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Mr Howard’s Team Deserves A Fourth Term: Sunday Telegraph

This is the editorial from the NSW Sunday Telegraph.

The newspaper is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Election editorial from Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.

Sunday Telegraph

Rarely has there been an election campaign in which so much money has been showered on the electorate in so short a time.

John Howard and Mark Latham have plundered the spoils of 12 years of economic growth to stage an unseemly auction for votes.

But if either side believes it can win next Saturday’s election with Santa Claus economics, it is mistaken. The vigorous debate on talkback radio, in newspaper letters pages and in the community shows voters recognise there are bigger issues at stake.

At a time of economic prosperity and global insecurity, the onus is on the Opposition to present a compelling reason for change.

Mr Latham has attempted to rise to that challenge. He has grown in stature during the campaign, burying his reputation as an abrasive streetfighter and demonstrating his credentials as a credible and intelligent party leader.

His thoughtful welfare policy marks a watershed for the Australian left by recognising that the best form of welfare is a job.

But the ghost of old Labor haunts Mr Latham’s regressive industrial relations policy, which advocates a return to old-style arbitration and collective bargaining.

The politics of envy appear to be driving Mr Latham’s divisive education policy, which would slash funding to top private schools.

Most seriously of all, Mr Latham has failed the test on terrorism. His promise to pull Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas raises questions about Labor’s relationship with our most important ally and betrays a dangerous lack of understanding of the global nature of the terrorist threat.

Mr Howard, meanwhile, has campaigned on an impressive record of sound economic management. He has directed his policies at middle Australia, benefiting families and giving mothers greater choice to stay at home or re-enter the workforce.

His unwavering commitment to the US alliance, his strengthening of our defence forces and intelligence agencies and his commitment to fighting the war on terror, both in the Middle East and in our region, have put Australia on a strong footing in the face of grave threats to our national security.

Despite the Coalition’s impressive reforms, there is still much work to be done. Mr Howard has the dubious honour of being the highest-taxing Prime Minister in Australia’s history yet he has shown little enthusiasm for reforming our clumsy, inefficient and inequitable tax system or rationalising archaic Commonwealth-State relations.

Mr Howard heads a party rich in talent and Peter Costello, the architect of our economic prosperity, is a natural candidate to succeed him. Mr Howard has nothing to lose by stating openly when the inevitable transition of leadership will occur.

Alongside the seasoned Mr Howard, Mr Latham is a political novice. He has little experience of life outside of politics and has never served on a government frontbench. Few would regard his time as Mayor of Liverpool as an adequate apprenticeship for the highest political office in the land.

Mr Howard has served this country well as Prime Minister, delivering eight years of unparalled prosperity, protecting its borders and taking a firm stand against the extremists who threaten our very way of life.

A vote for the Coalition on October 9 is a vote for prudence, responsibility and security. Mr Howard’s team deserves a fourth term.
Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by the editor, Jeni O’Dowd, 2 Holt St, Surry Hills 2010.


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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