Sunday, November 25, 2007

A new era for Australia?

Australia has a new prime minister in the person of Kevin Rudd, who promised to pull out Aussie troops in Iraq and ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Are we going to see a sea-change in how Australia will do its economic and foreign policy? Time Magazine’s observations are interesting:

The new P.M. is likely to go Howard's way on foreign policy, too. What he described as "fundamental differences" with Howard — his vows to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and pull troops from Iraq — are largely symbolic. Though Australia is outside the Kyoto regime, the country has met its emissions targets. And on the question of a successor treaty to Kyoto, Rudd in mid-campaign abruptly took the Howard position: a Labor government would not ratify Kyoto II unless it required China and India to limit their emissions. On Iraq, Rudd has moderated Labor's earlier "pull-out-now" policy. He says he will bring home the 1,400 Australian troops in Iraq and the Gulf gradually, in a "negotiated, staged withdrawal." He is prepared to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Australia under Labor will remain a "rock solid" friend of the U.S., Rudd has said, but reserve the right to act "independently." Rudd, who spent eight years as a diplomat in Beijing, has criticized China's human-rights record but appears more sympathetic to the People's Republic than Howard. Rudd rejected the Howard government support of a potential alliance between the U.S., Australia, Japan and India, saying China would feel encircled.
Reminds me of France’s president Nikolas Sarkozy. He marketed himself as critical of Anglo-Saxon capitalism during the campaign but immediately turned pro-American and instituted market-oriented policies after gaining power. He is now battling the unions and is apparently winning.

12 comments:

lulu said...

not really a new era..no concrete vision...very reactionary...policies are too populist...in my opinion rudd is more effective as a critic and not as a leader..lulu

Dave Llorito said...

lulu: are you based in the aussie? well, lets see. the australians voted for him; they felt he's real so im curious what he's going to do.

lulu said...

unfortunately rudd's party has a very poor record in managing australian economy...at one time during labor's era, the country was perceived as a banana republic...expect more of inefficient bureacracy...expect appointments of ex-union officials who is suppose to protect the battlers who can hardly meet monthly mortgage but ex-union officials can afford to buy beach houses near safe labor party electrorate....politics is politics whereever you are...lulu

lulu said...

yeah...im based in sydney....he is a brissy boy (from brisbane)...so we'll see after the honeymoon w/ the voters has passed....interesting to wait...

Dave Llorito said...

ill keep your comment in mind. thanks. i wonder what made him attractive to the voters.

Dave Llorito said...

hey, you are sydney based? wow! i was there a few months ago. oh, i wonder if you have Multiply account. hehe!

lulu said...

no multiply account...im just a surfer and fond of sharing my thoughts...love to read blogs like yours specially about my country...next time you're in sydney you can e-mail me and i can meet you and show u around...as i mentioned to u before we import phil food products so u can see our label in most asian & specialty shops...sbc foods......

lulu said...

what made rudd attractive was the media hype of "fresh breath of air" as howard has been in power for more than a decade..howard's recent industrial laws did not make him look good, the recent interest hike, & question of succession in his party..aussies did not like his treasurer who was to succeed him....rudd is more like a nerd who likes to show off e.g. he conversed in chinese when china's prime minister was here...it was a show..

Dave Llorito said...

i remember when i was there, issues about bank of australia raising interest rate was raging for weeks. and the people reflected that on howard, who promised stability in rates. but BA is independent and therefore should have no link to aussie politics.

politics....

lulu said...

one last comment....philippine banana is banned here...since about more than 10 or probably 20 years...we have already made inroads during howard's time....you can check biological .we have gotten so close..not rudd is in, he has no choice but to protect banana growers in brisbane..we will never see phil banana here.check this site...http://www.daff.gov.au/ba/about/plant

Dave Llorito said...

yeah, protectionism is one big issue re phil-aussie relations. and it seems it would be more protectionist under rudd. that's my fears really.

lulu said...

phil-aussie trade relation is a one way traffic..as u may have noticed aussie food products are everywhere in manila, while there are too many restrictions on phil food products.. phil govt has never initiated a phil-aussie free trade agreement...malaysia,thailand,singapore has a fta in place..in the works are china-aussie fta..this will be huge..phil will be most disadvantaged if the china fta is implemented...getting late..10:08pm...time to retire...thks