Sunday, October 14, 2007

Some Things Never Change

Fighting...but which cause?
As I wrote, as slowly and drunkenly as I write this this, my previous post, the news came in that John Howard had announced the date of the Australian General Election, November 24th, showing guts that our own Prime Minister so clearly lacks. OK he had to go soon anyway, but his demeanour was so different to the skulking Brown.

Sadly though, I was listening to News 24, who yet again trotted out the predictable line that it Howard's electorally precarious position was entirely due to Iraq and climate change. It might not fit with the opinion of any anti-Howard Australian I've ever met who generally just feel "it's time for a change" or any more methodical polling which tends to rate these issues as being pretty low down the priority list, but I suppose it fits better with the BBC agenda and I guess that's what counts.

How weird it would feel in these days of a spin, to hear a voice that reported the news as it is, rather than the news as those reporting it wished it was.


Daniel said...

As as far as I can tell, climate change is a pretty strong factor: Howard was a self-proclaimed skeptic until sometime last year and he has refused to ratify Kyoto despite the generous provisions it affords Australia. Iraq isn't much of a factor at all, most Aussies are opposed and would like to see us out at some point, but the troop commitment is small and in a relatively quiet part of the country, so the issue doesn't have a lot of resonance.

The third factor is pretty much the overwhelming theme, along with WorkChoices. Howard's had good innings but the impression that he's gotten too in love with the position and the power has steadily grown (winning control of the Senate in 2004 probably hurt more than helped in that regard).

I'm interested as to how other countries are coverin this election, thanks for blogging this.

Dusanne said...

Thanks for the comment Daniel. I looked at WorkChoices in the earlier posting - when I looked at what it involved the only thing that surprised me was that he hadn't done most of the things earlier on in his reign.

As for climate, I think that it is an interesting issue. As I mentioned in the earlier post, of the two BBC favoured causes, the environment does rank reasonably highly. I just wonder though, and it's a very similar question here in the UK, to what extent positive ratings for the environment as an issue will directly translate into votes for the percieved most green-friendly party.

Listening to my Australian friends here, I do think the final issue you raise seems to be the dominant theme.

I look forward to watching events unfold!