Howard’s End?

Let me join Mark Steyn in hoping that John Howard wins against the odds in tomorrow’s Australian elections. I discuss his prospects at greater length in today’s Toronto Globe and Mail. But the essential point is that if Howard loses, it will be because he has worked himself out of a job. He’s given the country eleven years of successful reforming government. Australia is booming economically and contented socially–or at least as contented as a lively democratic and skeptical people like the Aussies will ever be. So the voters think they can afford to risk a change. But not a massive change. Kevin Rudd, the Labor leader, knows this and has been distancing himself from his own Left as from Typhoid Mary in the last few days. Like Thatcher, Howard has reformed his opposition in reforming his country. Long term that will be a more important victory than a fifth term. All the same, I hope Howard gets that too, and for the same reason as Mark: He deserves it.


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