Australia has its first ever female Prime Minister and a government looking to move on from all the unpopular policies that have been driving down the Labour party’s popularity over the past couple of months.
A lot of attention related to the fallout of the leadership change is focused on the Broadband, Communications, and Digital Economy portfolio. Rumours are rife that current Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, the driving force behind the Australian Government’s Internet Filtering plan (and of the “Spams coming through the Portal” fame) will be replaced by Senator Kate Lundy.
Duncan Riley recently posted a story on TNW AU about why everyone around the world should be interested in what happens in relation to the Australian Government’s communications policies, such as the proposed Internet filter. The article is summed up well by this quote:
“You should care because of the precedent it creates, and the global flow on effect such a precedent would create”
With that in mind, the question many people are asking is, if Conroy is replaced by Lundy, how well will she do?
This will clearly be a direct result of how far the Labour party wants to move away from their existing policies.
While the opportunity to replace Conroy may be too good to pass up, the reality for the electorate is that no woman is an island, particularly in Government, and without support for a radical departure from the existing strategy, Lundy will be as effective as the man who preceded her.
As an example, despite all her good work, there’s already evidence that all she may do is try to make a terrible policy marginally less offensive rather than offering a complete change.
That having been said, Lundy has been a Labour Party beacon of light in recent years. Her willingness to embrace technology to engage with the community as well as to seek feedback on how the Government might better be able to leverage the web to better serve the people has been exemplary. Check out the various outcomes of her ‘Public Spheres’ as an example (bottom left hand side of her website – under “Campaigns”)
Here’s hoping she’s at least given a go in the upcoming Ministerial reshuffle, for Australia, and the wider-world’s sake.