Australia’s Labor Party sweeps to power… Conservative Howard is ousted; policy changes on global warming, Iraq ahead…
Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, one of President Bush’s staunchest allies in Asia, suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of the electorate on Saturday, as his Liberal Party-led coalition lost its majority in Parliament.
He will be replaced by Kevin Rudd, the Labor Party leader and a former diplomat. “Today Australia looks to the future,” Mr. Rudd told a cheering crowd in his home state, Queensland. “Today the Australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward.” […]
Mr. Rudd, 50, campaigned on a platform of new leadership to address broad concerns about the environment, health and education. He has said his first acts as prime minister would include pushing for the ratification of the Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and negotiating the withdrawal of Australia’s 500 troops from Iraq.
There are those who will try to draw some sort of a connection between what just happened in Australia and what is likely to happen here in 2008. Obviously one less right wing war monger in the world couldn’t be anything but an improvement. However, them getting rid of their bad apple really doesn’t say much about us getting rid of ours. Unlike John Howard, little Georgie is being swept off of the world stage irrespective of what our voters do. Can you imagine the volume of the Bronx Cheer if he had even floated the trial balloon of making it so he could try for a third term? And, anyway, it appears that things are going so badly that there is no possibility of any Republican going all of the way from here.
What I am curious about, however, is why Bin Laden (or whoever is playing the role now) did not try to help the Conservative Party in Australia by going spectacular over there in time to try to scare the voters. Australia will now leave Iraq and I can’t think of any way that that can help terrorist recruiting. Is it possible that the real war on terror, you know the one that doesn’t include Iraq, has been so successful that Al Qaeda has lost its bite? In the past when they wanted to hurt Australia a bunch of Australians would be blown up in Indonesia, and even that didn’t happen.
Or maybe terrorism central sees things going their way well enough in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the foreseeable future that Iraq has now moved down on their list of priority hot spots. Unfortunately it may also be that the leading Democrats are just not seen to be the threat to remove U.S. troops from the kill/die zone that many of us would like to believe they are.