… the real reason for this post is to consider the impact a change of Government (in Australia) may have on the relationship with Washington …
As I write these words, it is broadly anticipated that within hours Prime Minister John Howard will name an election date signaling the beginning of a six-week campaign with polling day on November 24.
If the surveys are correct the Government is heading for an annihilation of sorts come Election Day, in the latest Taverner poll Labor's substantial lead is showing no sign of retreating.
But as I commented on another blog:
“I tend to agree that voters will, come the moment, reject the untested waters of the Kevin Rudd / Julia Gillard (she’s a moonbat) experiment. We would be more at ease however, if the polls were a tad closer".
Something is amiss here; the two party differences in the polls are somewhat perplexing, surely the Howard Governments outstanding record stands for something more.
However, the real reason for this post is to consider the impact a change of Government in Australia may have on the relationship with Washington. The sense of expectation around Australia is that a Labor Prime Minister would suddenly signal a new change in foreign policy particularly so in relation to Iraq and the cozy relationship with George W. Bush.
Some Aussies may be in for a shock! If there is to be a change in Government once elected, the new Prime Minister will start sounding much like present leader John Howard, our relationship with the U.S. runs too deep.
As Vice President, Dick Cheney said during a visit to our shores in February 2007:
…”We think of a country that shares our founding commitments to liberty and to equality, and to our traditions of justice and tolerance. We think, above all, of the character of the Australian people -- self-reliant, practical, and good-hearted … President Ronald Reagan stated the case very well. He said, Australia and America "see the world from similar perspectives, though no two countries could be more opposite on the ends of the globe... we were born in the same era, sprang from the same stock, and live for the same ideals. Australia and America share an affinity that reaches to our souls ... over time, that deep affinity has grown into a great alliance" …
For those that doubt, it was Kevin Rudd not John Howard who said, “America is an overwhelming force for good in the world” in a not so publicized speech at the “Australian American Leadership Dialogue Dinner” recently.
“For the 21st century to be a truly pacific century, a truly peaceful one, it must still have an international rules-based order. It was important for the century just gone, and will be just as important for the century just unfolding. And you cannot deliver a rules-based order in the absence of the underlying ballast of US global strategic power. Carefully husbanded, selectively deployed _ without that a rules-based order ultimately withers".
Kevin Rudd added,
"America today, moreover, should not disengage from the world post-Iraq and I say that as someone who has been for almost five years a continuing and consistent opponent of the war in Iraq. But I say that despite Iraq, the world needs America. I say that despite Iraq, America is an overwhelming force for good in the world. It is time we sang that from the world’s rooftops”.
Click here to read the full text of the speech.
The speech was more than purely an effort to appear virtuous, there will not be any fundamental foreign policy switch given a labor victory.
Comments always welcome