Sunday 20 April 2014
News updated at 1:00 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35°C
Min : 22°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

Collision course

September 9, 2013:

Australia’s conservative Liberal-National coalition has won a landslide victory in the general election.

Voters have punished the ruling Labour Party not so much for its policies as for its turbulent governance. Labour rule was marked by bitter infighting among its leaders. Many believed that the ouster of the highly unpopular Julia Gillard by a less unpopular Kevin Rudd would serve to improve Labour’s chances at the election.  Indeed, Rudd’s return to power did see a short-lived spurt in public support for the party, prompting him to call for early elections.

However, his gamble did not pay off.  Labour has only itself to blame for its defeat. Indeed, this was an election that was lost by Labour rather than won by the Liberal-National coalition.  Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott is known to be a pugnacious and polarising politician. He will need to adopt a consultative leadership style if he is keen to serve a full term as Australia’s prime minister.

In his victory speech, Abbott has said that scrapping the carbon tax and turning back the ‘boat people’ are top-most on his agenda. His position on both issues will be of concern to the international community. While Australian business will celebrate his promise to lift the carbon tax – he says he will offer businesses subsidies to reduce emissions, environmentalists and climate change activists worldwide see his approach as appeasement of polluters.


There is valid concern that the new government in Australia will downplay the seriousness of the global warming issue. As for the ‘boat people’ heading to Australia, their fate will hit stormy waters if Abbott persists with his plans for them. While Rudd finalised a deal with Papua New Guinea under which all asylum seekers heading to Australia would be sent off there, rather than provided a home in Australia, Abbott’s approach is even more unwelcoming and aggressive.

Abbott plans to use the Australian Navy not just to prevent asylum seekers from landing in Australia or entering its waters but to prevent them from leaving Indonesian waters. This is an inhumane approach. The future of refugees already in Australia is also uncertain, with Abbott opposed to giving them permanent visas to live in the country.

His policies may win him applause from Australian big business, as well as racist and exclusionist sections in the country. But it will put him on a collision course with the rest of the world.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Pope Francis lifts up the chalice as he leads a vigil mass during Easter celebrations ...

Pope Francis lifts up the chalice as he leads a vigil mass during Easter celebrations ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (R), Prime Minister Dmitry ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (R), Prime Minister Dmitry ...

Pope Francis leads a vigil mass during Easter celebrations at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Ap

Pope Francis leads a vigil mass during Easter celebrations at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Ap

Libyans take part in a local windsurfing competition in Tripoli April 19, 2014. REUTERS

Libyans take part in a local windsurfing competition in Tripoli April 19, 2014. REUTERS

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (2nd R) signs the First Fleet Bible and Prayer Book ...

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (2nd R) signs the First Fleet Bible and Prayer Book ...

Britain's Prince William, second from left, and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge ...

Britain's Prince William, second from left, and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge ...

Archbishop Gintaras Grusas perfoms the blessing at the Easter vigil mass in the Cathedral ...

Archbishop Gintaras Grusas perfoms the blessing at the Easter vigil mass in the Cathedral ...

Ten-year olds Kaitlynn Tran of Chicago, and Michael Ramirez of Aurora, Ill., right, gather ...

Ten-year olds Kaitlynn Tran of Chicago, and Michael Ramirez of Aurora, Ill., right, gather ...

Pope Francis baptizes 10-year-hold Giorgio Capezzuoli during the Easter vigil service ...

Pope Francis baptizes 10-year-hold Giorgio Capezzuoli during the Easter vigil service ...

Pope Francis holds a tall, lit, white candle, as he leads the Easter vigil service ...

Pope Francis holds a tall, lit, white candle, as he leads the Easter vigil service ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523