Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Shift

This past week has been a truly different vibe for the country with the change of government that has taken place on last Saturday. The ALP, under the leadership of Kevin Rudd has lived up to their promise by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol (yippe doo!), drawing up early plans of service withdrawals from Iraq and iniating proposals of scraping the IR Laws. Although the changes in the government policy is yet to be felt, it is quite clear that the Australian knew what they wanted and stuck with that opinion. The Ruddster was definitely a key point in ALP winning the elections because I believe that the former leader, Kim Beazley didn't have the appeal that Kev Sev had.. You can just understand that opinion just by seeing the nicknames he has. Rudd is a self-confessed dork and I can see why he appeals :)

The struggle of the Liberals to change came as swift as their loss to ALP last Saturday with the newly elected leader, Brendan Nelson among others stating his support for gay marriages (which has always been something Liberals has taken a stand against). I see this as a sudden and desperate, if I may use the word, attempt to show that Liberals are progressive and not mundanely conservative. Well, considering it is among the first statements made by someone who could have been the Prime Minister (if Howard and Costello weren't in the running), it signifies a certain importance and underlying message that the party is trying to deliver. Well, the fact that Nelson was chosen over Turnbull in the first place got me off my seats because Nelson was formerly a union leader strongly connected to the ALP (with snippets of video in the news showing him blazing into a microphone, shouting that he will never vote Liberals!). A perfect example of how politics is neither dogmatic nor sacred.

It's been a refreshing experience watching a real political transition (i think revolution is too strong of a word considering they always change their leaders when needed). Here, the promises for the election were concrete and absolute, they say what they want to change and how they want to change it and how much it would cost the nation. Back home, the promises are "untuk membina bangsa yang lebih berwawasan dan berjaya" or "untuk memantapkan ekonomi negara", vaguely described without any elaborations or the slightest hint of plans. Probably the only concrete thing we have is the posters and banners, which a political commentator in SMH easily laughed off as a reminiscent of Australia in the 1950s up to 1970s. Haha.. I let out a nervous laugh too when I realised how backwards the mentality is. Well, if it really is an election based on how many posters each contending party can put up, maybe we should just teach our kids how to count rather than how to crtically think.

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