I posted this to the US election (for non-US folk), but I think it's just as appropriate here:
Kerry's man tells (Oz) PM: mind your manners
By Peter Hartcher in Washington
November 1, 2004
An adviser to the Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry has criticised John Howard for publicly wishing for victory for George Bush in this week's election.
The Prime Minister last week said of the US President: "I hope he wins."
A senior defence official in the Clinton administration and prospective senior official in a Kerry administration, Kurt Campbell, said this was "a little inappropriate". Dr Campbell told the Herald: "I remember when Australians thought there was too much playing of politics here, when the Bush Administration was talking about Australian politics.
"I would remind Australians that the same applies at home. Such comments about our politics are a little inappropriate."
In June, Mr Bush criticised the Labor leader, Mark Latham, for promising to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas.
Dr Campbell's comments herald the likelihood that a Kerry administration, while still well-disposed toward Australia, would not be as intimate with the Howard Government.
"Obviously, a Kerry Administration wouldn't be as warm and cuddly with the Howard people as a matter of personal relationships," said a Democrat and political analyst at the Brookings Institution, Tom Mann. "But Kerry will bend over backwards to be conciliatory to coalition partners."
Dr Campbell added, however, that there was likely to be some initial anxiety, regardless of which man won: "If it's another Bush term. Australia's best friends in the Administration, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and his deputy, Rich Armitage, are unlikely to remain in place," said Dr Campbell, the head of security studies at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "So you are likely to have new players who will need educating or re-initiation into the high priesthood of the alliance."
Further, the Australian Ambassador to the US for the past five years, Michael Thawley, has advised the Government that he will resign to look for a job in the private sector in the first quarter of next year.
So the topmost officials in the daily conduct of the US alliance in Washington are set to change, on both sides of the relationship, regardless of who wins the election.
The two biggest joint ventures of the alliance, however, are expected to continue with only minor change.
First, the Free Trade Agreement, whose implementation has been delayed by US concerns, is likely to take effect from January 1 as planned, informed officials said.
Second, the next administration, whether under Mr Bush or Mr Kerry, is expected to ask US allies for fresh contributions to the occupation of Iraq.
Before the FTA can enter into force, its terms require the two governments to exchange letters attesting that enabling legislation has been faithfully enacted.
This exchange is supposed to occur at least 60 days before the agreement takes effect, a deadline which expired at the weekend. But Richard Mills, a spokesman for the US Trade Representative, said that this 60-day requirement could be varied with mutual consent: "In previous cases like Chile and Singapore, exchange occurred less than 60 days before entry into force, and we are continuing to discuss with Australia implementation measures."
Officials said Australia would need to amend the enabling legislation on technical points on the treatment of intellectual property before the US would agree to implement the FTA.
Also, talks were continuing on details of the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.
On the question of the contribution to Iraq, Australia's response, according to well-placed officials, would be to offer some flexibility in the components of the Australian deployment, but without substantially increasing the total number of troops, which is around 900.