Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s [neo-]Liberal party was resoundingly defeated at the polls yesterday. Incoming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has promised to ratify the Kyoto accords and negotiate a withdrawal from Iraq.
Australian opinion polls have shown that although Australians remain strong supporters of the so-called Anzus alliance — the security pact among Australia, New Zealand and the United States — they do not approve of Mr. Bush or the Iraq war.
The attempts by Mr. Howard’s coalition to stress its economic record apparently failed to impress voters. The Australian economy has had 17 years of continuous growth, lately driven by Chinese demand for Australian iron ore and coal. Mr. Howard had warned voters that a Labor victory would endanger the country’s prosperity.