Henry Marcony: Election surprise in Western Australia

The election season in Australia started last Saturday with a major surprise. In the state of Western Australia, the ruling Liberal Party lost power in a spectacular way after 8 years of uninterrupted rule. The opposition Labour Party is expected to form a new government after a landslide victory. The new premier-elect, Mr. Geoff Gallop, promised to run the state 'on behalf of all West Australians' emulating a similar statement by George W. Bush in the United States. Australian political life is dominated by two major parties - Labour and Liberal. Both are very much alike and committed to socialism. The real sensation of this poll was the appearance of a third political power - the One Nation party led by Miss Pauline Hanson. One Nation was formed several years ago and has been, until now, a relatively small organization. Its program promotes innovative economic policies, traditional social values and rebuilding Australia as a country of Australians rather than a multicultural society proposed by Labour and Liberals. One Nation has been on the receiving end of democratic (within the law) efforts to close it down, undertaken by state governments since its inception. Legal challenges, monetary penalties and de-registration were used to send the party into oblivion. Today, One Nation receives the votes of 20% of West Australians. In some rural areas, the support for One Nation reached 27%. Australia seems to have three big political parties from now on.

Henry L. MARCONY Pravda.Ru Sydney, Australia

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