So the WorkChoices policy was really the central cause of Howard's demise.. the thing that turned a whole part of the electorate to Labor which none of the last few Labor leaders had managed to win back.
If I can put it this way, nimh, it was the last nail in the coffin for Howard & the Libs. Prior to WorkChoices
there was already massive fear & loathing of Howard's policies & actions within sections the Australian community for ages, but it took those " Howard battlers" to finally reject him to bring about the necessary movement (in the "right" electorates) in the polls. If you like WorkChoices
brought former Labor voters/sympathizers who'd defected to Howard, back into the fold. That, plus the squeaky clean image of "his" version Labor that Rudd presented to Australians in his campaign, made it actually thinkable
(!) for some Liberal voters who were totally disenchanted with Howard to defect to Labor. Plus, Rudd successfully won over "the youth vote" (first time voters) by appealing to them via the internet. His approach to environment issues, climate change, Kyoto, education, etc, struck a chord with them, while Howard seemed stale & out of touch with the 21st century by contrast. (Rudd gets mobbed when he visits schools!
There were so many other issues of critical importance to many of us which hardly got an airing at all. (Far too many to mention here!) WorkChoices & the management of "the economy" completely dominated this campaign in the media.
To me, the interesting thing to watch following this election, is where this leaves "the left" from now on. Already many have defected to The Greens
, whose policies were perceived as being stronger & more appealing than Labor's. (education, the environment, industrial relations ...) Labor did a preferential deal with the greens prior to the election & a number of newly acquired Labor seats were actually due to Greens preferences. It will be very "interesting" to see how this new relationship between the Greens & Labor will actually work! :wink: Especially if the Greens gain control of a healthy number of Senate seats! Rudd seems determined to govern for "everyone", aiming at dead centre, while the Greens have a very specific agenda in mind!
So it's going to be very interesting to watch all the shifts in all the parties.: The Libs will no doubt become more "liberal" again (after one hell of an upheaval in the party! The neo con days are finished), Labor has moved right to gain government, while there's those growing number of (very committed!) Greens supporters to be taken into account! Fascinating! :wink: