By HELEN MORTON
As two of the most powerful figures in Australian politics today, they give me – forgive the Barack Obama-ism of this phrase – hope for the future. They make me think that we’ll be able to move beyond the time when our first female Prime Minister was torn down, in no small part, because of her gender.
Julie Bishop and Peta Credlin make me think that governments which are inclusive of strong, capable, clever women don’t have to be a dream but actually could become reality.
And it seems, I’m not the only one.
New polling released today by News Limited shows that Julie Bishop’s popularity has sky-rocketed over the past few months. She’s proven herself an able and effective foreign minister, deftly handling situations including free trade deal negotiations and the aftermath of the MH17 disaster.
She’s now equally as popular as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and unsurprisingly, many in the media are now speculating about whether or not she’ll ultimately reach the top job.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Similarly, Peta Credlin, continues to make news across the country for her infamous careful, calculated and clever political control of the Prime Minister’s office. She’s spoken to the Australian Women’s Weekly this week about why she started a group for female political staffers; she knows that it continues to be tough for women who are often dismissed as ‘unimportant’ or not ‘real’ political players in senior circles.
Credlin is determined to be a part of changing this.
And yet, when I’m vocal of my support for these women, I cop major flak from my friends on the left side of politics (FYI, I would describe myself as a left-leaning swinging voter).