Patterico's Pontifications


John Howard Calls for Australian Election (Updated)

Filed under: International,Media Bias — DRJ @ 11:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Australian PM John Howard has scheduled a general election for late next month.

Breaking news from The Press Association*:

“Australian prime minister John Howard has called a general election for November 24 that will decide the fate of his 11-year reign and whether Australia will start bringing home its troops from Iraq.

Mr Howard, Australia’s second-longest serving leader, faces a tough battle to win a fifth term in office against Labour party opposition leader Kevin Rudd, a Chinese-speaking former diplomat. Rudd has months held a commanding lead over the conservative Howard in opinion polls.

Howard’s announcement marks the start of the official run-up to the elections, though both sides have been campaigning unofficially for weeks.”

I don’t know much about Australian elections and even less about the Australian press, but I’m calling bias against Howard in this article. For the purpose of announcing the election, what difference does it make if Howard’s opponent speaks Chinese? Furthermore, I’m fairly certain prime ministers don’t “reign.”

* The Press Association is “the national news agency of the UK and Ireland” that has been “… setting the UK news agenda with fast, fair and accurate reporting” since 1868.

UPDATE: As suggested by Christoph – “I’d posted this earlier, but pulled it down for a while because it was published in too close proximity to Patterico’s last post, and I felt like spacing it out more.”


6 Responses to “John Howard Calls for Australian Election (Updated)”

  1. Yes, DRJ, agreed, bias. They could have equally said, “Rudd, a Christian strip-club going former diplomat.”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Maybe the “Meat Mufti” will mount a campaign. He’s still in the country but no longer Grand Mufti, I understand. That wound certainly make things interesting. He could be the Ron Paul type candidate of Australia.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. ‘Reign’ doesn’t quite have negative connotations to this Australian’s ears, though the mention of Rudd’s proficiency in Mandarin is a bit extraneous – though it’s probably an attempt to jazz-up the contest for that majority of non-Aussies who have never heard of Kevin Rudd. The third bit you’ve bolded isn’t biased, it’s as brief and cogent a description of the nature of the Australian system of calling elections as you’re likely to get in a single sentence.

    Leinad (56a703)

  4. I would get royally confused under a parliamentary system. At least, here in America, I know when the elections are going to be.

    Techie (c003f1)

  5. Australian trade (from CIA):

    Export partners:

    2001 – Japan 19%, US 9%, South Korea 7%, China 6%, New Zealand 5.8%, Singapore 4%
    2006 – Japan 19.6%, China 12.3%, South Korea 7.5%, US 6.2%, India 5.5%, NZ 5.5%, UK 5%

    Import partners:

    2001 – US 20%, Japan 13%, China 7.7%, UK 6%, Germany 5%, South Korea 4%, NZ 4%, Malaysia 3.6%
    2006 – China 14.4%, US 14.1%, Japan 9.6%, Singapore 6%, Germany 5.1%

    Looks like speakin’ Chinese is a pretty important skill for an Australian PM these days.

    alphie (99bc18)

  6. Tim Blair’s site is aleady gearing up for the festivities. From what I gather Ozzies think politics is a contact sport even more than Americans.

    One thing that might affect the race is that Howard has said he will resign after the election. This means that Peter Costello (no relation, I think?) would become prime minister without facing an election himself. Like Brown in the UK.

    Oh, about the anti-Howard bias in the newspaper story. That’s common in all the Australian newspapers I’ve read. The War on Islamofascism is only one of the reasons they hate him. The fact that he’s detained illegal immigrant ‘refugees’ is another. Not signing Kyoto. The American alliance.

    Funny thing, Howard and Costello run the ‘Liberal Party.’

    John Costello (3d7149)

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