It’s official: Kevin Rudd is Australia’s next Prime Minister!

The wait is finally over — Kevin Rudd is Australia’s next Prime Minister and the country is now ruled by the Australian Labor Party in every state and territory, as well as in the federal government. The news coverage mentions that Australians want a change and want a more progressive government and I am part of those who certainly hold that opinion. Watching John Howard’s speech to concede defeat, I did feel a little bit sorry for him. I do believe that he means well: he works hard, he is smart and strategic and arguably has great leadership skills. It’s just a pity that in his latter years in government he has turned into a manipulative and arrogant weasel. I suppose it’s true that power corrupts …

I felt a little bit sorry for Peter Costello too, the Treasurer who has been ordained to be the next Opposition Leader. There have been a lot of commentaries on the fact that Peter Costello didn’t dare to challenge John Howard’s leadership even when there were some indications that the public were getting tired with Howard.  John Howard apparently promised to hand over his leadership over to Peter Costello, but then reneged on his promise when the time came. Being a conservative, non-confrontational person myself, I can understand Costello’s approach and point of view but I did wish Costello had the guts to challenge John Howard when the opportunity came. Now that the Liberal loses the election, it’s a bit ironic that John Howard publicly endorses Peter Costello to be the next leader of the Liberal Party – to be the opposition leader. It’s like a kid in a childcare who loves his favourite toy, even when he was told that he should share it with another boy after his time was up. When the time is up, he makes excuses to continue playing with the toy. The other boy just meekly and passively waits for his turn even though he could’ve grabbed it because it is already his turn. Just close to closing time, the kid quickly passes it over to the boy, acts all generous – even though he knows that he gives it up, only because he’s had enough and that the childcare is closing soon for the day …

I haven’t cared for politics and government for such a long time. The last time I truly cared for politics was when I was still in Indonesia – for the 1999 General Election. It was right after the economic crisis and the riot against the Chinese in Jakarta. People also wanted a change, and I can still remember marching through Jl. Jend. Sudirman – one of the main thoroughfare in Jakarta – with my colleagues from Citibank, supporting PDI-P, one of the political parties in Indonesia. We were all white collars, and it was totally unusual to see office workers marching through the street along with drivers, students, blue-collar workers and other community riff-raffs. PDI-P won the election at that time, and it did give us a sense of achievement that people power mattered.

This time round, it was my first time ever to vote in the Australian General Election and I have certainly looked forward to casting my vote wisely. Now that I have done it, I’m feeling a sense of an anti-climatic success. I certainly hope that Rudd can meet my expectations and deliver on what he has promised the general population. I also hope that power will not turn him into another manipulative, arrogant twerp.

Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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