Julia Gillard Speech Analysis

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On October 9th, 2012, then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a speech to Parliament in reaction to the movement of Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, to have Peter Slipper removed as Speaker, due to some sexist and crude texts. She uses appeal to logos and ethos, second person pronouns, and ad hominem—yes, a logical fallacy, but one that has proven to be very influential to political audiences—to persuade her audience to discredit Abbott and understand her reasoning for defending the Speaker. Gillard’s appeal to logos is abundant throughout her speech, as it is loaded with specific quotes and dates of things the Leader of the Opposition has said that contradict his recent anti-sexist comments about Speaker Slipper,…show more content…
In fact, every quote and example she uses is facilitating her multiple critiques of his character. Yes, ad hominem is a logical fallacy, but it is used all the time in politics and has proven to be effective for candidates on multiple occasions. I actually found it quite interesting how much Prime Minister Gillard focused on attacking Mr. Abbott’s character versus talking about the topic of Peter Slipper. When reflecting, I realized that this was a very strategic and intentional tactic of Gillard. She is trying to get the public/Parliament to think less of the misogynistic text messages from Mr. Slipper and let the court handle it, so she turns all of the focus onto Abbott and his shady past. She does address the text messages once and says, “I am offended by their content. I am offended by their content because I am always offended by sexism”. By admitting that she does not condone the text messages, she remains consistent with her argument against sexism, but immediately after addressing the texts, she again turns the focus to Abbott. By focusing on attacking The Leader of Opposition’s character, she effectively controls the focus of her audience, which she wants to be on Abbott, not on

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