Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Howard returned with increased majority; close to winning majority in Senate: Howard's unexpectedly large victory combined with near control of the senate could see him implement the corporate/conservative neoliberal agenda: privatisation (Telstra, education, health, welfare); regressive tax changes; deregulation (environmental, social and labor legislation); de-unionisation (corporate profits to be enhanced at expense of wages, conditions, and rights); media monopoly (enhanced corporate media combined with erosion of public broadcasting); authoritarianism (increased police powers and erosion of civil liberties, scapegoating of minorities including asylum seekers); and electoral changes (ie, abolition of proportional representation in the senate, compulsory voting and public funding) designed to entrench the conservative agenda and make it difficult to reverse. Efforts to address the global envionmental crisis will be suppressed or ignored. And of course a renewed commitment to pre-1914 colonialism, imperialism, and lawlessness in international affairs. Needless to say none of this is in the interests of the public, but neither did the official Labor opposition make any effective or thoroughgoing attempt to expose this agenda or develop a democratic alternative.

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