Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Conservatives on the march
Aussie PM John Howard is all business after gaining what has been described as "the most powerful mandate in a generation" in the recent Australian elections. He's stated that his party's newfound powers will be set to fulfilling its conservative mandate in extending anti-terrorism laws (and infuriating privacy advocates with measures that include the surveillance of emails and text messages) and pushing through legislation that liberalises Aussie media and telecoms ownership. Howard's coalition government should have control of both the lower houses of parliment, allowing them to largely rubber stamp legislation.

As a key US ally, Howard's re-election is an obvious boon to Bush. A Labour election victory would have seen Australian troops pulled out of Iraq, which would have been a crippling psychological blow to Bush's 'coalition of the willing' and of significant detriment to his election campaign.