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Archives for December 2000

Bush Cabinet Taking On Conservative Hue

United States President-elect, George W. Bush, is close to finalising his choice of Cabinet nominees for his new administration which will take office on January 20. With only a couple of major positions yet to be announced, it has become apparent that the 43rd President has chosen a conservative cast of colleagues for the next four years.

Bush-CheneyPresident-elect George W Bush and Vice-President-elect Dick Cheney

All Cabinet nominees have to be approved by the Senate, in a process that will begin in the coming week. The relevant Senate committees will conduct public hearings at which the nominees will be interrogated. A full vote of the Senate follows a recommendation from a committee.

At this stage, those most likely to face a grilling and possible rejection in the confirmation process are:

  • nominee for Attorney-General, Senator John Ashcroft, who lost his Missouri Senate seat last month to a dead man, Mel Carnahan. In the past Ashcroft has sought to outlaw abortion, even for victims of rape or incest. He has spearheaded opposition to judicial appointments of liberals and blacks.
  • nominee for Interior Secretary, Gale Norton, the former Colorado Attorney-General, who has a long history of favouring limited regulation of land use.

These two candidates represent the most right-wing of the incoming president’s choices. [Read more…]


Howard Government Ministerial Reshuffle

Prime Minister John Howard has reshuffled his ministry, following the departure of three ministers.

The ministers departing are Senator Jocelyn Newman, John Moore and Senator John Herron.

The changes see Peter Reith become Defence Minister, whilst Senator Amanda Vanstone becomes Minister for Family and Community Services. Tony Abbott becomes Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business.

Text of statement released by the Prime Minister, John Howard, announcing changes to the federal ministry.

The departure from the Ministry of three senior, long serving colleagues will result in a significant restructuring of the Ministry. [Read more…]


Melbourne Marches For Reconciliation

Hundreds of thousands of people marched for Reconciliation with Aborigines in Melbourne today.

[metaslider id=34675]

Commencing at 8am, marchers left Flinders Street station and walked down St. Kilda Road, past the Shrine of Remembrance and onto the Domain. The last marchers left around 11am.

The march was the Melbourne equivalent of the well-attended Sydney event earlier this year when similar numbers walked across the Harbour bridge.

Many Labor, Democrat and Green politicians were in attendance, as were a small number of Liberals, notably Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, Health Minister Michael Wooldridge and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

A similar march was held in Perth, attended by Liberal Premier Richard Court. In both cities, the turnout suggests widespread support for reconciliation and a national apology to Aboriginal people.

Corroboree 2000


Satire: Welcome To ReithCard

The controversy over his son’s use of his ministerial phone card in 2000 caused the Howard government minister Peter Reith to be attacked and ridiculed.

Reith was not sacked for the misuse of his phone card but he did repay $50,000.

Reith had been Minister for Workplace Relations since the Howard government took office in 1996. In January 2001, Reith became Minister for Defence. He retired from politics at the 2001 election, although his role in the Children Overboard affair during the election campaign ensured that he remained a controversial figure. [Read more…]