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Silent Hunter
24 Nov 07,, 12:04
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | PM Howard concedes Australia poll (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7109692.stm)

He probably will even lose his seat. The Energizer Bunny has finally run out of batteries...

glyn
24 Nov 07,, 14:29
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | PM Howard concedes Australia poll (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7109692.stm)

He probably will even lose his seat. The Energizer Bunny has finally run out of batteries...

A sad day. His tenure has seen umprecedented progress for his nation. Will the new incumbent withdraw Australian troops from the War on Terror? If so, it means a step backwards for the other participants.

dave angel
24 Nov 07,, 15:02
the new chap has said that he'll be pulling Australian combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008 and re-inforcing the existing Australian forces in Afghanistan.

which appears to be what Howard was going to do anyway (he just didn't say so publicly), and what pretty much every other coalitition member has also said they'll be doing.

there wasn't much in policy terms between the two parties, a bit of rhetoric perhaps - Howard bashing the drum and yer man giving crumbs to what passes for the left-wing in Australia to make sure they get out and vote - but in real terms it'll be business as before.

septics probably shouldn't veiw this election through the prism of Iraq, Howard has been in power twelve years and domestic issues were far higher up the electoral agenda than either Iraq or A'stan.

some will of course - and by doing so will be displaying their ground-breaking ignorance of other countries for all to see - but despite a change of government Australia won't be doing anything it wasn't going to do anyway.

relax.

Adux
24 Nov 07,, 19:17
the new chap has said that he'll be pulling Australian combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2008 and re-inforcing the existing Australian forces in Afghanistan.


Good job there, War on Terror needs re-focussing, The war is in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Bigfella
24 Nov 07,, 23:45
Oh happy day!:)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :))

This has be a government of unparralleled viciousness. It has coasted on the achievements of others. it has played on hate and division for electoral gain. It has driven down standards for government behaviour to historic lows. It has consistently pandered to all the most negative tendencies in Australian society.

Howard may be the first sitting PM to lose his seat since 1929.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!


On international affairs Dave Angel is correct - very little change.

The Australian 'combat' troops in Iraq don't even count as window dressing. Despite repeated US requests they have been kept in one of the quietest parts of Iraq. This is because the troops were deployed in deficance of public opinion in this country in an attempt to make Bush look better. Those Australian troops actually performing useful roles will remain in Iraq.

Howard would have done the same, he just wasn't saying much about it.

The committment in Afghanistan will stay, and more will be done in our own region - an area very much in need of attention.

The main difference for Australia internationally is that Howard's expressed desire to be America's 'deputy sherriff' (yes folks, he said it) is dead. We will actually return to acting like a grown up nation in international affairs. Not before time.

Ray
25 Nov 07,, 01:17
Howard overplayed his hand. Apparently, his 11 (?) years in office gave him a bloated image that he was indispensable and thought he was the sole arbiter of Australia's destiny. These facts and the fact that he failed to read the winds of change made him come a cropper and he pulled his party down along with him too!

Here are the some possible themes to have emerged this time round in the election that I found on the net.

• The obvious importance of green issues, and their impact, crucially, as vote-shifters. John Howard’s salutary policy announcement during the televised debate focussed on climate change. The all-important seat of Wentworth has almost become a referendum on green issues.

• Housing affordability. Targeting first-time buyers and possibly the parents who are still providing a roof over their heads, Kevin Rudd kicked off his campaign on this very issue.

• Broadband speed is looming larger as a political issue (which is not surprising in Australia, the land of the sluggish internet connection).

• Ditto the availability of hi-tech teaching materials to schoolchildren, like lap-tops (or the “tool box of the future”, as Kevin Rudd calls it).

• Water shortages have featured, but, in this drought-ridden country, not as much as you might have thought.

• This election has been less about big ideas than managerialism: essentially, who is most capable of running the economy, and, arguably, finding practical solutions to meet the challenge of climate change.

• Does Kevin Rudd’s fluency in Mandarin herald the day much later in this century, or perhaps the next, when it’s a much more common diplomatic language?

• This is not Australia’s first internet election but it is its first YouTube election. Is the reason we are seeing politicians ambushed so frequently now because within a few minutes the material can be uploaded onto the web? Political performance art is here to stay.

captain
25 Nov 07,, 04:20
[QUOTE]Oh happy day!:)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :))

This has be a government of unparralleled viciousness. It has coasted on the achievements of others. it has played on hate and division for electoral gain. It has driven down standards for government behaviour to historic lows. It has consistently pandered to all the most negative tendencies in Australian society.

Howard may be the first sitting PM to lose his seat since 1929.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Oh dear,,You have just given yourself away as a card carrying member of the leftist lunatic fringe and for a doctoral candidate whom one would expect to have at least some measured objectivity, you have failed miserablely.


On international affairs Dave Angel is correct - very little change.

Possibly correct as Rudd has had significant experience in the diplomatic field.
The problem for Rudd is the rest of the rabble in the camp and wether or not he can beat some sense into them or at least keep them on a very short leash as he has had to during the election campaign.


The Australian 'combat' troops in Iraq don't even count as window dressing. Despite repeated US requests they have been kept in one of the quietest parts of Iraq. This is because the troops were deployed in deficance of public opinion in this country in an attempt to make Bush look better. Those Australian troops actually performing useful roles will remain in Iraq.

Just your opinion.
Opinion that may not be shared by the forces there.
Have you ever spoken to any of the troop commanders or at least read some of the web diaries.
Yes, the troops have expressed a desire to "get amoungst it" and not be "window dressing" as you so graciously put it but as you or perhaps your Doctoral supervisors where unlikely to have been privy to the decision processes your opinion appears as another thinly vieled anti Bush rant.


Howard would have done the same, he just wasn't saying much about it.

Yes he did.
What he would not do was commit to some fixed date for withdrawal, for very obvious reasons.


The committment in Afghanistan will stay, and more will be done in our own region - an area very much in need of attention.

Rudd is the only in in the party that I have heard commit to Afganhistan but is that shared or will he be white anted.
Which other areas, in your opinion are" very much in need of attention"?


The main difference for Australia internationally is that Howard's expressed desire to be America's 'deputy sherriff' (yes folks, he said it) is dead. We will actually return to acting like a grown up nation in international affairs. Not before time.

Bad luck about the alliance that Australia has benefitted from to a far greater extent but never let reality, both past and future muddy the waters of the lunatic dogma.

The "growing up" bit is entirerly up to you and the longer you delay the start the more difficult it will be.

BTW, I am not nor ever have been a fan of Howard.

Cheers.

captain
25 Nov 07,, 08:58
[QUOTE]Howard overplayed his hand. Apparently, his 11 (?) years in office gave him a bloated image that he was indispensable and thought he was the sole arbiter of Australia's destiny. These facts and the fact that he failed to read the winds of change made him come a cropper and he pulled his party down along with him too!

Ray, with respect Sir, be careful when using the word fact(s).
The above is not "fact" but opinion only, an opinion I can however find a little agreement with.


Here are the some possible themes to have emerged this time round in the election that I found on the net.

It needs to be noted that the media in Australia is predominately left leaning as are the plethora of blogs and forums.
The right are and always have been a realtively silent bunch which as I understand it is not something that is unique to Australia.

Having said that, I will try to add a little extra information to each of your points below.



• The obvious importance of green issues, and their impact, crucially, as vote-shifters. John Howard’s salutary policy announcement during the televised debate focussed on climate change. The all-important seat of Wentworth has almost become a referendum on green issues.

Yes, greeen issues have become a factor and Howard in panic probably, made some effort to placate the green isssue voters but too late.
Howard, to his credit, was not going to sign the Kyoto protocol in it's present form because it would spell economic ruin for us.
Rudd has made a point of saying he will sign it but I doubt he will sign it in it's present form either.

The Green's party are a vehicle that Australians use as a form of protest vote and no one in their right mind would ever allow them to have any real power although we may have unwittingly given them that power if they end up with the balance of power in the Senate.
The Democrats used to occupy this position but thankfully they have disappeared into oblivion.

The green issues have devolved into a new religion that have all the irrational dogma of the most destructive idolitary.
As an aside, the Green's have been refered to as being Watermelons (green on the outside and red in the middle) or Avocados (green on the outside, yellow on the inside, with a brown NUT [Bob Brown] at the centre).:)

The seat of Wentworth is interesting.
The enviroment minister in Howard's government (Malcolm Turnbull) has retained the seat with a huge majority????


• Housing affordability. Targeting first-time buyers and possibly the parents who are still providing a roof over their heads, Kevin Rudd kicked off his campaign on this very issue.

It will be interesting to see what Rudd will do about that.
For close to 25 years now we have had a first home buyers grant that is currently about $10,000.
This grant is an exgratia payment from the government and represents between 20% and 25% of the average wage.
The Howard govt also intrduced the "baby bonus" which is another $5000 exgratia payment for each newborn, also to help defray the recognised financial strain on young families.

A couple of other things need to be taken into account.

Currently the interest rates for home loans are at about 8% compared to 16%during the worst of the Labour years.

Each state government is responsible for public housing but the Labour govts in most states have been busy selling off public housing creating a short fall of such housing, forcing many people to purchase their own home earlier than they would have otherwise considered it.

Young couples are tending to live beyond thier means and are determined to buy the biggest and best homes or inner city units instead of starting off with something more affordable or considering moving to a regional centre where housing is cheaper.

The determination of the young to start at the top and have the biggest and best of everything including a personal credit card debt that would choke a horse is I beleive more the problem than general affordability.


• Broadband speed is looming larger as a political issue (which is not surprising in Australia, the land of the sluggish internet connection).

It is an issue but not as big as it has been beat up to be.
I am in regional Australia and I have had high speed broadband for a few years.
If I was not able to get broad band by normal means the Howard govt introduce a scheme where by I would be able to instal wireless broad band or satelite link and most of the cost would be payed for by a govt grant.


• Ditto the availability of hi-tech teaching materials to schoolchildren, like lap-tops (or the “tool box of the future”, as Kevin Rudd calls it).

Another beat up.
Education is the resposibility of the states and there is very little the Feds can do other than try to set national standards.
Howard has tried to raise those standards but the Labour State govt's and teaching unions have tried their hardest to stick a spanner in the works at every available opportunity.
Parents however, are sending more and more kids to the ever increasing private schools where it's about standards not neccessarily equipment.

Lap tops - PC's are nice to have no doubt and most schools already have them as do most homes in Australia.
Is the benifit that great?
How did you and I manage to get through school with such primative things as books or the fandangled slide rule, neither of which would give us an answer by simply pushing a button.
We had to actually think and work things out for ourselves which may give you some clue as to why we are now able to use a computer reasonable well even though we led such deprived childhoods. :)


• Water shortages have featured, but, in this drought-ridden country, not as much as you might have thought.

No wonder!
Water has always been a jealously guarded right of the states and even though the Feds have tried to get some sort of national agreement, bloody mindedness on behalf of the states have made very slow progress on the issue.

Victoria and NSW state govt's in particular have been incredibly short sighted.
Victoria has not built a new dam for nearly 30 years and in the interval the population dependant on existing dams has probably doubled.
Ditto for Sydney.
Very destrucvtive floods occur just about every year that would be mitigated by dams but the greenies are more concerned that some insect that lives in these areas may loose it home therfore humanity must take second place.

To their credit, the Queensland Labour gov't are beginning to wake up and do something about their catchments and reticulation system.

I think the voters have recognised that fault does not lay with Howard or the federal gov't, but with the states.


• This election has been less about big ideas than managerialism: essentially, who is most capable of running the economy, and, arguably, finding practical solutions to meet the challenge of climate change.

The end result appears to be the exact opposite.


• Does Kevin Rudd’s fluency in Mandarin herald the day much later in this century, or perhaps the next, when it’s a much more common diplomatic language?

Doubt it.


• This is not Australia’s first internet election but it is its first YouTube election. Is the reason we are seeing politicians ambushed so frequently now because within a few minutes the material can be uploaded onto the web? Political performance art is here to stay.

The sad reality is that each election has become more about managing sound bites, chrarisma, and who can blather the most without the general population waking up to the fact that they have just been told nothing.

The person to blame for this sad state of affairs is the person who stares at each an every one of us each morning in the bathroom mirror.
I don't think Australians have a monopoly on that problem either.

Cheers.

Bigfella
25 Nov 07,, 10:00
Captain,

If despising this government makes me a card carrying member of the lunatic left then so be it. My left wing friends would be VERY amused to hear me referred to as such.:confused:

If you felt my commentary lacked balance then you were correct. Of course, so did yours. While I am in too much of a good mood to argue with you right now, I would point out that despite the difference in interest rates, the average house cost 4x average weekly earnings under Labor. It now costs 7x average weekly earnings. (oh, and any 'anti-Bush' sentiments you detected in my post were entirely a product of your own imagination. If I feel like saying something about Bush it won't be veiled, thinly or otherwise).

I wasn't after balance, except to balance the idea that this was a good government. I'm going to spend a few days revelling in the humiliation of these corrupt & nasty thugs before I get around to arguing over their legacy.:))

Get back to you later.

Bluesman
25 Nov 07,, 10:21
Lunatic. Enjoy your bile sandwich, you blister.

Trooth
25 Nov 07,, 13:57
Not that i am a great student of Australian politics, but it does seem to be that there are two major factors in Howard's loss.

The first is that he has been in place for so long and, for that matter, announced that a new term (if he had won it) was his last. In other words he would be a lame duck PM and people saw how Blair struggled after having made that same announcement (whilst Blair won he still had to constantly fend off the leaving question). People get fed up with governments, even well performing ones, because their policies won't change, but they accumulate rubbish that in itself might not actually be important - it just accumulates and gives the impression of a government in ruin.

The green issues in Australia are probably more significant that any of the other industrialised nations. Kyoto may or may not be a good thing for Australia to sign up to. But stating that you won't sign up to it sends the wrong signal for a country that has real environmental issues now that are at the forefront of people's thinking. Drought issues and water in Perth, for example. Taking a negative environmental stance of any kind is risky at best.

And at the risk of having to re-edit my nitroduction in this post, WorkChoices wasn't popular either and seemed to have come from nowhere?

captain
25 Nov 07,, 15:04
[QUOTE=Trooth;430736]Not that i am a great student of Australian politics, but it does seem to be that there are two major factors in Howard's loss.

The first is that he has been in place for so long and, for that matter, announced that a new term (if he had won it) was his last. In other words he would be a lame duck PM and people saw how Blair struggled after having made that same announcement (whilst Blair won he still had to constantly fend off the leaving question). People get fed up with governments, even well performing ones, because their policies won't change, but they accumulate rubbish that in itself might not actually be important - it just accumulates and gives the impression of a government in ruin.

Yep, reasonably good analysis.
The lame duck issue I have some doubt about though because Costello (the Treasurer) had long been annointed as successor and the transition would have been almost seemless with the current direction and programs having little changed.
The problem with Costello was his perceived arrogance, not his policies.
There was just something about his personality that gave people the creeps in the same way that people perceived former labour Prime minister Keating as an arrogant Pr$ck.


The green issues in Australia are probably more significant that any of the other industrialised nations.

No, not so.
Our issues are definately no more or less significant than any other nation.


Kyoto may or may not be a good thing for Australia to sign up to. But stating that you won't sign up to it sends the wrong signal for a country that has real environmental issues now that are at the forefront of people's thinking.

Definately not a good thing to sign up to in it's present format which punished developed nations and let developing nations off the hook without any sort of sunset clause in it.
Eg. Australia is a very small aggregate polluter compared to China and India even allowing for the greenie zealots insisting the methane burping and farting cattle and sheep be counted in our net pollution.
The system of carbon offsets that Australia and I think the U.S, was promoting was a much fairer system that also gave the developing nations the motivation to fix their problems as and when they were able rather than just a blanket rule that said "you will do this now regardless".
I think Rudd understands this and I would be very surprised if he buckled under greenie pressure and signs Kyoto in it's present format.


Drought issues and water in Perth, for example. Taking a negative environmental stance of any kind is risky at best.

As I mentioned in a reply to Ray above, the water issues are a state issue and the present state Labour governments have chosen to do nothing about it.
You simply can not have massive population increases relying on water storage that was designed for populations 50% less than are relying on them now.


And at the risk of having to re-edit my nitroduction in this post, WorkChoices wasn't popular either and seemed to have come from nowhere?

Its interesting that those seats where the Work Choice AWA's were most prevelant are the industrialised and mining communities of South Australia and Western Australia yet those seats the Libs retained.
The beat up about this comes from Union officials who can see their memberships collapsing and therefore their comfy little fiefdoms disappearing with it.
The work force in these industrial and mining centers seem to be very happy with their agreements but there have been a couple of minor transgressions by unscrupulous employers and they have been dealt with fairly promptly.
It is a new system and will take some fine tuning to make sure employees and employers are happy.
If Rudd scraps it, we are back to centralized wage fixing with the resultant union boss inspired strikes, loss of jobs and adversarial industrial relations.

Cheers.

Trooth
25 Nov 07,, 17:29
No, not so.
Our issues are definately no more or less significant than any other nation.

I think a great many Australians feel more personally exposed to environmental issues than people in, say, Europe, for example. Australia might not be polluting more than anyone else and i wasn't suggesting she is. Environmental issues are cross border and the recipients of the environmental problem are often not the ones causing it (as the people of Scandinavia frequently pointed out to Britain during the 80s).

Australia by its topology and geography has already gathered ozone and potentially drought issues from the rest of the world. That water shortages in Perth may be caused by a somewhat cavalier local attitude to the acquifer doesn't mean that Australians aren't feeling that the Earth as a whole needs to be looked after and international treaties enable Australia to get it's point across to other polluters.



Its interesting that those seats where the Work Choice AWA's were most prevelant are the industrialised and mining communities of South Australia and Western Australia yet those seats the Libs retained.
The beat up about this comes from Union officials who can see their memberships collapsing and therefore their comfy little fiefdoms disappearing with it.
The work force in these industrial and mining centers seem to be very happy with their agreements but there have been a couple of minor transgressions by unscrupulous employers and they have been dealt with fairly promptly.
It is a new system and will take some fine tuning to make sure employees and employers are happy.
If Rudd scraps it, we are back to centralized wage fixing with the resultant union boss inspired strikes, loss of jobs and adversarial industrial relations.

WorkChoices though wasn't telegraphed in the previous election (at least so i have read), which lends people to think that the encumbents are possibly taking Australians for granted (a problem exacerbated by the duration that Howard had been PM).

smilingassassin
25 Nov 07,, 17:50
You know I think Howards been the only Aussie prime Minister I've ever heard of, must be because he had the gonads to stand side by side with the Americans despite the loonie lefts whining and moaning that he was making Australia a U.S. puppet.

Parihaka
25 Nov 07,, 20:52
Lunatic. Enjoy your bile sandwich, you blister.

Blues, John Howard can be disliked within Australia and indeed within the region for many reasons other than in his IMO good support of America during the WOT. In that area I wish our government were more like him.
However; his use of racially divisive political techniques such as the babies overboard campaign where he claimed illegal immigrants were throwing their children overboard to force the Australian navy to take them onboard was a particular low.
I've heard talk of how Australia needs to pay more attention to it's neighbours in SEAsia and the Pacific, but Howard's only ability in that respect was to act the colonial master, something NZ has found in general to be very counter-productive. I'm hoping for much better things from Kevin Rudd. Certainly the Pacific needs a fully engaged, strong Australia.

Bluesman
25 Nov 07,, 22:13
Blues, John Howard can be disliked within Australia and indeed within the region for many reasons other than in his IMO good support of America during the WOT. In that area I wish our government were more like him.
However; his use of racially divisive political techniques such as the babies overboard campaign where he claimed illegal immigrants were throwing their children overboard to force the Australian navy to take them onboard was a particular low.
I've heard talk of how Australia needs to pay more attention to it's neighbours in SEAsia and the Pacific, but Howard's only ability in that respect was to act the colonial master, something NZ has found in general to be very counter-productive. I'm hoping for much better things from Kevin Rudd. Certainly the Pacific needs a fully engaged, strong Australia.
Agreed, and let's hope that's what we'll all get.

Given the proclivities of a liberal, though...

Trooth
26 Nov 07,, 02:54
Agreed, and let's hope that's what we'll all get.

Given the proclivities of a liberal, though...

Howard was the Liberal. :confused:

Bluesman
26 Nov 07,, 03:17
Howard was the Liberal. :confused:

Oh, I'm aware. But he's a liberal in the classic sense, as am I. In today's political vernacular, though, as a Liberal, he's a conservative, and Labour are the liberals.

crooks
26 Nov 07,, 16:26
That's quite a win for Rudd - I wish him well, though it's bizzare how comfy a victory it was (86 - 62?), were Aussies that fed up with Howard or was Rudd genuinely a better, more distinctive candidate :confused: ?

Bigfella
26 Nov 07,, 21:55
That's quite a win for Rudd - I wish him well, though it's bizzare how comfy a victory it was (86 - 62?), were Aussies that fed up with Howard or was Rudd genuinely a better, more distinctive candidate :confused: ?


Crooks,

Without bogging down in detail (thats for another day), people were sick of Howard & his government. Howard in particular was looking old & out of ideas. He simply couldn't put a case for why he should be PM beyond Labor being the spawn of Satan. The polls have been consistently showing that people had simply stopped listening. After a decade people had heard everything he & his party had to say & were no longer interested. There were also a number of policies that were increasingly unpopular, but the 'its time' factor was the single most powerful element in the result.

Rudd was not so much a brilliant improvement, as a 'safe pair of hands'. He is fairly conservative himself, and campaigned as such. He is intelligent, articulate & has good political skills. He also comes across as more personable & approachable than Howard.

The one area where Rudd himself was a crucial factor was in his home state of Queensland. Queenslanders are notoriously parochial, and the idea of 'one of us' as PM appealed to many swinging voters there. This played into a situation where the Labor vote from the previous election had been unrealistically low. While the national swing to labor was 6%, in Qld it was almost 8%. Several Liberal/National seats on margins over 9% fell, including one with a 15% swing to Labor! As a result, this is only the second time since WW2 that the majority of seats in Qld are now in Labor hands.

My personal view of Rudd is that he is a smug little turd. I distrust his conservatism & public religiosity, and I think his opinion of himself well exceeds his ability. Unfortunately little turds are very much what the public wants. I would rather a smug one than a vicious one, which is what we just got rid of. While Rudd is not my ideal of a Labor PM, I thin he will be a good PM for the country, especially in our transition back to a more civilized society.

Parihaka
26 Nov 07,, 23:57
BigFella, I was interested to see Costello taking a back seat, do you think he's positioning himself for a resurgence when in all probability the Lib/Nats loose the next election?

Bigfella
27 Nov 07,, 01:27
BigFella, I was interested to see Costello taking a back seat, do you think he's positioning himself for a resurgence when in all probability the Lib/Nats loose the next election?

Much simpler than that Pari - he's a gutless wonder.

Earlier this year Paul Keating described him as 'all tip & no iceberg'. Once again Keats was spot on. Costello is a frontrunner, a bully, someone who is happy to kick heads & strut around, but lacks the courage to really fight. He didn't have the stomach to challenge Howard, though he was happy to rubbish him in private. He wanted the top job handed to him on a platter, and now that he wil have to put in a lot of hard yards he simply doesn't have the stomach for opposition.

If it sounds like I despise the man, I do. Here's why. Costello is a vicious politician & a callous one too. He was the one leading the attack on Kim Beazley as 'policy lazy' and having 'no ticker'. All of this, of course, was veiled references to Beazley's weight. In an even worse example, Costello hounded one Labor Senator over travel allowance 'rorts' that Costello knew to be legitimate claims. The attack included attacks on the senator's family. The man attempted suicide.

Costello has been one of the leading campaigners for an industrial relations system that strips away worker's rights & imposes a 'dog eats dog' mentality on the poorest & least secure workers. He also presided over changes to the welfare system that made life impossible for many who had perfectly legitimate reasons to recieve welfare. Put simply, Costello was happy to dish it out to others, often those least able to defend themselves. Now that he has been asked to actually put in some effort himself & take a few risks, he is going to retire on his nice big parliamentary pension & walk into a highly paid job, probably as a lobbyist. In the process he has left his party in chaos at what is probably its worst moment since it was founded. The man is beneath contempt.

There won't be any comeback. A lot of those who supported him in the Party room for years feel terribly betrayed by this. They will turn to Malcolm Turnbull, who might be prepared to ride out a loss in 3 years time to go for the big prize later on (he has made his millions already & has only been in parliament 3 years). Costello will be consigned to the dustbin of history as a man without the courage of his convictions.

p.s. If you are interested in an assessment of where the Libs stand now & the possible leadership contenders, I can post an amended version of something I did for another website. It covers all the major players & looks at where the party stands now.

Parihaka
27 Nov 07,, 01:50
p.s. If you are interested in an assessment of where the Libs stand now & the possible leadership contenders, I can post an amended version of something I did for another website. It covers all the major players & looks at where the party stands now.
Yeah I'd love to read it. It's all very well watching the interminable SkyNews over the last couple of months, but an in-depth analysis by you would help matters immeasurably. If you could be bothered, a quick run down on the Labor luminaries and their Asia-Pacific attitudes would be grand as well:biggrin:

Bigfella
27 Nov 07,, 08:54
Yeah I'd love to read it. It's all very well watching the interminable SkyNews over the last couple of months, but an in-depth analysis by you would help matters immeasurably. If you could be bothered, a quick run down on the Labor luminaries and their Asia-Pacific attitudes would be grand as well:biggrin:

Pari, this is an amended version of smoething I posted on another site. I hope the references aren't too 'local' to make sense to you. If anything doesn't make sense, just tell me.

The ALP list will take a bit longer.

I'll give my assessment of where I think the party is at, and the potential leaders. If you detect a hint of gloating in my tone it’s because...well...I am.

Howard has left the Liberal Party in a mess. Whatever you think of his record in government, his work within the party has left it in trouble. On a state level, his interventions in NSW & SA cost them government (perhaps twice in NSW).

Federally he turned the Liberal Party into a Conservative Party. This has left a great many people within the party unhappy. They were (mostly) prepared to bite their tongues for the sake of unity in government. That discipline will not last. There are now two powerful factions in a party that has no real mechanism for dealing with such struggles. The question now is not if there will be bloodletting, but how much & how long.

In his constant attempts to keep Costello in his place, Howard promoted & bypassed a number of ambitious young men. With Costello showing just what a gutless wonder he is, this has left a number of inflated egos ready to indulge their ambitions.

My bet is that there will be a period of stability under a new leader. If, however, that leader is not making a dent in Rudd's popularity within 18 months the knives will be sharpened.

Now, my very biased survey of the contenders:

Malcolm Turnbull: Smart, politically savvy & ambitious. Former lawyer & merchant banker. Multi-Millionaire. Might ride a wave of more moderate thinking, especially after his preparedness to challenge Howard for not signing Kyoto. Some questions over how well his somewhat superior lawyer's style will play in the electorate. Will pose a threat to any new leader from the front bench if he doesn't get the job. Probably the best option.

Tony Abbot: A boots 'n all class warrior from another era. His arrogance has bred a string of mistakes. His overt & highly combative religiosity won't play well with the electorate. Unfortunately for the Libs he is the natural inheritor of Howard's powerful conservative wing. Not enough to get him up this time (I suspect), but expect him to start sharpening the knives within 12 months.

Brendan Nelson: The invisible man lives! Ask yourselves this - in a campaign where defence was seen as a Coalition strength & 'old leadership' a weakness, why did the party bury a young Defence minister in a deep, dark hole? Defence was his chance to establish himself as a serious player & he blew it. Still, has strong support from the back bench. Might crack it as deputy.

Christopher Pyne: Does Australia really need Downer-lite? More proof that the Adelaide elite needs to expand its gene pool & get a new accent. His combination of nasal whining & inbred superiority might play well with the blue rinsers in the 'Land of Hope & Glory' crowd (apparently they loved Lexie), but they are quite literally a dying breed.

Andrew Robb: As a former national campaign director & seior administrator Robb is one of the genuine brains in the Liberal Party. Would be a decent deputy, but could probably achieve just as much in a senior shadow role. The deputy's job should probably go to an aspirant to the top job. Robb is too much of a backroom strategist to aspire to the top job.

Julie Bishop: One of the few genuinely impressive ministers in the last parliament. Bright, competent, telegenic & female - the anti-Tony Abbot. Oh, and she is from WA too. Not ready for the top job yet, but a stint as deputy might fix that. If the Libs overlook her for a senior job they are clearly not serious about the future.

My Dream Team: Abbot & Pyne - would utterly fail to manage the problems in the Party & condemn it to a decade in the wilderness. Still, I've had a pretty good week. This would be too much to hope for. Would also be happy with Nelson & any of the above.

Best option for the Libs: Turnbull & Bishop - loads of brains & talent. Will probably get the gig, though Robb could get the deputy’s spot too.

Bigfella
28 Nov 07,, 08:27
Pari,

Abbot has bailed, but reserved the right to challenge in the future. A real snake.

The leadership will be decided tommorrow, as will the new Labor cabinet. once I get the final names on the Cabinet I'll post what I know about them & try to give you a feel for the new team.

akinkhoo
28 Nov 07,, 11:53
so he is finally gone. guess he knows his age is getting to him since he say he would quit in the term. would it have been pointless to run, maybe he should push up his successor instead?

Parihaka
28 Nov 07,, 20:35
BigFella, much obliged:)

Parihaka
29 Nov 07,, 04:12
And the winners are..


Brendan Nelson: The invisible man lives! Ask yourselves this - in a campaign where defence was seen as a Coalition strength & 'old leadership' a weakness, why did the party bury a young Defence minister in a deep, dark hole? Defence was his chance to establish himself as a serious player & he blew it. Still, has strong support from the back bench. Might crack it as deputy.
I'm listening to his acceptance speech as I type. Dog tucker.


Julie Bishop: One of the few genuinely impressive ministers in the last parliament. Bright, competent, telegenic & female - the anti-Tony Abbot. Oh, and she is from WA too. Not ready for the top job yet, but a stint as deputy might fix that. If the Libs overlook her for a senior job they are clearly not serious about the future.
Hmmm. Australia's first female PM?

Ray
29 Nov 07,, 18:34
A Down Under turnaround
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The staunchest of Bush's international political allies has been voted out of office.
By Michael Fullilove
November 29, 2007
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- We Australians don't kid ourselves that Americans follow our politics as closely as we follow theirs. The results of the Australian election last weekend, however, may give pause to some in Washington: A social conservative, once described by President Bush as a "man of steel," was thrown out of office (and his own parliamentary seat) by a former diplomat who speaks Mandarin.

On such issues as climate change and the war on terror, ousted Prime Minister John Howard was Bush's most faithful international supporter. After the inglorious departures of Britain's Tony Blair and Spain's Jose Maria Aznar, Bush and Howard were the last men standing of the Western leaders who invaded Iraq. Now Howard too is gone. It's as if the Sundance Kid charged alone into the rifles of the Bolivian army, leaving Butch Cassidy fiddling with his six-shooter.

The good news for the United States is that under the new Labor government, Australia will remain a close ally. Historically speaking, Australia is actually Washington's most reliable ally -- the only country to fight alongside the U.S. in every major conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries. The new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is a strong supporter of the alliance -- unlike Labor's leader at the last election, who called it "a funnel that draws us into unnecessary wars" and "another form of neocolonialism."

Rudd understands that if Washington is to value its alliance with Australia, we need to be a valuable ally. So far he has pledged to withdraw some troops from Iraq -- but not all -- and continue Australia's deployment to dangerous southern Afghanistan.

But Australian support for American military operations, while historically consistent, is not unlimited. If Bush were to revert to the muscular foreign policy of his first term and initiate another risky unilateral military operation without wide international support, the new government may be less willing to join the coalition.

Canberra also will be less sympathetic on some other global issues. One of Rudd's first acts in office, for instance, will be to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, leaving the United States as the only developed country in the world not to sign on to this plan to reduce global warming.

Shattering the Bush-Howard mind-meld may turn out to be a good thing for the alliance, however. The previous Australian government was in danger of loving it to death. With his record of emphasizing Australian ideas and independence, Rudd will be better placed than his predecessor to win the public argument at home about the value of the U.S. alliance.

The elevation of a China wonk to prime minister also should serve to remind the United States of the new strategic geometry in Asia and the Pacific. As China's diplomatic influence rises in tandem with its economic success, countries throughout the region are having to triangulate between the two behemoths. Just a few months ago, for example, China overtook Japan as Australia's largest trading partner. Our leading economic partner, therefore, is no longer our ally's ally but our ally's rival.

Rudd was not elected prime minister because he speaks Mandarin -- but neither did anyone accuse him of being the Manchurian candidate. Given China's regional clout and its appetite for Australian resources, most here regard China expertise as a good thing.

How should American policymakers react to the emergence throughout Asia of strategic triangles like the one formed by Washington, Beijing and Canberra? The answer is not to be more demanding of allies and friends.

Rather, the U.S. needs to match the concentration and subtlety of Beijing's regional soft-power offensive. The recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit in Sydney was a case in point. Australians laughed off Bush's references to the "OPEC" meeting and the "Austrian" troops in Iraq. However, his performance contrasted with the diplomatic tour de force by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who stayed in Australia for a week, closed a major energy deal and presented two giant pandas to the Adelaide Zoo.

Washington should also remind Asians of the public goods it provides to the region -- in the form of leadership and security -- compared with China. In recent years, America's sins in Iraq have obscured the flaws in China's international behavior. Beijing has been helpful on North Korea, but it has not yet internalized its new global responsibilities. It persists in shielding regimes, such as Myanmar's junta, from international scrutiny. In the southwest Pacific, China indulges in a bidding war with Taiwan for diplomatic recognition that is as destructive as it unnecessary.

In the final scene of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," Butch suggests that the duo decamp to Australia -- where "they speak English . . . they've got horses" and the banks are "easy, ripe and luscious."

After last weekend's election, Australia will remain a robust and familiar ally to America, but it may no longer be the best redoubt for outlaws.



Michael Fullilove directs the global issues program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney.
A Down Under turnaround - Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-fullilove29nov29,0,7195379.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail)

A commentary inviting comments!:rolleyes:

clackers
30 Nov 07,, 06:09
Ray, the article was right in saying Australia would remain a good ally. There was very little difference between either the foreign and domestic policies of the parties in the election. Howard's opposition pitched at the same politically "middle" demographic for the third time in four attempts to beat him.

The perception by our public that Howard had repeatedly misled or lied to us in the past was countered by the fact that Australian voters have historically been reluctant to get rid of any government when the economy was in such good shape.

So how did John Howard lose?

One issue attracted what must have been millions of dollars of propaganda and counterpropaganda advertsing - the new industrial relations laws.

Although protectiveness of working conditions is deep in Australian culture (there were local rules getting skilled workers an eight hour day back in the 1850s), the recent reforms were looking to very suddenly "increase flexibility" ... codewords that really meant the most tremendous attempt in eighty years to shift the seesaw balancing employers' needs versus those of employees.

The last time anything was attempted on this scale in Australia was in 1929, where members of the Government 'crossed the floor', and in the resulting electoral landslide the Cambridge-educated, Rolls-Royce driving Prime Minister of the day lost his seat as well ... and they say those who don't learn from history ...

Bigfella
02 Dec 07,, 10:37
Pari,

This is my potted commentary on the incoming ministry. It is often hard to judge people in opposition, and I expect a serious reshuffle within 18 months as Rudd shakes out the non-performers. I have left blank those I don’t know much about. All in all this is an impressive bunch, especially compared with what it replaced (the Libs had a handful of good performers & a LOT of bad ones).

On the subject of Asia/pacific relations, I think it will be positive. Less of an obsession with following the US everywhere & more emphasis on forging/improving links with the region. The outgoing govt. had a particularly poor record on the Sth Pacific, which it frequently treated with near contempt. Expect a change there.

Much has been made of Rudd’s experience in China & what it might mean. The short answer is not much. While good relations with China are paramount right now, don’t expect any dramatic realignments in policy. One potential change is on selling uranium to India. The ALP was opposed to selling to a non-NPT nation. If they stick to that they’ll have to work hard elsewhere not to damage that relationship (personally I think we should never have agreed to sell, & the policy was a lot more about domestic politics than the derisory income it will yield).

Ministers

*Education, Employment and Workplace relations: Julia Gillard
Gillard was a top labor lawyer & is one of the sharper minds in the party. Although deputy PM, she will have her hands full with this lot & won’t have much to do with foreign affairs. Has been painted as some sort of left wing witch, but actual left-wingers I know who went to uni with her assure me she was always the lawyer, even then.

*Treasurer: Wayne Swan
Hard nosed number cruncher from way back. Cut his teeth in the rough & tumble of Queensland politics. Will do a good job.

*Finance: Lindsay Tanner
A finance minister from the left. Who woulda thunk it. Tanner is one of the smartest guys in the parliament. An ideas man who would do a good job anywhere.

*Foreign affairs: Stephen Smith
Will be an interesting change from the florid & fumbling Downer. Smith is a stony-faced power broker from WA. It is always hard to say how someone will perform in a job like Foreign minister, but my bet is that he will do very well indeed.

*Defence: Joel Fitzgibbon
Reports on Fitzgibbon vary, and it is hard to judge someone whose opponent performed as badly in Defence as Nelson did. On the up side, he will have strong support (see below).

*Attorney-General: Robert McClelland
All reports suggest that he will perform well, but there are contingencies in place in case he doesn’t. The outgoing AG has been a disaster, so there is a lot of work to do.

*Cabinet secretary: John Faulkner
Another of the brains behind the party. A former minister whose longevity in the often volatile world of Labor politics is a testimony to his skills. He will be one of the powers behind the throne, and the government will be better for it.

*Health and ageing: Nicola Roxon
An up and coming figure. One of a number of Labor women in their late 30s with almost a decade of experience who are looking to establish themselves as forces within the party. One to keep an eye on.

*Families, Housing, Community services and Indigenous affairs: Jenny Macklin
One of the old guard left. Former deputy leader. Good portfolio for her.

*Environment, Heritage and The Arts: Peter Garrett
Still inexperienced in politics, which is why he has had a lot of his environmental responsibilities stripped away. Will have 18 months at most to prove that he is up to being a minister.

*Climate change and Water: Penny Wong
In the same category as Roxon. Was campaign spokesman during the election campaign & impresses one & all. Will be interesting to see how the folks at the upcoming Bali summit react to an ABC (Australian Born Chinese) with a broad Aussie accent (DK if she speaks any Chinese languages).

*Immigration and Citizenship: Chris Evans

*Trade: Simon Crean
VERY experienced former minister & party leader. Safe pair of hands for a key portfolio.

*Infrastructure, Transport, Regional development and Local government: Anthony Albanese
Back room boy from the NSW left. A boring but hard working man for a boring but busy portfolio.

*Resources, Energy and Tourism: Martin Ferguson
Former head of the ACTU – our peak union body – who was a minister in the last Labor govt. An unexciting figure, but a good one to deal with this sector.

*Agriculture, fisheries and forestry: Tony Burke

*Human services: Joseph Ludwig
Scion of a powerful right-wing Labor/union family in Qld. Interesting to see if the boy is a patch on his old man.

*Innovation, Industry, Science and research: Kim Carr
An experienced senator. May even have been a minister under Keating. Another one who is probably on the way out.

*Home affairs : Bob Debus
New talent. Has just been elected to parliament, but as a former Attorney –General in NSW he is being groomed for bigger things. A backup plan in case McLelland is a dud.

*Broadband communications and digital economy: Stephen Conroy
A party powerbroker in a portfolio that has been at the forefront of the election campaign. Expected to do well.

*Defence, Science and Personnel: Warren Snowdon
Don’t really know much about Snowden except that he is an experienced MP from the Nth Territory.

*Workforce participation: Brendan O'Connor

*Superannuation and Corporate law: Nick Sherry
A good news story. Driven to attempt suicide under a relentless attack by Peter Costello some years ago. Has been working hard in t he senate ever since. Good to see him back on his feet.

*Small business: Craig Emerson
Former junior minister under Keating (I think). Interesting to see how he goes second time around.

*Ageing: Justine Elliot

*Housing and Status of women: Tanya Plibersek
Another of the ‘bright young women’ I talked about. Not an especially sexy portfolio, but can expect to progress if she does well.

*Youth and sport: Kate Ellis

*Veteran affairs: Alan Griffin

Parliamentary secretaries:

Some of these are more interesting than the ministers. Mixture of first timers & old guard on the way out.

*Secretary to the Prime Minister, Early childhood education and childcare: Maxine McKew
Former ABC newsreader who knocked off the PM in his own seat. Smart, telegenic & her partner is Bob Hogg, former Hawke advisor & still one of the sharpest political brains in the country. Could go far.

*Parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister: Anthony Byrne

*Defence procurement: Greg Combet
Former union boss who took on Patricks during the docks dispute here. A nose so hard it could chisel granite & a mind like a steel trap. Lacks the persona to be a future leader, but will be in a senior ministry by the next election. Just the bloke to sort out one of the most messed up portfolios in the government.

*Defence: Mike Kelly
Decorated former military lawyer who served in East Timor, Somalia & Iraq, with the SAS during the Sydney Olympics, and in Croatia, Bosnia & Kenya with the Red Cross. Has a doctorate in law. Endured an often nasty campaign from the ‘all soldiers are heroes as long as they are conservatives’ crowd & stood up to it well. Classified as a ‘celebrity candidate’, but VERY substantial. The ALP is hoping he is up to the rough & tumble of politics. If so, he will go far.

*Infrastructure - Northern and regional Australia: Gary Gray
Former ALP national Secretary during the last ALP government. Went off to a senior job in the resources sector. Expect rapid promotion.

*Disabilities and children services: Bill Shorten
Former senior union official. Smart, telegenic & with an eye on MUCH bigger things, if he proves good at the game.

*Multicultural affairs and settlement programs: Laurie Ferguson
Brother of Martin, but even less impressive. One of those dropped from the shadow ministry. On the way out.

*International development assistance: Bob McMullan
Curious. Generally considered one of the brains behind the party. Experience as a minister. Hard to say if this indicates he is losing interest, or if internal politicas are at play.

*Pacific relations Duncan Kerr
Another experienced figure who is probably on the way out. Still, a good person to deal with an area both abused & neglected by the previous government. A positive appointment.

*Social inclusion: Ursula Stephens

*Trade: John Murphy

Ray
04 Dec 07,, 07:40
An Australian round-up.


Monday, Dec. 3, 2007

DECADE OF CHANGE AHEAD

The return of Aussie Labor

By ALAN GOODALL
Special to The Japan Times

SYDNEY — A clean sweep across Australia ensures that old-style conservative government is out for at least the next three years, possibly the next decade. The Australian Labor Party now rules, not only in Canberra but in every state and territory.

Triumphant Labor has swept aside the 11-year regime in Canberra of the conservative Liberal-National coalition. The electoral victory was so convincing that a new-style Labor under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could, barring a party implosion, be making Australia's deals with the world for years to come.

Vigorous Rudd is jumping straight into world affairs — he's a former diplomat fluent in Mandarin — at the United Nations climate-change summit in Bali this week. With him is his new Cabinet colleague, Sen. Penny Wong, who will be Australia's chief negotiator in talks on a global greenhouse-gas reduction target to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

Also in Bali is environmental supremo Peter Garrett, who lost his hopes for a top Cabinet post after confiding to a reporter that Labor would ditch its election promises once it comes to power.

A 6-percent swing on election day toppled the conservatives even after they reigned over the greatest economic advance Australia has ever known.

Electors here tend to hang on to one of the two sides for a decade or more. State governments, all under Labor, have been doing that despite media criticism. Knowing that all governments across the country are now held by Labor, Tokyo had better get used to dealing with a different Canberra crowd with a strong mandate. That includes the likes of Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers exporting from here under a rising Aussie dollar.

Canberra's dealings with the world will be different. Rudd is, of course, taking pains to reassure everyone it's business as usual. Tried-and-true links with Washington and Tokyo will remain firm. The London scene under Britain's New Labour particularly appeals to the modernized Australian Labor. Australia's commitment to maintaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a touchy issue.

Tokyo need not fear the kind of Canberra shocks under Labor Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. This is not an idealistic socialist government. Union bosses hankering for revenge after years of Liberal reforms of workplace laws are being warned to hush up. Rudd made pre-election calming noises about holding down inflation and industrial strikes, and appointments to his Cabinet suggest he wants to keep promises of a seamless transition with inclusive government. The test will come when controversial workplace amendments come under debate in early 2008.

Promises to slash bloated public services could well be the first to get a reality check, judging by a new Cabinet of 20 ministers, 10 junior ministers and a dozen parliamentary secretaries. Rudd is the first Labor leader ever to ignore union heavies by choosing ability over loyalty in giving Cabinet jobs to left and right party factions.

Rudd's freedom from factional influence, however, is balanced by the appointment as deputy prime minister of Julia Gillard. This leftwing fighter is also in charge of the core priority areas of Rudd reforms, industrial relations and education.

Fast-talking Gillard faces a formidable shadow minister on the opposition benches, the astute Julie Bishop, who was education minister in the old Parliament and will now square off against Gillard in industrial relations reforms.

The opposition's shadow Cabinet, stitched together from the decimated ranks of a disgruntled Liberal Party, is headed by a former medical practitioner, Brendan Nelson. Once a Labor voter in his youth, the former president of the Australian Medical Association is a skilled debater and matches the relative youth of the 50-year-old prime minister.

Youth versus age was what the election debacle came down to. John Howard, after 33 years in Parliament, was seen as a relic by voters, most of whom are under 35 years. They dumped him not only as prime minister but seemingly also from his parliamentary seat in Sydney's Bennelong. A novice, Maxine McKew, trounced him. For her success, the former television announcer gets a job as a parliamentary secretary. She will stay long in Bennelong and doubtless receive higher cabinet posts.

His reward for steering Australia through economic history allows Howard a modest pension. He and wife Janette graciously handed over the keys to The Lodge, the official Canberra residence, to Rudd and his wife, millionaire business woman Therese Rein.

The generational gap is a voter factor not to be discounted in any democracy. Younger Australians have known nothing but prosperity, but they were tired of hearing the same old politicians, such as longtime treasurer Peter Costello, preaching fiscal prudence. Costello, for his trouble, will exit politics. Young voters wanted change and they got it, with a vengeance.

Howard biographer David Barnett contrasts the outlook of computer age voters with that of the Howard generation: "It was change for change's sake. One generation read newspapers, watched the news and calculated their advantage. Another generation did neither. It used personal computers the way their parents used the telephone, and was increasingly forming political opinions based on political satire, for whom illusion and reality were dancing dots on a computer screen. For them, it was time to change channels."

So who is this new prime minister that swept Labor to victory? What you see is not quite what you get with Kevin Rudd. Not that he's any more insincere or ambitious than your average politician — far from it. He simply uses intelligence, strong will and self-discipline to get where he wants and carries others with him.

As one smart operator, he has perfected the photo op — the charming smile, the all-embracing words of warm promise. A lad from a poor share-cropper farm family in the northern state of Queensland, he diligently earned his way through university, the diplomatic service, and into the Labor Party bureaucracy in Brisbane.

Elected into the House of Representatives, he rapidly learned to corner any Canberra politician or reporter who would listen, as one watcher observed, "to him talking about himself." It worked. He edged out Labor's kindly but ineffective leader Kim Beazley a year ago.

Even hard-bitten Canberra press gallery reporters were dazzled enough to give his me-too election promises easy passage. Says David Williamson, "Rudd might throw tantrums and abuse his staff behind doors when they've stuffed up, but face to face you can't help liking him." Electors did. They also found themselves liking his colleagues, some of whom had labored on opposition benches for decades.

For Australia, the decade of conservative rule is over. New-look Labor is all-systems-go for a decade of change. It's what young voters want, they say. And the shocked oldies, not to mention the outside world, must now look to fast-paced change in Canberra.
Alan Goodall is former Tokyo bureau chief for The Australian.

The return of Aussie Labor | The Japan Times Online (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20071203a1.html)


The Australian Labor Party now rules, not only in Canberra but in every state and territory.

How far is it correct that old-style conservative government is out for at least the next three years, possibly the next decade?

If that happens, what is the impact domestically and internationally?

captain
04 Dec 07,, 13:12
An Australian round-up.



The Australian Labor Party now rules, not only in Canberra but in every state and territory.

How far is it correct that old-style conservative government is out for at least the next three years, possibly the next decade?

If that happens, what is the impact domestically and internationally?

Ray,

It is certainly true that the federal conservatives are out for the next three years but, the next decade is a complete unknown at this stage.

The article you have provided is one of the more rational ones I have seen and does raise some important points.

The paragraph refering to Howard's biographer David Barnett is the best short explaination I have seen regarding what happened and why.

Wether or not the Left remain in power past their first term depends on a number of things.

As the article indicates, the Union heavies and some of Rudds team have made it known that they believe the election promises made should be broken as soon as the new government is sworn in.
If that entails some extreme and nasty surprises for bussiness and the community generally, once the younger citizens start to think their comfortable and comparitivelly affluent existence is under threat, then just a single term is likely.

There is no doubt that Rudd has a very high capacity for work but I wonder how long he will be able to extract the same performance out of his gaggle of ministers and secretaries before they all turn into "Brutus" clones carrying daggers under their toggas.
A diciplined team is not something the left has ever been renowned for.
If Rudd is dispatched then we would most likely see a large lurch to the left at least until the damage such a lurch, both domestacally and internationally spooked the electorate enough to vote them out.

The Libs or the right side of politics will also play a large part in how long the left stay in power.
Without the Howard, Costello leadership I think the LIbs are rather rudderless at the moment.
If their new ledership team don't get their act together and become an effective opposition then they may have more than one term in opposition.

The real danger is that the left will make such a mess of things and get kicked out only to cede government to an unprepaired opposition.

How we are perceived internationaly will depend largely on Rudd's ability to hold onto leadership of the Labour party.
If he can hang on and continue to steer a course not too far from the course previously set, any jitters our allies or trading partners may have will be kept reasonably calm.
If however, he is deposed from within I think our international partners, being a fairly pragmaticaly comfortable bunch about Australia's current direction, would have reason to be concerned even if the far left domestacally would find joy in installing possibly Gillard as Primeminister.

I would also add, nothing much can change until August 2008 because the new Senate will not be in place until then therefore any sweeping changes and pronouncements will just be media games.

Wether or not the states remain labour aslo depends on the ability of the conservative oppositions to make mileage out of any perceived horrors the Federal Labour party instigates.
It is also true that Australians do tend not to allow one party to be in power Australia wide for too long and I would not be surprised to see the Western Australia Labour govt fall first as they have been "on the nose" for a while now.

Cheers.

Officer of Engineers
04 Dec 07,, 14:53
*** sigh ***

We are not going to see an Australian battalion group conducting combat operations anytime soon.

Silent Hunter
04 Dec 07,, 15:23
I thought they were sending troops to Afghanistan.

Officer of Engineers
04 Dec 07,, 15:55
Attached to the Dutch who, while stationed in hostile country, is not conducting combat operations, ie they're not going out and hunting down the bad guys. The Dutch are taking hits but only in defensive actions.

captain
04 Dec 07,, 22:17
*** sigh ***

We are not going to see an Australian battalion group conducting combat operations anytime soon.

I honestly don't know and anyone who says they do are realy just speculating.

In Rudd's victory speech he made very pointed reference to "our US allies" which was very unusual and not what you would expect in a victory speech.
It seemed to me and to some of the more astute in the media that it was a warning salvo directed at the left faction who continualy harp about brining all our troops home.

Some of the left claim that our military would be "better utilised in our own region" but where that may be is a bit of a mystery because we are already in Timor and the Solomons in small numbers because that is all that is required at the moment.

We have just laid to rest the third Australian killed in action since the "WOT" began.
The media and the left are making an issue of this and will no doubt use it as justification to bring the troops home from what they perceive as a military operation that has nothing to do with us.

It will be well into next year before we begin to see any sort of indication of which way Australia will go and the old addage that a day in politics is a long time is very true.

Cheers

Speedy
08 Dec 07,, 01:53
It seems the election result was a lot closer than previously reported with only 12,000 votes across 9 electorates getting Labor across the line.

A Ruddslide that never happened | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22889385-5014046,00.html)


KEVIN Rudd and Labor owe their election victory a fortnight ago to just 0.1 per cent of the national vote after fewer than 12,000 people across nine electorates dumped the Coalition.

It is a remarkable statistic, revealing that despite an impressive overall swing to Labor across the nation of 5.6 per cent, the Rudd Government holds office by a slim margin.

A relatively small number of voters out of the total 13.6 million people enrolled decided the election outcome.

Labor supporters are jubilant after the party needed to take 16 seats from the Coalition to win and, with 92 per cent of votes counted, appears to have scored at least an 18-seat majority.

The swing to Labor that ended John Howard's 11-year reign was the biggest to either side since 1975, when the Coalition led by Malcolm Fraser trounced Labor after Gough Whitlam's dismissal.

In two party-preferred terms, the result eclipsed the 5.07per cent swing to the Coalition when Howard first won office in 1996.

The swing to Labor was also much stronger than the 3.63per cent to Labor for Bob Hawke's first victory in 1983.

A breakdown of the 2007 election results in marginal seats, however, shows the difference between Labor and the Coalition is much closer than the landslide some observers first suggested.

Labor scored its best results, giving the overall swing, in safe and marginal seats already held by the party.

It is no wonder that Labor hard-heads, while savouring victory after a gruelling campaign, know the party must consolidate its position at the next election to reduce the risk of Mr Rudd leading a one-term government.

The Coalition needs nine seats to win the next election, expected in late 2010 or early 2011. With morale among Liberals and Nationals poor and new leader Brendan Nelson scoring a record-low 14 per cent approval, the task seems almost insurmountable.

Most commentators argue Labor is assured at least two terms unless the performance of Rudd and his cabinet is unexpectedly lacklustre or voter sentiment wanes because Australia's economy gets dragged down by a possible US-led recession.

In the nine seats that the Coalition would need to win office next time, however, the number of voters required ranges from 182 in Robertson on NSW's central coast to 2320 in the former prime minister's seat of Bennelong.

These nine former Coalition seats swung Labor's way by a total of 11,799 votes a fortnight ago, according to the latest tally.

The nine most marginal for Labor would all fall to the Coalition with a uniform swing of 2.92 per cent next time. Of those, Braddon in Tasmania sits on 2.92 per cent, followed by Deakin in Victoria on 2.8 per cent, Bennelong on 2.68 per cent, Hasluck in Western Australia on 2.3 per cent and Bass in Tasmania on 2.02 per cent.

The remaining four seats would switch to the Coalition with a swing of between 0.2 per cent (Robertson) and 1.64 per cent (Corangamite in Victoria).

With the AEC handing Labor victory with a 52.86 per cent majority to the Coalition's 47.14 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis, Newspoll's last forecast, published in The Weekend Australian on election day, came very close to the actual result.

With AEC counting over the past fortnight pegging back Labor's lead, Newspoll's 52-48 per cent prediction was almost exactly in line with voters at the ballot box.

Newspoll chief Martin O'Shannessy said yesterday Labor's majority was slim, as confirmed by the nine seats on small margins that could turn to the Coalition next time.

Of the eight seats still undecided, the Liberals and Labor are expected to win four each, with former Liberal minister Fran Bailey hanging on by just 32 votes in her Victorian seat of McEwen.

This result would give Labor 84 of the 150 seats in House of Representatives to the Coalition's 64.

CyberPredator
09 Dec 07,, 07:53
A sad day. His tenure has seen umprecedented progress for his nation. Will the new incumbent withdraw Australian troops from the War on Terror? If so, it means a step backwards for the other participants.
The new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is perfectly entitled to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq. If his predessor had any courage at all, he would have done so the moment it became apparent that the US had lied to get Australian troops into Iraq (ie. Weapons of Mass Destruction) in the first place.

Buggsy

captain
09 Dec 07,, 08:45
Oh what fun,,:)) :)) , another one.

It is interesting and just a little "suss" that all the rabbits that have infested the forum of late come from Melbourne.

I think the "dogs of war" are about to descend upon you which may teach you to do your homework before making rash satements like that.

Should be fun to watch the carnage. :))

Bigfella
09 Dec 07,, 12:03
Ray,

excellent article from far off Tokyo (aside: do you have a specific website where you find your articles? - they are generally very good). Broadly speaking I agree with its thrust & assessments. Just a couple of correctives.

*Brendan Nelson was a member of the ALP until 1991, so it was hardly just his 'youth'. Indeed, as late as 1993 he was claiming never to have voted Liberal in his life, though he later admitted to this being a lie.

He is in a difficult position. When the party voted for a new leader he won by 3 votes, but the vote was taken before all seats were decided. Several of those who voted have since lost their seays, while 2 senators failed to vote because their flight was late. Nelson is trying to appeal to the right to shore up hisposition against Turnbull, a moderate & his biggest rival. It is a balancing act he may not be able to pull off.

*Howard is getting far from a 'modest pension'. The Parliamentary Superannuation scheme is notoriously generous. Over his 33 years Howard would have accrued a hefty nest egg. This alone would see him comfortably into retirement, but his lengthy periods as a minister & Prime Minister guarantee him an annual pension considerably higher than my annual wage. In addition he gets a staffed office & free airline flight for life (not sure if he gets zaccess to government cars or not). He & Jeanette will be doing just fine.

*David Barnett's 'analysis' is about what I would expect from a cranky old man responsible for arguably the worst political biography of his era. His book on Howard is widely considered embarassingly fawning. His views on politics are increasingly irrelevant.

Barnett's view of the election represents that segment of the Liberal Party who don't want to accept that any of their policies were actually wrong. They want to put it all down to the 'its time' factor. They want to believe that all that was wrong is that they had been in power too long.

This suits me just fine. I want the Libs to stay out of power, and if they believe this was just about 'changing the channel' then that is where they will stay for a long time. There was undoubtedly an 'its time' factor in this election, but it was driven by a reaction to policies, not just the PM. Key among these was the government's industrial relations policy, which was seen as unfair to low paid workers. The government's onging refusal to accept climate change added to the perception of them being out of touch. So did their continual resort to crude race politics & fear campaigns. While these worked in the past, by 2007 everyone had seen it before. people were no longer listening.

While this government did oversee prosperity for a good many Australians, there were many who felt shut out of the prosperity. The most obvious manifestation of this was the increasing difficulty average wage earners have buying a house or finding a rental property. There is nothing worse than being told how well off you are when you can't afford a place to live. The constant refrain of 'you've never had it so good' from the Libs was a key part of their message of ecenomic success. This made it impossible for them to credibly address the problem - to do so would have admitted failure.

Howard was certainly viewed as old & out of touch, but it wasn't just an issue of image, it was an issue of policy. Still, if Barnett & othe Liberal acolytes want to believe otherwise that is just great.

Just a note on the 'Australian' article posted by Speedy. The 'Oz' practically campaigned for the Libs. Indeed, in light of revelations that most of the Coalition knew they were doomed, the string of columns by 'Oz' writers claiming that the Libs could still win look VERY embarassing indeed. The truth is that most elections under our system are decided by a few thousand votes. Indeed, one seat in my home state has been decided by a mere 7 votes (though it may go to court). The 'Oz' is simply trying to cover their own blushes. A good laugh, but not much more.

gf0012-aust
09 Dec 07,, 14:15
*Howard is getting far from a 'modest pension'. The Parliamentary Superannuation scheme is notoriously generous. Over his 33 years Howard would have accrued a hefty nest egg. This alone would see him comfortably into retirement, but his lengthy periods as a minister & Prime Minister guarantee him an annual pension considerably higher than my annual wage. In addition he gets a staffed office & free airline flight for life (not sure if he gets zaccess to government cars or not). He & Jeanette will be doing just fine.


His final super is based on the average of his last 3 years as a politician (he has 33 years all up, which on their generous rates, is going to be pretty attractive).

He is entitiled to a press secretary at tax payers expense and he also gets a stipend for travel (basically he gets free travel for life).

His annual pension would work out to an annual approximate of $330,000, or alternatively he could take it as a lump sum of approx $1.5 million and still receive a lower pension of $165,000 pa.

He will also be entitled to an office, immediate support staff and a Z-car (he'll get the option of having his long term driver attached to his personal staff)
In actual fact the PM earns less than a 2nd tier director at BHP, Rio Tinto or a decent Sydney based CPA.

All PM's and Leaders of the Opposition are entitled to whats referred as discretionary privileges. (In Beazleys case he gets free travel for life for he and his immediate family)

Security details aren't in the public domain. Although I believe there is a sunset period.

smilingassassin
09 Dec 07,, 20:21
The new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is perfectly entitled to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq. If his predessor had any courage at all, he would have done so the moment it became apparent that the US had lied to get Australian troops into Iraq (ie. Weapons of Mass Destruction) in the first place.

Buggsy

You talk about withdrawel and courage in the same sentance....thats truely ironic. Don't worry Canada can lift the lionshare for you leftwing wankers...
Four dead, such a dire need to pull your troops out because of, four deaths...
Even the French have lost more.


There have been 730 coalition deaths -- 464 Americans, four Australians, 85 Britons, 73 Canadians, one Czech, seven Danes, 12 Dutch, two Estonians, one Finn, 12 French, 22 Germans, 10 Italians, three Norwegians, one Pole, two Portuguese, five Romanians, one South Korean, 23 Spaniards, two Swedes -- in the war on terror as of December 7, 2007, according to a CNN count.

Enduring Freedom Casualties - Special Reports (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2004/oef.casualties/)

CyberPredator
10 Dec 07,, 02:26
You talk about withdrawel and courage in the same sentance....thats truely ironic. Don't worry Canada can lift the lionshare for you leftwing wankers...
Four dead, such a dire need to pull your troops out because of, four deaths...
Even the French have lost more.

Mate,

I am not a lefty at all. I vote for the Nationals at every election. Why don't you want to talk about your almighty Harper who never even sent troops to Iraq - ever? Great effort from Canada there! Saddam would still be running the show if Australia and the US had shown the same indifference. That said, everything has a beginning and an end, and the time was right for Australia's commitment in Iraq to come to an end.

Regards,

Buggs

Officer of Engineers
10 Dec 07,, 02:48
Why don't you want to talk about your almighty Harper who never even sent troops to Iraq - ever?1st of all, Chretien, not Harper, was PM when the war started (and yes, we sent people, just you never heard about it) and 2ndly, Harper did send JTF-2 to Iraq as part of a hostage rescue effort.

Repatriated Canuck
10 Dec 07,, 03:24
The time will be right for everyone to witdraw is when the job is done not before. Iraq and Afganistan are not able to stand on their own and anyone who leaves is making the deaths a waste of life.

clackers
10 Dec 07,, 04:09
"Howard biographer David Barnett contrasts the outlook of computer age voters with that of the Howard generation: "It was change for change's sake. One generation read newspapers, watched the news and calculated their advantage. Another generation did neither. It used personal computers the way their parents used the telephone, and was increasingly forming political opinions based on political satire, for whom illusion and reality were dancing dots on a computer screen. For them, it was time to change channels."

If age were the only factor, Ray, Austalia would have voted for the 43 year old Mark Latham back in 2004 ...

They've gone for a 49 year old Kevin Rudd this time, no younger than Peter Costello, who everyone knew was going to inherit the Prime Ministership after Howard retired mid-term ...

The Labor Party polled well both with the Internet, media savvy generation (under 30s) and the over 60s ...

clackers
10 Dec 07,, 04:13
(and yes, we sent people, just you never heard about it) and 2ndly, Harper did send JTF-2 to Iraq as part of a hostage rescue effort.

I'm interested, Officer ... what would polling of Canadians say on joining the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq?

Officer of Engineers
10 Dec 07,, 04:20
Same as yours - against but nobody is going to bring down a government because of it. Beside of which, the Canadian Forces ain't gear for Iraq. We're too far along in the Afghan mission to switch roles now.

CyberPredator
10 Dec 07,, 05:53
Same as yours - against but nobody is going to bring down a government because of it. Beside of which, the Canadian Forces ain't gear for Iraq. We're too far along in the Afghan mission to switch roles now.

Then how do explain this remark from your fellow countryman?


You talk about withdrawel and courage in the same sentance....thats truely ironic. Don't worry Canada can lift the lionshare for you leftwing wankers... Four dead, such a dire need to pull your troops out because of, four deaths... Even the French have lost more.

Please don't ignore the bolded sentence. Given Canada is doing all the heavy lifting in Iraq, I specifically would like a response to the bolded sentence.

Thanks,

Buggsy

Officer of Engineers
10 Dec 07,, 07:06
Fine! You want a p!ssing contest. A Canadian Naval Task Group was between Iraq and the American carriers launching strikes against Iraq. Canadian military personnel wearing Canadian uniforms on exchange programs with American and British units were conducting combat operations in Iraq. One of them happened to be the 2IC of the US III Corps. AWACS directing the air operations included NATO personnel, including Canadian pilots. If we go by the Geneva Conventions as well as the Law of Land Warfare, then Canada was a combatant in that war. All told, Canada was the 4th largest force contributor to that war.

Bigfella
10 Dec 07,, 08:59
Children, children. A bit of decorum please!

Lets sort out a bit of truth from fiction here.

The incoming government is planning to pull approximately 500 Australian troops out of Iraq. That is a bit under half the troops we have there, and is excatly what the outgoing government planned to do. All that has changed is the timing, and the publicity accompanying the withdrawal.

Just a note to our foreign contributors. Despite the tendency of the outgoing government here to get its foreign policy off a fax machine from Washington, Australia has been a sovereign nation since 1901 and has the right to deploy its armed forces AS, WHEN and WHERE it sees fit in keeping with international law. If you have a problem with this, tough.

Back to our story. The Australian troops being pulled out of Iraq are the only major combat formation we have there. They were initially deployed to protect a unit of Japanese engineers, very much against public opinion in Australia. When the Japanese left, we stayed. Again, against the wishes of the public. Our troops are now mostly involved in training Iraqis. Their mission is by no means risk free, but the awkward truth is that the unpopularity of the mission led the government to park them in the quietest province doing the least risky mission they could. Apparently the yanks have requested that we re-deploy to a more active area, and we turned them down. Put simply, the troops that are going won't be greatly missed.

Other Australian troops involved in SpecOps, guarding the embassy, defusing IEDs, logistics & naval patrols will continue to be deployed. We have also offered to train Iraqi troops in a 3rd country, such as Jordan.

What the incoming government HAS promised to do is continue & perhaps even increase our committment to Afghanistan, which currently stands at close to 1000. Most of that force is deployed in Oruzgan province in central Afghanistan. In addition to helping with reconstruction, Australian troops, notably our SAS, have been heavily involved in fighting Taliban forces since the initial invasion of Afghanistan.

Is this an open-ended committment with no end date? nope. As far as I am concerned we are already picking up the pieces of a failed US policy in a nation that could & should have been made functional years ago. At this stage the war is not a big issue here, and probably won't be in the forseeable future, provided the death toll stays low.

What will impact our committment is events elsewhere. Australia's primary area of concern, Sth East Asia & the Sth Pacific, contains a number of unstable regimes with actual or potential insurgencies. Should any of those blow up we would have a very good case for pulling out of Afghanistan.

I am a firm supporter of the US alliance, but that doesn't mean we have to help clean up every time our ally screws up. Good Australians have already died for this. If we decide that four is four too many, then that is our right.

smilingassassin
10 Dec 07,, 13:53
Given Canada is doing all the heavy lifting in Iraq, I specifically would like a response to the bolded sentence.

Thanks,

Buggsy

First of all Canada is not doing the heavy lifting in Iraq, we're doing it in Afganistan as part of the war on terror(I bolded the important part just for you Buggsy), with considerable losses. Four deaths and you wanna pull out of your responcibility's? You should be so fortunate! OOE has also informed you of Canada's quiet contribution to the Iraq war. Harper's stuck to any commitments that the Liberal government has made to our allies, in the case of Afganistan he's extended the role and increased troop numbers to do the job effectively something sadly other NATO nations haven't done.

Unfortunately you don't see the big picture when it comes to the war on terror, but then again most of you "against war at all costs" types don't anyway. Instead you focus on how the WMD avenue was a bust, when there were many other reasons to go to war which have been discussed to death. You'd rather call the Iraq war "illegal" (like wars are something done legally) rather than examine the true nature of the conflict, and find excuses why you should bring men home, men who signed up of their own free will to fight for their country because people like you don't have the conviction to do it for yourself.

I do have to say there is some hope for your native land though, telling the muslim imigrants that Australian law is the only law in Australia, not Sharia law.

smilingassassin
10 Dec 07,, 13:57
I'm interested, Officer ... what would polling of Canadians say on joining the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq?

...and you think polling the people really matters? Should we drill in Alaska for oil at the expence of the wildlive habitat because of the need to reduce dependance on ME oil? Care to wager what the public would vote for?

smilingassassin
10 Dec 07,, 13:57
The time will be right for everyone to witdraw is when the job is done not before. Iraq and Afganistan are not able to stand on their own and anyone who leaves is making the deaths a waste of life.

Well said.

CyberPredator
11 Dec 07,, 02:26
Fine! You want a p!ssing contest.
Not really much of a contest, and I didn't want it. Smiling Assasin wanted it.


If we go by the Geneva Conventions as well as the Law of Land Warfare, then Canada was a combatant in that war. All told, Canada was the 4th largest force contributor to that war.
Then explain why Canada's Prime Minister in 2003 said in relation to the war on Iraq (on the floor of the House of Commons) "If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate.

We believe that Iraq must fully abide by the resolution of the United Nations Security Council. We have always made clear that Canada will require the approval of the Security Council if we were to participate in a military campaign."

If you and the Smiling Assasin just want to talk away from the pissing contest at this point, hanging your head in shame, I completely understand. Indeed, it may demonstrate wisdom where I didn't expect to find any.

Regards,

Buggsy

Officer of Engineers
11 Dec 07,, 02:40
Fine, I gave you the facts. You ignore them. Good bye, you simple troll.

Officer of Engineers
11 Dec 07,, 03:11
Since this idiot does not want to verify the facts


Defence Department confirms Canadian personnel active in war on Iraq
CP Wire
Thu 27 Mar 2003
Section: National general news
Byline: BY DENNIS BUECKERT

OTTAWA (CP) _ Defence Department officials acknowledged Wednesday that
Canadians are aboard American AWACS radar planes helping in the war on
Iraq.

It's the first time the government has conceded that Canadians on exchange
assignments with the U.S. military are involved in the conflict, and the
revelation prompted calls from the NDP and peace groups to withdraw them.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien declared last week that Canada would not join
the war against Iraq without United Nations backing. The government later
said personnel on exchange programs would not be involved in combat
operations.

About 31 Canadians are on exchange assignments with U.S. and British
forces.

``Yes indeed, we do have personnel that are performing roles with U.S.
units
that are involved in the war on Iraq right now,'' Lieut. Hollie Ryan said
Wednesday.

Ryan said she could not give details, citing security. Another Defence
official confirmed that the Canadian participation includes AWACS work.

AWACS planes are used for surveillance, command and control in air
operations.

The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that six members of the Canadian
armed
forces are on the ground in a logistical or support position for combat
troops involved in heavy fighting.

Chretien confirmed the presence of Canadians on the AWACS on Wednesday,
but
not that they are involved in the war on Iraq.

``The people who are involved in flying in AWACS planes are covering many
countries in their surveillance not only one country,'' he told the House
of
Commons.

``They are doing a job today that they are doing since many, many
months.''

NDP Leader Jack Layton said Canada is involved in the war on Iraq despite
claims to the contrary, and called for the Canadians to be withdrawn.

Layton also charged that Canada is supplying information to the U.S. from
Aurora surveillance planes.

``We think there's a very strong likelihood that that information is used
to
assist in the bombing, that Canadians are complicit as a result, and our
government is complicit.''

Defence Minister John McCallum declined to comment on reports that
Canadians
are also involved in ground combat in Iraq.

Steven Staples of the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute said there is a
contradiction between Canada's foreign policy and the facts on the ground.

``Today, Canadian ships and aircraft are clearly playing a war role
despite
Canada's policy,'' he told a news conference.

``Our three frigates have been permitted to escort U.S. warships up the
Persian Gulf to Kuwait, our two surveillance planes are relaying
information
to the U.S. Fifth fleet and a handful of exchange soldiers are serving
with
the U.S. and U.K. forces.

``Policy incoherence would be an understatement.''

Peace activists called on Chretien to take an active stance against the
war
on Iraq.

``We believe he has a mandate from the Canadian public and a
responsibility
under international law to make a strong statement condemning the war as
illegal,'' said Vallie Stearns of Committee for Peace in Iraq.


Length: 487 words

The following story ran in the Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall)

NDP says Canadian military involved in Iraq war
CanWest News Service
Wed 26 Mar 2003
Byline: Rick Mofina
Source: CanWest News Service

OTTAWA - The Canadian Armed Forces are involved in the war in Iraq despite
the government's position that Canada would not participate in the
conflict,
NDP Leader Jack Layton and peace groups charged Wednesday.

"Canada has air personnel apparently directing AWACS operations, resulting
in bombing Iraq," Layton said, adding, "Canadian ships are escorting
warships directly into the war zone."

Layton could not provide proof Canadian military forces were directly
participating in the war, but pointed to a recent report by the Ottawa
Citizen.

The paper said Canada has 31 military personnel assigned to British and
American units involved in the war on Iraq.

At least one of the Canadians is with the British 7th Armored Brigade, a
unit now taking part in heavy fighting near Basra. It is not known if he
is
in Basra or with British officers in Kuwait or Qatar, the paper reported.

Other Canadians are on board AWACS aircraft, the key command and control
planes used to monitor and direct airplanes in the air war. Some are also
with British and American engineering and logistical units, the Citizen
reported.

"We know exactly what units each of our 31 people are in, but we're not
commenting," Defence Minister John McCallum told reporters after
Wednesday's
Liberal caucus meeting.

McCallum refused to elaborate, but indicated that the Canadian naval
forces
in the region - three ships with nearly 700 personnel in all - are part of
Operation Apollo, a multinational task force of some 20 vessels patrolling
the Persian Gulf to thwart terrorists.

"It demonstrates our commitment to the war on terrorism," McCallum said.

But having Canadian forces in the region during the war flies in the face
of
Canada's decision not to support the war, peace groups charged.

"Canadian ships and aircraft in the region are clearly playing a war
role,"
said Steven Staples of the Polaris Institute.

"While the government's decision to not join the war is very significant
politically, it makes little difference militarily." Staples said.

The Committee for Peace in Iraq, a coalition of groups behind large
anti-war
rallies in Canada, urged Prime Minister Jean Chretien to condemn the war
as
an "illegal act," said Vallie Stearns, a spokesperson for the group.

"This condemnation should be backed by action, including the immediate
recall of Canadian warships and military personnel from the region,"
Stearns
said.

Officer of Engineers
11 Dec 07,, 03:32
Toronto Sun Columnist: Peter Worthington - Iraq commander is Canadian, eh? (http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/Columnists/Toronto/Peter_Worthington/2005/01/05/807782.html)

Canada's "Secret" Contribution to the War in Iraq (http://www.lawyersagainstthewar.org/news/sanders.html)

smilingassassin
11 Dec 07,, 04:03
Not really much of a contest, and I didn't want it. Smiling Assasin wanted it.


Then explain why Canada's Prime Minister in 2003 said in relation to the war on Iraq (on the floor of the House of Commons) "If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate.

We believe that Iraq must fully abide by the resolution of the United Nations Security Council. We have always made clear that Canada will require the approval of the Security Council if we were to participate in a military campaign."

If you and the Smiling Assasin just want to talk away from the pissing contest at this point, hanging your head in shame, I completely understand. Indeed, it may demonstrate wisdom where I didn't expect to find any.

Regards,

Buggsy

Good god thats all he had? Not much of a contest really....