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Howard Shuffles Ministry; Labor Caucus Meets Next Week

John HowardPrime Minister John Howard will announce his second term ministry on Sunday.

Yesterday, the Australian Electoral Commission advised the government that it could now declare that at least 75 seats have been won by the government and Howard accordingly declared the caretaker period of government over.

Coalition members will meet in Canberra this week ahead of Howard’s weekend announcement. The ALP Caucus will meet next week to elect its shadow ministry.

There is at least one vacancy in the ministry, given the retirement of the Defence Minister, Ian McLachlan. Some newspaper reports suggest that Peter Reith may be moved to this portfolio, whilst others predict a promotion for Senator Nick Minchin. [Read more…]

1998 Federal Election: ALP Advertisements

This page contains a selection of advertisements broadcast by the ALP during the 1998 federal election campaign.

They include radio advertisements and the soundtrack of television advertisements.

The ads focus on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) proposed by the Howard government at the election and opposed by the ALP opposition.

  • You don’t mind me asking, Dad?
  • GST Counter
  • Sparkie
  • You’ll Never Get Rid Of That
  • Cheryl Kernot

Kernot Quits Democrats To Join Labor

Senator Cheryl Kernot defected from the Australian Democrats to join the ALP on October 15, 1997.

Kernot resigned as leader of the Democrats, as a member of the party, and from the Senate.

She said she stood ready to contest a Liberal-held marginal seat for the ALP. At the 1998 federal election, Kernot narrowly won election to the Queensland electorate of Dickson. She was defeated at the 2001 election.

  • Listen to an extract of Kernot’s press conference (3m – transcript below)


Transcript of Cheryl Kernot’s resignation press conference.

Cheryl KernotI have called this press conference today to inform you of my decision to resign as Leader of the Australian Democrats, and as a member of both the party and the Senate.

I fully appreciate this decision will come as a shock to members of a party I have served for 17 years. But it is a decision which, in the past 18 months, has grown unavoidable for two reasons. One, my personal and growing sense of outrage at the damage being done to Australia by the Howard Government. And two, my concern that from my position in the Senate I had a limited capacity to minimise that damage. [Read more…]

Kernot: The Leadership Test – Australia In The Next 20 Years

This is the text of Senator Cheryl Kernot’s Address to the Australian Democrats National Conference.

The Leadership Test: Australia In The Next 20 Years

Cheryl KernotThis 20th anniversary conference represents a remarkable achievement in Australians politics. It represents the survival, growth, determination and commitment of the Australian Democrats.

While this conference celebrates that achievement and looks back on our record over the past 20 years, I want to look forward. I want to look forward to where Australia is heading over the next 20 years. I want to raise questions about what sort of leadership is required to see Australia through those 20 years and I want to ask whether our major parties have the courage and the vision to build a fair, equitable and successful Australia in the face of the massive changes brought about by the new era of globalisation.

A few weeks back – in his self-congratulatory summing up of his first nine months in office – John Howard said he was glad to see Australia was ‘still an egalitarian society’. The questions he didn’t address were: for how long is it going to stay that way and what is a Howard Government going to do to maintain and enhance that egalitarianism? [Read more…]

Keep The Bastards Honest: Australian Democrats Leaflet (1996)

This is a leaflet distributed by the Australian Democrats in the electorate of Higgins in the 1996 federal election.

The leaflet shows the party’s signature slogan: “Keep the Bastards Honest.”

The party’s leader, Senator Cheryl Kernot would go on to defect to the ALP about eighteen months after this election. She subsequently became the Labor member for Dickson in the House of Representatives (1998-2001). [Read more…]

Australia’s Economic Independence: Speech By Cheryl Kernot

This is the edited text of the speech given by the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, to the Australian Democrats’ National Conference in Hobart.

Speech by Australian Democrats leader Senator Cheryl Kernot.

Australia’s Economic Independence – Economic Rationalism Or Economic Nationalism?

Cheryl KernotThe election we “have to have” is almost upon us – in all probability less than 8 weeks away.

It’s not just a contest for political survival between John Howard and Paul Keating.

It’s also an election which is crucial to the future of the Australian Democrats and crucial to what sort of nation Australia will become in the next century.

And both the nation – and the next century – need the Democrats. [Read more…]