Leadership

The WhatsApp Messages That Stood Between Julie Bishop And The Prime Ministership

Bishop's loss has caused bipartisan grief for women in politics. Yet as ex-Labor staffer Jamila Rizvi writes, it's not just about another qualified woman being overlooked. It's about her treatment on the way out.

By Jamila Rizvi

Leadership

Bishop's loss has caused bipartisan grief for women in politics. Yet as ex-Labor staffer Jamila Rizvi writes, it's not just about another qualified woman being overlooked. It's about her treatment on the way out.

By Jamila Rizvi

Australians head back to work today with a serious case of political whiplash. For the sixth time in just ten years we have a new Prime Minister. For those who tuned out of the madness during the weekend, we also have a new look ministry. And it’s a ministry that no longer includes the parliamentary Liberal Party’s most prominent woman, Julie Bishop. Bishop has resigned from cabinet and will sit on the backbenches after her failed bid for the leadership. She is likely to retire from parliament after the next election.

While it’s easy to be swept up in the drama of a tight contest, the sad reality is that nobody really wins in situations like these. Least of all our democracy. Most Australians are confused and unimpressed by the leadership spills, which have emerged as our new national sport. In a week where we’ve lost the two most popular and high-profile members of the government in Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop, you’d be forgiven for asking what exactly was the point of all this? I’ll leave it to others to mull over the legacy of Malcolm Turnbull but the big question on my mind is what happened to Julie Bishop’s leadership ambitions? Why it is that the perennial deputy never made it to the top job? The loss of Julie Bishop is causing bipartison grief for all women in politics. But it’s not just about another qualified woman being overlooked. It’s about the way she was treated on the way out.

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