Therese Rein is the wife of the Australian Opposition leader Kevin Rudd and she made headlines over the past few days about her business engagements. Rudd is new to the position of the opposition leader; he replaced the pretty unpopular Kim Beazley. That itself was a good example to most politicians who try to hang around while party men and general public oppose to their existence. Rudd is increasing his popularity day by day and polls show that he has a far better chance of wining the federal elections to be held this year ahead of the fairly popular current prime minister, John Howard, who has been in office for three consecutive terms.
Rudd's industrial relations and employments contractual related policies are pretty radical but the way his wife has handled a related issue within her company has been contradictory to his policies which created quite a discussion. The real thing that came out of it was the fact that her recruitment company has dealings with the government and in case her husband becomes the prime minister, would it be fair for her to have business dealings with the government. Many saw that as a conflict of interest.
Apparently, her business is very successful not only within Australia but also internationally, but it didn't take even a week for her to come out with her husband and announce that she is going to sell the company as both of them believed it's not right to do business with the government given the scenario.
I think this is a great example for most politicians and their family members who try to keep undue business dealings using political powers and connections. I saw some arguments questioning whether it's fair for a successful businesswoman to give it up because of her husband. I guess they query about independence and women's freedom stuff! However I think it was the right decision and is a great example for politicians all around the world.
It's a cancer that world has to get over, for example in the US, Bush's family has significant business interests including oil. If the so-called best democracy in the world is like that, no need to quote other examples I guess.