Saturday, November 24, 2007

The end of the lying rodent

According to ABC's coverage of the Australian election, the ALP has done it and attained government. And as icing on the cake, John Howard, the lying rodent, has lost his own seat of Bannelong.

Take that, George Bush.

Unfortunately, the ALP is pretty far right for a "labour" party. They've basically done a Blair and copied the policies of the right, except on areas central to their party such as WorkChoices (the Aussie version of the Employment Contracts Act). OTOH, they'll be ratifying Kyoto and pulling out of Iraq, which is a definite improvement on the liberals. And, as a plus, they won't be nearly so racist and xenophobic.

As for what this means here, it depends. John Key will be taking heart from the ability of a copycat candidate to win on change alone. And Helen Clark will be taking heart from the failure of the conservatives to bribe their way to victory with big tax cuts. But at the end of the day, all poltiics is local; New Zealand is not Australia, and the voters here will make their own minds up. Believing that there will be change here because there has been change overseas is simply cargo-cultism. Unfortunately, that seems to be a common problem among political analysts.