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  • Topic: Gough Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, Order of Australia
  • Pages : 3 (832 words )
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  • Published : May 17, 2013
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Bibliography : wiki John Kerr

The news that Whitlam had been dismissed spread across Australia during the afternoon, resulting in angry protest demonstrations by his supporters. Over the following month, leading to the double dissolution election scheduled for 13 December 1975, Whitlam and ALP supporters constantly and intensely denigrated Kerr, no doubt in the belief that the electorate would prove sympathetic to the deposed Labor government. In the ensuing election campaign, the Australian Labor Party's focus was predominantly on the asserted illegitimacy of the dismissal (with the slogan of "Shame Fraser, Shame"), while the Coalition focused on criticism of Labor's economic management. Some expected a major backlash against Fraser in favour of Whitlam (who had launched his campaign by calling upon his supporters to "maintain your rage"), based on opinion polls in October and early November which had shown disapproval of Fraser's tactics. Once the election was called, however, the majority focused on the economy and responded to the Liberals' slogan "Turn on the lights". Despite the passion of die-hard Labor supporters, furious at what they saw as an establishment plot to destroy a Labor government, Labor suffered its greatest-ever loss (7.4% down on its 1974 vote) at the hands of the Coalition, which continued to hold power until 1983. Labor supporters continued to voice criticism and demonstrate against Kerr. He found the personal attacks on him and his wife (whom Whitlam and others accused of having been a sinister influence) deeply wounding. For the rest of his term as Governor-General, Kerr was rarely able to appear in public without encountering angry demonstrations.[11] On one occasion his life was thought to be endangered when he was unable to leave a speaking engagement in Melbourne except by having his car drive through an angry crowd. Labor parliamentarians, federal and state, refused to accept his legitimacy as Governor-General, shunning official...
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