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The Dismissal Of Gough Whitlam Essay

553 words - 2 pages

On the 11th of November 1975, Australia faced perhaps the largest political crisis in the history of Australia. John Kerr the governor-general sacked Whitlam’s Labor government and called for a general election placing Malcolm Fraser, leader of the Liberal/Country Party opposition in as caretaker prime minister until the election was over. Even to this day this issue has sparked much debate.In the December of 1972 Whitlam’s Labor Party came into government after twenty-three years in opposition. Almost immediately Labor set out to achieve its reform agenda. Many of those reforms were long overdue such as an end to conscription, free university education and a series of laws banning racial and sexual discrimination. Labor’s critics believed its lack of experience and budgeting skills made it unfit to govern.Some fundamental mistakes of the Whitlam government caused many people to agree with this claim. Two Labor ministers, Rex Connor and Jim Cairns had borrowed money from the Middle East to but back Australian resources (known as ‘The Loans Affair’) & lied to parliament about their money sources, forcing them to resign. The Labor government now came across as dishonest. Labor also faced economic problems like a hike in world oil prices which led to high inflation and unemployment. Though the Labor government was not responsible for these issues they were blamed for having no answer to the problems.Malcolm Fraser, leader of the Liberal opposition believed these reasons showed Labors inability to govern. Knowing from opinion polls his party would win Fraser wished to call a general election for the House of Representatives, so he aid his party would not vote on money bills until a...

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