November 23, 2007

Australia votes 11/24/2007

In the context of this blog, as allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, Australian American relations have never been stronger and deeper and the friendship between the American President and Australia's Prime Minister has never been warmer.

There is only one choice for Australia on election day. The choice facing Australians is the most significant in a generation. Why put at risk the outstanding achievements of the past 11 years, high economic growth, low unemployment, relatively low interest rates, tax reform, a more flexible workplace, zero Government debt, excellent international credit rating, strong investment in defence force funding, the list goes on. Achievement's that have provided an immense human dividend for all Australians.

In the context of this blog, as allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, Australian American relations have never been stronger and deeper and the friendship between the American President and Australia's Prime Minister has never been warmer. In 2005, Prime Minister John Howard was presented with the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars Award, an unprecedented honour for a serving leader and person outside of America and Europe. US President George W. Bush heaped praise on Mr Howard as a friend, leader and ally, adding:

"Prime Minister Howard is an ideal recipient of this award. He is a leader of exceptional vision and exemplifies the finest qualities of one of the world's great democracies. He's a great friend of mine and he's a great friend of America".

It was an inspiring ceremony taking place in a ballroom decorated by a giant red, white and blue curtain showing the US stars and stripes melding into the Australian flag; quite a site.

To simply say that Australia and the United States are very close allies in an understatement. We share almost identical cultural traditions and values with the United States and have been a treaty ally of the United States since the signing of the Australia-New Zealand-United States (ANZUS) Treaty in 1951. Australia made major contributions to the allied cause in both the first and second World Wars and has been a staunch ally of Britain and the United States in their conflicts. Through John Howard, Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Disturbingly, opposition leader Kevin Rudd remains unequivocal that he will withdraw all Australian combat troops out of Iraq by mid 2008.

The Howard Government negotiated a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
between the two nations and has further demonstrated a strong commitment to its alliance with the United States through its commitment of combat troops, including special forces, in America's war on terror.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Howard and President Bush the United States and Australia have strengthened an important relationship between two long-term allies. Shared perspectives on the war against militant Islamists have also enhanced the relationship.

The polls are worrying and point to an opposition win but I am holding out and remain optimistic that common sense will prevail for we conservatives will not give in. I am drawn to drawn to the words of Con George-Kotzabasis at “Australia calls America”.

…”at the vicinity of the real poll on November 24, when the prospects of the two parties will be very close, “subjective reality” will be given its knockout punch by objective reality, and the electorate will chose the current economic security against the uncertainty generated by union dominated Labor occupying the treasury benches”.

"Once the voters enter the secrecy of the ballot box it’s at that moment that they will express, unhindered by the fashionably designed momentum, their "secret longings". And in my opinion the latter will favor John Howard for his mature solid leadership that will continue to secure, as his long tenure exemplified, the long term interests of Australia"

And I may venture to add, the United States of America, VOTE JOHN HOWARD!

Visit my earlier post "Australia: An Election looms", where I consider the impact a change of Government (in Australia) may have on the relationship with Washington.

Finally let us never forget, we still need America.

Over to you...

12 comments:

Simmons said...

I'm not Australian, but it seems like the Howard administration has been very effective economically. His foreign policy, though, seems very similar to the U.S.: stuck in an unpopular war.

But what I find is most interesting is the fact that Australia is leaning towards going from pro-american to more anti-american. Kind of like Tony Blair to Gordon Brown. But in Germany and France, the elected leaders went from anti-american to (at least in France's case) very pro-american.

Karen said...

I will continue to hope that John Howard wins the election. Though from over here, the opinion is that the outcome will not be so. John Howard is a man of intellect, courage and a true friend to America. We will not forget his friendship. I greatly admire him.

Jeff said...

John Howard's government has been a very good friend of ours (U.S). I hope he can pull it out. If not Otto, you'll have a bit more polemic to your blog. So look at the positive.

American Interests said...

simmons: There are indeed strong anti american elements in our society and the last thing we (I) want is a leader to cultivates this in order to win votes or approval. In the longer term the relationship runs deep and a change in Gov't will not alter this. Still I much prefer a conservative party to rule. Thanks for commenting here!!

karen: ditto ... thanx

jeff: A valid point! Thank you

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Australia demonstrates democracy is superior. In the Great Satan, Americans LOVE Australia. It is because of our especial kinship all Americans can say Prime Minister Howard is a real friend. PM Howard was an American friend when it wasn't cool to be. America appreciates that. He represents Australia as she deserves to be represented - a leader.

Goat said...

Otto, great post, the US and Australia have probably the oldest and strongest alliance in the world. As far as I know we have been allys since our foundings.

heidianne jackson said...

people always think the grass is greener, but in the case of australia greener than what? australia is doing outstanding in it's government and it's fiscal dealings. why change something that isn't broke.

i am praying the howard stays in and am anxious to see the results.

Tapline said...

AI, outstanding post.....I hope the majority of Australians see political matters as you do. Stay well.....

American Interests said...

great satan's: Thank you. Yes Howard has been very warm in his dealing with Washington and his leadership qualities are unquestioned.

goat: I think you are right about the age of alliance. An alliance worth keeping strong! Thanks Goat!

heidianne: "why change something that isn't broke", yes exactly. The fct that some are contemplating change is bizarre. Thank you...

tap: some see australian poitics as I do but sadly most do not .... Thanks for commenting!

Flag Gazer said...

thinking good thoughts for this election and for you and Australia - John Howard is my hero...

American Interests said...

flag gazer: He has been a very inspiring leader. And here's another hero...see:
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/family-mourns-australian-soldier/2007/11/23/1195753341633.html

Thanks for visiting

Flag Gazer said...

He is a hero, indeed. May he now walk with God.

The Australian troops are often paid a very high compliment by our forces...'they get it and they are good at it - very good at it.' That has been written to me from both Afghanistan and Iraq. Your troops are GREATLY admired.