Julia Gillard Dog Chew Toy #2014-0066
Julia Gillard dog chew toy. Soft polyester toy filled with stuffing depicting Julia Gillard in a blue dress suit.
The ‘Bony Abbott’ and ‘Droolia’ toys were both manufactured during the lead-up to the 2013 federal election which, it was expected, would be contested by Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. The toys received some media coverage, reflecting the community attitude to the election. Polls showed high levels of dissatisfaction with both leaders, a situation which continued when Kevin Rudd returned to the prime ministership in June 2013. The use of a dog toy as a political effigy is relatively recent, but other objects have been used in the past, notably candles (the idea being to ignite the candle on election night and watch your chosen leader burn and melt as results came in!).
Julia Eileen Gillard (b. 1961) was the first woman to become Prime Minister of Australia. Welsh-born and raised in Adelaide, she was elected to Parliament in 1998 and was a shadow minister until 2007. From 2006 she was Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party. In 2007 she became the first woman to be Deputy Prime Minister, serving under Kevin Rudd as deputy and Education minister. On 24 June 2010, Gillard replaced Rudd as prime minister following a leadership spill which Rudd did not contest. On August 21 a general election was held at which Labor and the coalition led by Tony Abbott won 72 seats each in the House of Representatives, with the balance of power held by one Green and several independent members. Gillard formed a minority government. The Gillard government won praise from supporters for resilience and longevity (no minority government had ever lasted a full parliamentary term), but attracted criticism, especially from the Opposition, over controversial policies such as the mining tax and carbon price, which saw a dramatic fall in support in the polls. Gillard maintained office after Rudd challenged her for Labor leadership in February 2012, but increasing tensions within Labor and continued poor polling, especially after the landslide victory of the Liberal National Party in Queensland in March 2012, saw her support erode further. On 28 June 2013, Gillard lost another challenge by Rudd, and elected to retire at the federal election of 7 September.