My dysfunctional family
2012 was a dramatic year for Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her minority government. It was a year of political in-fighting as ministers, backbenchers, Independents and Greens made enemies of friends and friends of enemies. It was a year of fierce Opposition attack but also a year of bipartisanship as both sides of politics went hand-in-hand with America on the war in Afghanistan, US marine rotations through Darwin, same-sex marriage and, by mid August, asylum seekers.
The Prime Minister’s foreign policy interests grew and she found a seat at the G20 meeting, Rio+20 Earth Summit, Pacific Island Forum, APEC and UN General Assembly. Yet her efforts at international statesmanship couldn’t entirely change the focus from issues such as her gender, ministerial instability, policy backflips, poor opinion polls, diminishing public respect for the institutions of government, low levels of trust and questionable parliamentary behaviour.