The Pacific Solution

A backflip now from Australia that, in 2012, saw politicians hurling insults at each other. In 2008, the government of Kevin Rudd oversaw the closure of detention centers for immigrants in the Pacific Ocean, namely on the island of Nauru and Manus Island. The offshore immigrant processing centers had been set up under John Howard, but they were deemed unethical and illegal as well as costing in excess of $1bn (see above). Just 4 years later, the centers were reopening after a spate of deaths at sea as refugees tried to enter Australia directly. Heading up the initiative was Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who had denounced the centers as “wrong as a matter of principle” while in opposition. The backtrack was accompanied with a plea for political tolerance, as she said “the time for the political point-scoring, the yelling, the shouting, that time is over”. The bill was passed and the next prime minister – none other than Kevin Rudd again – has implemented it. An embarrassing and heated climbdown.

The Pacific Solution is found in...

Top 10 Political Flip-flops
( 10 items )
Item Position (rank): 8