25 Nov 2007 Australia’s John Howard a Global Warming Victim? No.
A post by Joseph Romm published by the Climate Progress Blog(a project of the Center for American Progress) and the environmentalist Grist Blog is claiming Australian Prime Minister John Howard lost his re-election bid because of his stand on global warming:
Australian denier bites the dust — literally
Global warming takes down its first major political victim:
“Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.”
Why the stunning loss? A key reason was Howard’s “head in the sand dust” response to the country’s brutal once-in-a-thousand year drought. As the UK’s Independent reported in April:
… few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier….. Until a few months ago, Mr Howard and his ministers pooh-poohed the climate-change doomsayers….
Not for the first time, climate alarmists see things as they wish they were, and not as they are.
Howard lost for many reasons far more “key” than Howard’s skepticism about the need for the environmental movement’s prescriptions for fighting climate change. These reasons include:
Howard had already been prime minister 11 1/2 years (he was running for his fifth term), and is 68 years old to his opponent’s more youthful 50.
Many voters took Australia’s strong economy — possibly Howard’s greatest achievement — for granted, as Australia has enjoyed 17 straight years of economic growth.
The Labor Party candidate, Kevin Rudd, campaigned as a strong fiscal conservative, and endorsed very many of Howard’s economic policies, leading voters to believe Rudd as new prime minister would continue Howard’s economic policy achievements.
Despite a good economic record overall, Howard’s Liberal Party was blamed for a recent unpopular rise in interest rates.
The Labor Party ran a celebrity against Howard in his local parliamentary race in New South Wales, forcing him to campaign there frequently, taking his time away from campaigning in marginal districts.
A 2005 industrial relations reform called “Work Choices” was unpopular in some quarters, particularly among organized labor.
A late-breaking scandal took place, in which Liberal Party activists were caught handing out fake Labor Party brochures supporting Islamic terrorists.
The war in Iraq, in which Howard was a steadfast American ally.