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Howard, Good Sense Defeated In Australia

From an elated New York Times:


Australia’s Prime Minister Defeated After 4 Terms

By TIM JOHNSTON

SYDNEY, Nov. 24 — Australian Prime Minister John Howard suffered a comprehensive defeat today, with a coalition led by his Liberal Party losing its majority in parliament.

After four terms in office, he will be replaced by Kevin Rudd, a Labor Party leader and former diplomat. Mr. Rudd, 50, campaigned on a platform of new leadership looking for new answers for new challenges. He has said his first acts as prime minister will include pushing for the ratification of the Kyoto climate agreement and to negotiate the withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Iraq.

The attempts by Mr. Howard’s coalition to stress their economic record failed to impress voters. The Australian economy has had 17 years of continuous growth, in latter years driven by Chinese demand for Australian iron ore and coal, and he had warned voters that a Labor victory would endanger the country’s future prosperity…

Early estimates had the Labor party gaining some 20 seats, to gain a 14-seat majority in the 150-seat lower house. Television prediction seven [sic] had John Howard suffering the indignity of losing his own seat in the Sydney suburb of Bennelong in parliament to a former television anchor and rookie politician, Maxine McKew. He would be the first sitting Prime Minister to lose his seat since 1929.

“It is very likely the case that I will no longer be the member for Bennelong,” he said. Mr. Howard had represented Bennelong since he first entered parliament 33 years ago…

Mr. Howard has a strong personal relationship with President George W. Bush, one based on a similar socially conservative philosophy and outlook on the war on terror, and cemented by Mr. Howard’s presence in Washington when the 9/11 attacks happened…

It was a bruising campaign, and the Liberal party has already said it will challenge a number of results on the grounds that the Labor candidates had broken electoral law by failing to resign from government jobs before running for office.

In some aspects, the Labor party framed their campaign in similar terms to others of the war on terror, as a battle between the politics of fear and the politics of hope.

Mr. Rudd, 18 years younger than Mr. Howard, has a reputation as a cerebral student of policy, as opposed to the Liberal leader’s image of a hardened and aggressive political animal.

Mr. Rudd’s rather dry image was if anything enhanced by the revelation which emerged shortly before the beginning of the campaign that he had got drunk and visited a strip club when he was on a visit to Scores New York in 2003.

“He seems more personable, approachable,” Marcelle Freiman, a university lecturer with two children, who voted for Mr. Rudd in eastern Sydney said. “He doesn’t seem arrogant yet and I have respect for him.”

What terrible news.

[T]he Labor candidates had broken electoral law by failing to resign from government jobs before running for office.

Such laws do not apply to everyone. Just allies of the US like Mr. Howard and Mr. Musharraf.

Still, all of this goes to shows the power of the media, the liberal establish that runs the world, and of course the power of ignorance.

Mr. Rudd’s rather dry image was if anything enhanced by the revelation which emerged shortly before the beginning of the campaign that he had got drunk and visited a strip club when he was on a visit to Scores New York in 2003. (Even if the reporter can’t figure out that “Scores” is the strip club.)

They can spin anything any way they want.

And yes, it can and probably will happen here.

Alas.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, November 24th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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