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How Howard Can Win The Federal Election

From: Lev Lafayette
Newsgroups: aus.politics
Subject: How Howard Can Win The Federal Election
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 10:39:02 +1100
Organization: The University of Melbourne
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Even the most die-hard conservative must be wondering how John Howard can
win the next election. After the solid thrashing that the Coalition
received in Western Australia and Queensland, with Labor in all likelihood
to win South Australia and with opinion polls suggesting that being
re-elected in their own seats may not be so easy for the current Prime
Minister, his deputy or for that matter the deep blue blood seat which Mr.
Costello holds.

One could go into all sorts of reason why this has been the case. The
G.S.T. is one reason, with some international comparisons. Anyone remember
what happened to the Progressive Conservatives (now there's a name) in
Canada after they introduced a G.S.T.? They went from being the governing
Party down to a handful of seats. Bloc Quebecois were larger than them.
Perhaps it is the economic management that his led to a record low
Australian dollar (and a respective rise in petrol costs - and who, as
Treasurer, was the biggest advocate and signed off on World Parity Pricing
in the seventies, Mr. Howard?) Maybe it's just that the Australian sense
of fairplay has been offended by Howard's refusual to apologise on behalf
of a nation to the indigenous people. Maybe the government's attempt to
break the unions on the waterfront. Maybe it was Howard's attempt to ban
IVF for single mothers and lesbians. Maybe is the degradation of services
to the regions. Maybe it's the privitisation and corporatisation of
Telstra. Maybe it's the bonuses to private schools whilst public schools
are starved for funds. Maybe it's misguided adventures in private nursing
homes. Maybe it's the dismantling of Medicare.

These are, without a doubt, contentious issues. There are some people here
which undoubtably support some of Howard's actions on these matters. A
much smaller number support all of them. But one thing is for sure: these
are divisive actions. Each of them have split the community down the
middle and eventually, for almost each and every Australian, the Howard
government has managed to do or say something which has infuriated them.
And for that reason the Howard government is looking at certain defeat.

But there is still one trick which li'll Johnny can pull. It's an oldie
but a goodie. It's notoriously simple.

If you can't win on domestic issues, create an international issue just
before the election.

Nothing major is needed. Just ten days before the election arrange for a
minor border dispute with an unpopular neighbour, whose population is
likely to react with vitriol through perceived Australian aggression.
Ready for a "little war", readers?

Lev Lafayette.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on April 27, 2001.