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Whitlam was the 21st prime minister of Australia who led the ALP party (Australian Labor Party). He was dismissed by the governor general in 1975 during the constitutional crisis. Fraser was the 22nd prime minister of Australia. He took the office on 11th November, 1975 and remained in the office until 1983.
During Whitlam’s time as a prime minister, many programs were implemented as well as several policy changes took place. These changes included elimination of the existing criminal execution and the military conscription. In addition, universal health care was institutioned, free university education implemented, and other several legal aid programs were implemented. Whitlam’s government introduced reforms in almost every fields that was in a poor condition. His government was involved in establishing school commissions, national employment scheme and produced a number of bills, which were enacted. He was the first labor prime minister.
Fraser is known for influencing the relationships, which were established among the British Common Wealth countries. He also affected Australia’s relations with East and South East Asia countries. As he served in office, economic rationalism was introduced. However, during his time as a minister, the financial and fiscal policies of the government were based on the traditional principles. Further, the government worked on reducing expenditure and making sure the public service was streamlined. He supported high defense spending and ensured reinforced diplomatic and trade relations with the Eastern countries. He strongly opposed apartheid and supported reforms carried out in South Africa. In addition, Fraser is associated with the completion of the National Gallery at the time when the construction of a new house of the parliament was initiated.
Whitlam’s ministry was unique in Australia’s political history. He had a ministry of two, where together with his deputy prime minister they were sworn into all portfolios. The duumvirate during its tenure made forty highly significant decisions. However, even though it was a ministry of two men, it was rather a three men government. The Federal Executive council made all the decisions, and it was a quorum of three. A full ministry was elected with 27 ministers with Whitlam holding the foreign affairs portfolio. Fraser’s government appointed an administrative review committee in December, 1975. His cabinet meetings were too long and more frequent compared to the previous prime ministers’ governments. Under Fraser, the role and power that was portrayed by the prime minister’s department and cabinet increased.
Relationships with their parties
The liberal and national country party that was led by Fraser governed Australia from 1975 to 1983. During this time, the political climate as well as the economic climate was different from that of Whitlam’s period. Fraser argued that the increased commonwealth government expenditure was wasteful and extravagant. The labor government, on the other hand, accorded the main role in commonwealth funding. Fraser enjoyed a lot of nominal independence compared to Whitlam, however in practice there was little difference in the influence they had. Fraser had active endorsement of multiculturalism, which was not evident in Whitlam.
Differences between them
In their approach to foreign policy, Whitlam supported détente and wanted the Soviet Union to play a role in world policies. On the other hand, Fraser rejected detente. He was alarmed by the growth of Soviet strength in such regions as Indian Ocean and strongly opposed any role of the Soviet Union in the world politics. Instead, he supported American leadership. Fraser’s approach to foreign policy was termed as Universalist, since he sought Australia’s involvement in global conflicts.