Vote today for change in Australia


By Russell Eldridge, Editor.

THE choice for Australia's 13 million voters today is to stay with a familiar team, or vote for change.

We endorse the view that it is time for change. It is time to vote out a Government that has no case for re-election and is leading this country down an increasingly narrow, selfish and short-sighted path.

Kevin Rudd's Labor team has recognised the best features of John Howard's Coalition policies and kept them chief among them being economic responsibility and stability.

But the differences that Labor offers are fundamental.

The Coalition has presided over a boom economy for a decade, but has squandered the opportunity to use that wealth for nation building. The poor are still struggling and are being forced into one-sided work agreements. Our education system has slipped in international standings, our public health services are tottering, our transport systems are inadequate and national infrastructure is lacking. And the Coalition has been asleep at the wheel while climate change has eroded our national estate.

Internationally, Australia's reputation has been harmed by our unquestioning eagerness to accept US foreign policy, no matter how misguided that may be, or how damaging to Australia's interests. We are out of step on greenhouse emissions and are embroiled in two foreign wars Iraq and Afghanistan both of which we are losing. As a nation, we are now a target for international terrorism and we are seen as wary or even hostile towards any culture that is not Judeo-Christian.

Our foreign policy has spilled into domestic affairs. The Government drafted internal security laws befitting an old-style Communist state and the public is encouraged by TV advertising into paranoid neighbourhood spying. Is this the sort of Australia we want?

Mr Rudd's team is yet to be tried, but if elected today it will know that Australians are looking for a new style of leadership, one which will encourage fairness and open-mindedness. It will need to be leadership that allows this country to breathe again. ,

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