October 14, 2007

Australia: An Election looms

… 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.

Finally, for those wondering, this blog was only meant to be apolitical in relation to U.S. politics.

Comments always welcome

18 comments:

David Schantz said...

Sounds to me like your two party system is much like ours in the United States. "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." We vote one or the other of the two partys out of office and later we find that only the names have changed.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Aunty Belle said...

OH! Well, well... real pleased to land here, Ottavio. Much good stuff... by any chance, do you know of the Mount Pelerin Society?

I thought you Aussies had Islamic troubles too? I mean, that the "war on terror" was a concern fer Down Under also.

Some voters here may get a shock too--if we end up with a democratic white house, they can't/ won't pull out of Iraq.

But sir, if Hilary wins...ah...can you spare some space for me and mine? Jes' don't think I can stomach any more clinton years.

American Interests said...

David Schantz: Thanks for your valued comments. Yes, in some instances the differences are only marginal in relation to some policies when in office.

aunty belle: Welcome to American Interests. LOL, I have had a few say something along the same lines ...

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Well said. I too am concerned with a change of the Howard government toward the US.

He and your country have been staunch allies of the US but the opposition party from what I have read sounde very much like our liberal Democrats and those of the left who are running for President here in the US.

Here's hoping for a Howard victory

Elaine said...

I was just reading an article about this very topic. From what I am reading it sounds like the labor party will win the election which of course will change the current policy in Iraq.

Same here in the US...I have very little hope that a Republican will be our next President. Looks like we're all in for BIG changes. Hope those in charge know what they're doing!

Like Auntie Belle said I don't think I can stomach anymore Clinton years.

WomanHonorThyself said...

I just pray y'all dont get a Lib in power who undermines whats left of your precious culture !

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

We've got our fair share of moonbats here in America, too. (I take "moonbat" to mean both liberal and conservative lunatics.)

And, a presidential election coming about a year after your November 24th election. I'm not looking forward to the hysteria of the next year over here.

On the other hand, in a recent debate here, none of the leading candidates of one party would disavow defending America against terrorists.

Responsibility, even looming responsibility, seems to bring out those deeply-buried reservoirs of common sense: even in the most committed of moonbats.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

BTW, hats off to "The Sydney Morning Herald," one of the few news outlets on Earth to release a dissenting opinion on American General Sanchez's criticisms of U.S. Iraqi policy.

ArtfulSub said...

I've had to cancel my planned December in Australia two years in row, sadly.

The Labor Party's lead is probably just a desire for change. They'll totally screw-up if they do get into office with a functional majority.

It's been said of France that the Right governs and the left thinks.

In Australia, as in America, the left can do neither.

American Interests said...

LibLieConsTruth: Thanks, to a "Howard victory" ...

Elaine: re: Republican win in 2008. Still a lot can happen in 13 months, the GOP will have to get the act together though.

WomanHThyself: Quite a few whispering the same prayer...

BrianANANorski: Sometimes the reservoirs to which you refer are buried too deep. Still I agree, a sense of balance and continuity tends to prevail when needed most. I'll check out the Sydney Herald site.

Artfulsub: Welcome to American Interests! Certainly, there is a pronounced yearning for change, for the wrong reasons however.

Donald Douglas said...

Interesting post, Ottavio! Keep me posted on events. We are all part of the great western Anglosphere alliance.

heidianne jackson said...

another great post, otto - thanks for the insite. kevin rudd's speech makes it clear that he knows we have to fighting the wot and that iraq is a piece of that pie. probably it was little published for the same reason that things of this sort are little published here and in england - it doesn't fit the message the msm is trying to deliver.

keep us informed and we're praying with you for another howard victory.

Debbie said...

I have always spoken highly about the relationship between the U.S. and Australia. Howard has been a good friend and very strong against the Islamic threat to the world. I hope you are right, that no mater who is elected, they will not change this relationship.

The number one threat to the world is Islamic terror and the encroachment of Islam's influence into Western Countries. The West needs to stick together on this.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

I envy you guys down under.... think about it,... your PM can just conjure up a date out of the hat,...and within a few months, voila! elections! Why can't we do that? Why does our election cycle have to be as easy to steer as a WW2 Battleship?....

That's it. I give up,... let's give ourselves back to England....

Flag Gazer said...

I am hoping for a Howard victory, as he is someone I admire immensely. But, I appreciate knowing a bit more about his competition.

I cannot imagine an endeavor without Australia as our allies, or without the Diggers and the GI's standing side by side.

Tapline said...

AI, Well, I don't envy your country with the impending changes,(maybe). Anyway, I like the way Howard thinks, so I guess thats my vote...Well if I could Vote......In scanning your post I read about Reagan's speech to the Aussies. He was spot on.. We are from the same cloth......My tree originated in Devon, England from the Percy stock. One branch came to New England, another went to Australia. of course that was many moons ago...1660/1800. I met some Aussies in Bangkok Thailand in 1969. They were on R&R from Vietnam. I ramble...stay well....

Goat said...

Hey Otto, I hope the right side wins, keep me informed.

American Interests said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments guys. I'll keep you all posted ...