I am trying desperately to finish an article by 01 December. So, I am not reading comments, etc. until after it is finished. I will try to get back to all you fine people soon, Gentle Readers, but I am behind on writing that PAYS–even if not much. Blogging is great, but it doesn’t generate income and we still live in a capitalist society. I try to live simply, but light and heat, etc. still take dinero. So, please don’t feel insulted by my silence in the meantime.
While I am trying to finish my article, I did notice that political change has come to my friends in Australia. John Howard’s coalition of Liberal (“conservative” in U.S. terms) Party and the Nationals has lost to the Australian Labour Party led by Kevin Rudd (with a major assist from the Greens). Australia uses an instant run-off system that lists one’s top 3 choices. Labour was the second choice for most Greens. It’s too early to know all of what these changes will mean, but one factor in Howard’s downfall was his unconditional support for George W. Bush’s approach to fighting terrorism and for the Iraq war. Labour has promised to bring home Australian troops from Iraq, to sign and ratify the Kyoto Treaty and work to reverse global warming, and other progressive changes. Rudd is pro-American, but not pro-Bush who is deeply unpopular in Australia. This may be the only time in Australian history that a sitting prime minister was defeated when the economy was good–showing that other issues can dominate. Since the PM-elect is a committed republican (i.e., he thinks Australia should be a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy), one wonders if this change will take Australia out of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Expect Rudd to place the question of keeping the monarchy or becoming a republic up for referendum before the end of his term.
The UK remains center left with Labour as does New Zealand. Will Canada and the U.S. soon move back toward the center-left as well? Meanwhile Germany and France have moved in a more conservative direction. Curious.
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