Post by Strong Bow
He won democratic elections, but whether he won them legitmately is
another question. If it were a sports game rather than a political
event, you'd say Howard won it not by playing as a sportsman and
gentleman, but by using nastier tricks than the other team, in many
cases crossing the line and breaking the rules (eg lying to the
Australian people re: WMD in Iraq and the motivations for the Iraq
invasion), but getting away with it.
So that would make him a Tony Blur clone. :-)
No, I don't think that that analogy holds . . . Blair came in by having a
vision of sorts, that trod a centrist path trying to appease the right and
the left and hold the middle ground. Howard got in basically because the
Australian public was sick of Keating at the time, and then pursued a path
as far to the right as possible, taking extreme positions on various issues.
The Australian left responded by trying to tell the Australian public that
they'd go as far to the right as needed to match Howard, and rather
unsurprisingly lost a sizeable voting base that would have stuck with them
had they just stuck to basic moral principles that the party was meant to
stand for. The left of politics in Australia, apart fromt he Greens, have
completely lost the plot, IMO.
I think the better analogy for Howard on the world scene would be Bush in
the US. Bush came in on the coat-tails of dissatisfaction with Clinton, then
proceeded to use his incumbency to drive the country as far right as he
could, and use American power/hegemony as aggressively as he could.
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