Saturday, August 11, 2007

The end of the Rudd era

After his historic win against the long-standing John Howard in November 2007, Rudd has counterbalanced the political ledger with four terms at Prime Minister. But like his predecessor, the elusive fifth-term seems beyond his reach.

The Rudd era has seen a number of radical developments. Australia's close relationship with China has been the cause of much consternation, particularly given the country's poor record in carbon emissions and human rights in Africa. Kevin Rudd's support for China's invasion of Taiwan in 2015 has been the subject of growing protest.

The past eleven years have also seen a wholesale change in state politics, as Labor governments have all now succumbed to Liberal victories, leaving the Federal stage as the only remaining bastion of Labor power.

While initially supported as a fresh new leader, Rudd's popularism seems to have worn thin with both media and voters. For many years, his 'focus group' approach has been for long effective in countering Liberal opposition. But Rudd is now perceived as weak and lacking in vision.

Opinion polls in the middle of 2018 show a dramatic surge of support for the Liberal party, under its dynamic new leader Richard Howard, son of the former Prime Minister. Rudd is trying to counter this by a frantic series of new legislation, including Indigenous health support and a ban on old-growth logging in Tasmania. But to the cynical public, this is perceived as a desperate attempt to add vision now the end is nigh.

So what will Richard Howard be like as the new Prime Minister? Many critics see his close ties to the US as playing a major role. The recent election of Jenna Bush to the US Presidency has returned conservatives to power after years in the wilderness during Hillary Clinton's rule. Australia can once again turn to the US as its primary ally. Howard has already promised to boost Australia's already extensive troop commitments in the continuing war in Iraq.

And how long is Howard's reign as Prime Minister likely to last? Time will tell.

1 comment:

David J said...

Yes. Time will tell!
And if I knew for sure the future would be as bleak as that I don't think I'd have the energy to go on!
Isn't it all so stale!

Where are our visionaries?
Will we go on like this indefinitely?