Personally I hope the Liberals keep Tony Abbott in his current position. Should they change leaders at this point, they may well be subjected to the same accusations as the previous Labor Government, where Julia Gillard was accused of knifing the popular, but unconsultative Kevin Rudd. Rudd was then put back to head into the election as Prime Minister, but without electoral success. Such leadership instability became a public issue in its own right!
History does sometimes repeat and having a Prime Minister as adept as putting his foot in his mouth as regualrly as Prince Phillip is quite amusing, if for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps Abbott actually identifies with the Prince, thus his decision to grant him a knighthood can be easily explained and understood!
Sadly, it is currently a bit embarassing to come from a country that is so politically recalcitrant!