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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] International Debate
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kalabus
This Saturday Australia is having an election and from what I have been told by Aussie friends on-line John Howard and Latham are running in a virtual dead heat. Latham is against the war in Iraq and this is his major running platform and the Bush/Iraq hating Aussies (most Aussies) are eating it up. If Latham wins I predict a Zapatero type response like what happened in Spain when Anzar lost. The Aussies will pull out. This would be an even bigger hit to America as the Australians are only behind the Brits and Poles as far as contribution goes in Iraq. This situation is all the more critical with the Polish president making statements about an upcoming withdrawel from Iraq. To me this should be a huge election with massive ramifications but I am yet to see any news agencies in the US pick up on it. So.....

My question is if Howard loses will it be a major hit to Bush and could it possibly affect our own elections as people see the coalition further evaporate?
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Eeyore
From where I sit, I think most people confuse Australia with Austria. I think this would hit as a minor ripple only because everything is in a hype factor as the election approaches.

A month later 98% of Americans won't be able to name the leader of Australia or the title he holds.

It will not be a major hit, IMHO.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
My question is if Howard loses will it be a major hit to Bush and could it possibly affect our own elections as people see the coalition further evaporate?


Bush will still have Poland! Or not. To Bush, yes, a Howard loss will be detrimental. To the situtation in Iraq, doubt it will make any difference.

Whoever wins the US election will have one big headache with Iraq, no matter what. The ultimate outcome will be some kind of compromise between democracy and authoritarian central government. But for right now, any further cracking of the Bush armor is bad for Bush.
Julian
For the umpteenth time, Aznar did not lose solely because he had troops in Iraq against the wishes of his electorate - though that could easily be seen as reason enough to do vote him out. Nor did he lose because the Spanish electorate fled in fear into the arms of the opposition socialists after a couple of bombs in their capital city - remember, the Spanish (like many European countires) are quite used to bombing campaigns.

He lost because he and his government cynically tried to blame those same Madrid bombings on domestic opponents (ETA) to make his governments' decisions look good, in a campaign that was already very closely run.

If Howard loses, Iraq will certainly be a factor, but not the most important one - see this link. Iraq is only one of eight key election battlezones.

And just to pre-empt next year's thread "Are the Brits chickening out of Iraq too?" if Blair loses, which isn't very likely as things stand, it will be for British domestic purposes, and not any kind of signal to America.

How many times have Americans dismissed foreign criticism of US policy on the groungs that America doesn't or shouldn't do what foreigners want them to just on the say-so of those foreigners? Some go further and say that foreign opinion shouldn't even be listened to, while others take the view that it should get a fair hearing, but should only have an impact if it resonates with domestic views.

So why does the outcome of every foreign election, especially those in the "Coalition of the Willing", have to be taken to mean anything at all about the opinion of foriegn electorates of America? It's got nothing to do with America.

Are Americans so insular that the outcomes of foreign elections only matter to the extent of what they say about America?
Amlord
I think a John Howard defeat would instantly turn into a soundbyte for the Kerry campaign.

I can see Tad Devine now, sneering about how the Coalition is disintegrating thanks to Bush's failed leadership.

Will it resonate with the American public? I doubt it. Most Americans could care less what the citizens of other countries think about their leaders. Most Americans could care less what the citizens of other countries think about our leaders.

I doubt this will have much of an effect, although I suspect the Kerry crew will attempt to "sex it up".
logophage
QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 8 2004, 11:12 AM)
I think a John Howard defeat would instantly turn into a soundbyte for the Kerry campaign.

I can see Tad Devine now, sneering about how the Coalition is disintegrating thanks to Bush's failed leadership.

Will it resonate with the American public?  I doubt it.  Most Americans could care less what the citizens of other countries think about their leaders.  Most Americans could care less what the citizens of other countries think about our leaders.

I doubt this will have much of an effect, although I suspect the Kerry crew will attempt to "sex it up".
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Hey, Amlord, apart from the ad hominem term "sneering", we agree. The Kerry campaign would jump all over this. And will it have an effect on the US election? Likely not.
Government Mule
QUOTE(Julian @ Oct 8 2004, 07:33 AM)
Are Americans so insular that the outcomes of foreign elections only matter to the extent of what they say about America?
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Unfortunately Julian, yes we are.

Will it have an effect? Who is holding elections again, and when? And who in the heck is running?


I think that a lot of us in here forget that WE are NOT the average American voter. The rather small amount of regular contributors to the political threads are a good indication of how many Americans pay close attention to the race. I am going to call my Aunt in Kansas as soon as I submit this to get her opinion on the Australian election. I'll let you know who she wants to win. wacko.gif

(hey, I got the quotes to work. I am such a quick learner whistling.gif )
ralou
QUOTE(Government Mule @ Oct 8 2004, 02:20 PM)
QUOTE(Julian @ Oct 8 2004, 07:33 AM)
Are Americans so insular that the outcomes of foreign elections only matter to the extent of what they say about America?
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Unfortunately Julian, yes we are.

Will it have an effect? Who is holding elections again, and when? And who in the heck is running?


I think that a lot of us in here forget that WE are NOT the average American voter. The rather small amount of regular contributors to the political threads are a good indication of how many Americans pay close attention to the race. I am going to call my Aunt in Kansas as soon as I submit this to get her opinion on the Australian election. I'll let you know who she wants to win. wacko.gif

(hey, I got the quotes to work. I am such a quick learner whistling.gif )
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I think the impact will be small or none. I'm paying attention to the election (with great amusement) primarily due to Rush Limbaugh's bashing of Kerry's sister, apparantly in Australia drumming up support for the opposition. It amuses me because, when an Australian Prime Minister objected to US involvement in the Vietnam War, the CIA spent a great deal of time and effort to get him ousted (they succeeded). And to interfere in a few labor unions, for good measure.

(Although this raised a stink when, during the trials of two American spies, it was revealed that the CIA had done this, it is one of the most buried and ignored events I've ever researched. I suggest reading a book called the Falcon and the Snowman to find out more).




I wish you were wrong, Govt. Mule, about your estimation of the average American's attention span when it comes to politics, but I currently live with an example of the average American, and although I love Mom dearly, what she knows about national politics (let alone international) wouldn't make a soundbyte.

And what she does know comes from Rush Limbaugh. She read something I wrote about the current situation in Haiti (bad and liable to get worse) and decided she should mail it to Rush Limbaugh to see if he'll give her an opinion as to its accuracy. Never mind that my sources were people who have lived and worked in Haiti.

Meanwhile, Rush told two lies about Haiti today:

1. That Clinton 'inserted' Aristide into Haiti (actually, he reluctantly and with much delay returned Haiti's President to office after Haitians refused to meekly consent to a dictatorship (again), but he still did better than this administration has.)

2. Rush also accused the UN of not being able to protect Haitians. Never mind that the only people Rush thinks need protecting are the ones who don't want the return of the democratically elected leader of Haiti-ousted again, with our help and one of our planes). The point is, he also failed to mention, while berating the UN, that the Marines are also in Haiti, presumably also helpless to stop the violence.
Sleeper
Just a quick update: John Howard won.
Schoolboy
With Australia, mainly due to the relatively small contribution, the Iraq issue was definitely a sideline in comparison to US politics at the moment. What Australians were voting on is a consistently well performing economy and the fact that this PM has been in power for 3 terms already and yet Australia has done well - its questionable immigration policy aside. This will be his fourth term.

Schooly
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cogito ergo sum
I do not think that the election in Australia will have any effect on the US election now that Howard won. If he lost, the left in America would have fallen all over themselves to tout that Bush lost one of his allies. The news media would have fallen all over themselves to say how Bush was now vulnerable because of this. However, they will NOT take the opposite track now that this avenue of attacking Bush is lost to them. They will forget all about it and only mention it incidentally now.
Paladin Elspeth
The news that Australia's prime minister was re-elected had less effect on me than hearing in that same report that Australia had only 2,000 troops on the ground in Iraq at the height of their participation. Yeah, that's big-time coalition support. whistling.gif

I wish Alan Wood, one of our Aussie members, were posting on this forum right now. He could provide some insight into his country's leader. I personally do not see the re-election of this man as somehow a ringing endorsement of George W. Bush as our President.
turnea
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Oct 11 2004, 02:52 PM)
The news that Australia's prime minister was re-elected had less effect on me than hearing in that same report that Australia had only 2,000 troops on the ground in Iraq at the height of their participation. Yeah, that's big-time coalition support.  whistling.gif 
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Well actually it is a relatively large amount form a coalition nation. It is about same size as the German contingent in Afghanistan, which is itself one of the largest non-US force groups there.

Afghanistan's was the largest coalition ever for a US-supported action if I'm not mistaken.
QUOTE
There are a total of around 2,000 German troops in the 7,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, making it the biggest contingent from any one country

Source
cogito ergo sum
I am awlays amazed that people seem to want to make fun of our allies that are contributing to Iraq and Afghanistan! Is 2,000 troops a joke to anyone? Is 50? If a country has sent their troops it is an endorsement of the effort. Even if it is only 1.
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