AUSTRALIA: CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT IN SIGHT

The end of conservative government in Australia may be much closer than anybody anticipated even a month ago. Recent state elections in Queensland and Western Australia were a political nightmare for the ruling conservative coalition of the Liberal and National parties. In the state of Queensland, a landslide victory gave the opposition Labor Party 69 seats in the 89-seat parliament. In Western Australia, former Liberal premier Mr. Court was forced to retire from politics. According to recent opinion polls, even the Australian Prime Minister John Howard and deputy premier John Anderson would loose their parliamentary seats if federal elections were held today. The conservative coalition receives a confident no-confidence vote from an electorate tired with ever-growing taxes, the consumption tax fiasco, low value of the Australian dollar, expensive petrol and decreasing living standards. Apart from supporting the Labor Party, many Australian vote for independent candidates and the fast growing One Nation movement. One Nation has now 2 seats in the new Queensland parliament and a fast growing networkof supporters in country areas. What a Labor win may bring after the next federal elections? Certainly more community development programs, possibly a slightly better deal for workers, negotiated with the assistance of Labor-dominated trade unions. Less ties with the United States. More pro-environment, anti-nuclear policies. In the past, the Labor party promised to reverse the GSTconsumption tax introduced by the coalition. Nowadays, we don't hear much about it anymore.

Henry L. Marconi Pravda.Ru Sydney, Australia