G'day for Aussies

Over the holiday weekend the news was permeated by the shopping frenzy, the on-going Natalee Holloway case in Aruba and the other Peterson suspected of killing his wife. There has been little coverage of very significant political developments in the land down under.

In the land of vast Rupert Murdoch newspaper holdings.

The Progress Report, Center for American Progress, 26 November 2007, features an informative analysis of Austraiia’s elections: LINK. It begins thusly:

“This weekend, Australians went to the polls and delivered an emphatic victory for Labor leader Kevin Rudd, while handing the party of conservative Bush ally John Howard its ‘worst election defeat in its 63-year history.’

“Howard ‘suffered the additional ignominy of losing his own constituency seat’ in addition to the prime minister's seat, the first time since 1929 that an Australian prime minister has been voted out of parliament.

“Rudd, a Chinese-speaking former diplomat who made combating global warming, strengthening workers' rights and redeploying from Iraq key priorities in his campaign, ‘swings Australia toward the political left after almost 12 years of conservative rule.’

“The incoming prime minister has wasted no time implementing his new vision for Australia. Yesterday, he convened a meeting with government officials to discuss the mechanics of signing onto the Kyoto pact on global warming, and he announced that he will attend a UN climate change conference in Bali next month.

“Rudd soon plans to begin negotiations with the Bush administration over the withdrawal of Australia's 500 troops from Iraq.”

The new leader had these words for his fellow Aussies, “Today Australia looks to the future. Today the Australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward."

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