Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will Australia party like its 1969?

It's looking a little grim but Little Johnnie ain't going down without a fight.
There's even a last minute post on You Tube from Australia's best Prime Minister in decades.
Already the tributes are pouring in, even if they have a somewhat funeral feel about them.
Fran O'Sullivan in today's Weekend Herald calls Howard the 'best PM New Zealand never had.'
Audrey Young blogs today saying Howard has been looking 'indominatable' these past few days, while Rudd looks and sounds like a robot.
However, the polls are closing, with both Galaxy and Newspoll showing there are just four points between Howard's Coalition and Rudd's Labor Party.
Thus, lefty celebration's might be somewhat premature, with echoes of a similar poll in the 1969 when Labor was supposed to win, but they were kept out by a last minute tide of public opinion.
I'm not going to predict this will happen, much as I want a Howard victory. All I will say, is I think it will be close.
When I was in Australia early this year, Kevin Rudd came across as an ordinary sort, hardly threatening. A younger version of John Howard even. I detected a feeling from many it was time to move on, even if Howard and his treasurer Costello had delivered unprecedented prosperity.
Their economic record is perhaps their downfall. People feel they can 'afford' Labour, they can take the risk, take the gamble and roll the dice.
Of course, Rudd has sought to minimise the risk with a raft of 'me-too' measures like taxcuts as big as those proposed by the coalition. Howard has responded with various pork barrel spending initiatives.
No wonder, Liberty Scott is nonpplussed by the election, seeing nothing there for believers of a smaller state as both try and buy their way to power using taxpayers' money.
There is not the ideological divide we see here and while Rudd has been dishonest over his upbringing, his party is still dominated by the unions and his deputy Julia Gillard comes across as a hard lefty, Rudd has not sought to frighten the horses.
Whether the reality of a Labor government will be frightening remains to be seen. At least it will show our own Dear Leader that people do tire of leader after a while regardless of how successful they have been at delivering prosperity- not that I'm saying NZ Labour has delivered any. Perhaps she too might be praying for a Howard victory. But if she truly wants one, why doesn't she fly over to Queensland and lend Kevin Rudd a bit of last-minute support.
In the meantime, see how the Australian party animals are preparing for their election parties. But what if Howard delivers that 1969-style last minute upset?
Update: Videos from Laborsux and the Aussie Liberals.
UPDATE2: Fortress Australia warns the effects of a Rudd victory will be 'significant.'
UPDATE3: Aurora at the Midnight Sun tips a Howard win, highlights the media support for Rudd, notes the union influence, and wall-to-wall Labor control of the states.


KG said...

FF, I'm so bloody old I can remember living in Oz under Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.
Rudd would be a disaster--whatever the rhetoric about him "controlling" the unions, the reality is that once Labor's in, they'll demand their pound of flesh.
Labor is the unions and the unions are Labor.
They've pretended to step apart for the duration of this campaign, but it's a con-job. The unions and their mates will get their hands on billions of dollars in super funds and they'll piss them away.


You are probably right, KG.
But as always perceptions count more than reality.
I can only go by the 'feel' of the message Rudd put across.
Rudd didn't/doesn't seem scary, he was almost reassuring, a safe pair of hands.
He might have monsters lurking behind him, and he might be unable to control these demons once in power.
But Rudd has succeeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of not just Australian voters, but also those who can only gain their knowledge from what they see and read in the media, even while over in Australia, and what their similarly brainwashed Australian friends tell them.
As I say, perceptions count more than reality, and Rudd has succeeding in projecting a certain perception.
Labor appears to have suceeded with their 'con-job', as you describe it.
And we know the left are good at that and gullible people, which might include myself, fall for it.
Fingers crossed for Little Johnnie though.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I think the Libs will win. kg, I too lived there from 1970 to 1982. Rudd is immature and it showed yesterday when he made a remarkable and , I believe, fatal last day blunder. He promised to 'apologise to Aborigines.' You see, the vast majority of white Australians despise and detest Aborigines. Australians are inherently racist and don't mind too much about saying so. Kiwis are just as racist but we try to deceive ourselves and the rest of the world that we are not.

I'm looking forward to the coverage tonight on Sky.

KG said...

Adolf, I think you're right about the majority of Australian's feelings towards Aborigines, but it's not due due to racism necessarily. (well, in some cases that's obviously true)
All they see of blackfellas is those they come into contact with in the cities and small country towns, who are often drunk and violent.They hate the behaviour, not the colour.
There are very many Aborigines, Chinese, Vietnamese etc working alongside Aussies who are totally assimilated into the culture and they seem to have very few problems. A recent survey found Australians to be among the most tolerant people in the world when it came to welcoming other races into their country.
We just won't tolerate crap like Somali gangs running amok etc.
I wish I could find that survey--it was an eye opener.

KG said...

Found it.
Australians not racist: migrant survey

Aurora said...

Rudd didn't/doesn't seem scary, he was almost reassuring, a safe pair of hands.
He might have monsters lurking behind him, and he might be unable to control these demons once in power.

Don't give up on John Howard guys. This man is a legend and he survived the last media smear campaign. Labor has 16 seats to win. But aside from all that he's so clearly the better man and even the media has never been able to deny that.
Adolf, I agree that Australians are sick of the mess of the Aboriginal situation. But I think KRudd's promise to apologise is only going to serve as a reminder of our PM's resolute courage in the face of opposition. Fixing the Aborigine situation is far more than an apology and no-one has ever been so boldly interventionist as John Howard in his recent actions to try to prevent the disgusting abuse of children and women in that region.
Deep down, I think Aussies know they'd be mad to get rid of Howard and also Aussies are fair go type people. I'm sure it hasn't escaped the average Aussie how the media has so unfairly promoted that idiot Rudd and rudely caricaturized, ridiculed and attacked the PM. It's all become so ugly, especially this week.
Also, I'm praying and I believe in the power of prayer.
If you believe in prayer, please say one for Australia today. We stand at the brink of what I feel is an unprecedented disaster with Rudd and an ever growing prosperity with Howard/Costello. If you want a place to escape to once things get so bad with Commandant Clark that you can't stand it any more, you need OZ. GO JOHN HOWARD!!

flashgordonnz said...

So much for not being racist: I see NZers were excluded from the survey.


KG said...

We don't regard Kiwis as "another race" Flash.
Another species perhaps..:-)

DenMT said...

I am now extraordinarily happy, even given that I'm not Aussie.

Australians out of Iraq and Aussie signed up to Kyoto. What a victory.


KG said...

In a year's time, denmt Australians will be counting the cost of that "victory".
Just as Kiwis are counting the cost of Klark's last election victory...

ZenTiger said...

Aussies signed up to Kyoto - what a waste of tax dollars. There are better ways to manage CO2 output than trading on the stock market.

With Labor in at the State level and Federal, they now have no excuse for the stuff ups they will undoubtedly deliver.

Australia the lucky country? Good luck Australia. You'll need it.

Lindsay said...

Rudd and Labor had this election won 3 months ago. The Liberals campaign was too negative. Rudd stayed on message and ignored all the negative stuff about unions etc. The deal about Howard stepping down for Costello if re-elected was dumb politics and a very hard sell.

Yes Rudd got away with not answering questions at press conferences etc but that's the way it goes. Also Rudd probably appealed to the younger voters more than Howard. I think history will give Howard the credit he deserves but this was a campaign too far.

One final comment Howard's concession speech was simply superb, he took defeat on the chin and went down with his head held high.