Sunday, October 10, 2004

Margo Kingston

To all of you who, like me, are devastated by the result, tonight is also the begininning of a new era for dissenters to the direction of the new Australia. The media may well be concentrated in the hands of Murdoch and Packer within a year, and even now, with an independent Fairfax, it failed in Howard's third term to do its democratic job of ensuring truth in government and accountability for government failures of policy.

It is now crystal clear that Labor has fallen way behind the Liberals in grassroots campaigning and the selection of quality local candidates. Latham and Labor must, at last, reform the party root and branch.

It is also clear that many voters have deserted Labor for The Greens permanently, and that there is severe disquiet in traditional Liberal seats, evidenced by a strong Greens vote. Australia has also begun to copy yet another American trend in supporting fundamentalist Christian candidates to Parliament. Howard's claim tonight that what united us was more important than what divided us was untrue. We are fracturing.

Tonight was the last chance for Australians to change course from the excesses of neo-liberalism and reassert the egalitarian traditions of our nation. I believe many will live to regret their decision tonight, but then, I would, wouldn't I?

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