Australian politician Gough Whitlam, born in 1916, served as his
country's prime minister from 1972 until his controversial dismissal in
1975. A towering and outspoken figure, he became leader of the liberal
Labor Party in 1967. After two decades of conservative Liberal
(confusing party name, I know) rule, Whitlam channeled frustrations with
said drought into an "It's Time" campaign that successfully returned
Labor to power.
As prime minister, Whitlam implemented numerous social reforms, such as
ending military conscription, increasing rights for Aborigines (native
Australians), and outlawing racial discrimination. He was also one of
the first heads of state to begin ties with the People's Republic of
China's government. His reforms, though bold moves at the time, are now
an accepted part of everyday Australian life.
struggled economically, and was further burdened by a scandal-ridden
cabinet. Following a 1974 election in which Whitlam retained power but
Labor failed to retain the Senate, he attempted to pass a budget bill,
to no avail due to Liberal opposition (said blockage was an attempt to
provoke Whitlam into calling another election). A constitutional crisis
was triggered, but Whitlam refused to compromise. The crisis culminated
on November 11, 1975, when he was dismissed by Governor-General John
Kerr, who instated opposition leader Malcolm Fraser in Whitlam's place.
The dismissal remains an important (though not the sole defining) aspect
of Whitlam's divisive legacy, and his animosity toward Kerr never
waned, although he eventually became close friends with Fraser.
Being a 98-year-old widower who resided in a nursing home made Whitlam a
likely, if not very lucrative, prospect for a hit. Drunkasaskunk,
Jefferson Survives, Kixco, and Philip each receive two points for
predicting Whitlam's ultimate dismissal.
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