Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's the 24th November!

After several months of speculation, Prime Minister John Howard has called the Federal election for 24 November 2007. He announced the date at a media conference at Parliament House at noon today.

In his following speech, he made a number of assertions:

  • "people must decide who is most able to not only to preserve Australia's prosperity, but build it to make sure it is fairly spread"
    QUESTION: Is WorkChoices designed to fairly spread the nation's wealth, or to reduce pay and conditions of millions of "worker units"?
    COMMENT: in his 11 years as Prime Minister, the number of people living in poverty in Austrlia has increased from 7% to 10% of people.
  • "There is no reason why the current unemployment can't go lower"
    QUESTION: An admirable aim. What effect will even lower employment have on inflation? Interest rates? When interest rates have moved in the last two years, what has been the movement? (UP)
  • "I have always wanted to achieve reconciliation (with indigenous people)", he said.
    QUESTION: Demonstrate your track record on reconciliation over the last 11 years?
  • Mr Howard said that if reelected as Prime Minister, Peter Costello would be Treasurer.
    QUESTION: Won't Peter Costello become Prime Minister next term?
  • Mr Howard asserts that there is "nothing balanced" in having a Federal Labor Government and Labor state governments.
    QUESTIONS: When has the financial bullying and political blackmailing by the Federal Government over funding to states been balanced? Is forcing a politically-set history curriculum on states "balanced"?
  • Climate Change and reconciliation positions seem have have been reversed, or at least seemingly altered.
    QUESTION: Is that just political opportunism, cynicism, or both?

Update: Kevin Rudd's Response

Kevin Rudd has said, in response

  • that the election IS about a new style of leadership that is needed. That was John Howard's attack on Paul Keating way back in 1996!
    COMMENT: Kevin Rudd's leadership, like John Howard's, is "Presidential" in style. John Howard like power, Kevin Rudd wants voters to focus on his popularity.
  • he has a plan, and understands the challenges facing Australia.
    COMMENT: Perhaps, but it is not yet fully articulated, except for Workchoices. That will come during the campaign, we hope.
  • he will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and will NOT develop nuclear power stations.
    COMMENT: this will certainly attract voters away from John Howard, whose plan is really about extra profit-driven "Carbon-trading", but this will mean reliance on coal, or gas-fired, power stations.
This campaign will be a long six weeks for many voters. Much of it is likely to be negative.