He’s Kevin. And Queensland was here to help. There was little gloating about his extraordinary overnight success or the reasons for it, but there is little doubt that his home state of Queensland was instrumental in the convincing margin (Labor is likely to have an overall 24 or 26 seat majority). Earlier this year Labor strategists believed that that the local man could take 8 Queensland seats from the Coalition. After the state government-based debacle of compulsory council amalgamation, Labor predictions dropped to 4 or 5. In the end, they needn’t have worried. — Woolly Days

Just wait earthlings, all will become known. The Legend of Kevin spreads worldwide: Australia’s incoming prime minister Kevin Rudd could scarcely have imagined as his penniless family slept in a car during his childhood that one day he would lead the nation. That famous vehicle – what make? what model? – will be a Queensland roadside attraction any day now; an antipodean counterpoint, perhaps, to Bonnie and Clyde’s death car. — Tim Blair

God couldn’t have predicted Kevin, apparently. Some commentators may have got it wrong in predicting the outcome of this weekend’s election, but few have got it as spectacularly wrong as Pastor Danny “Muslims are drug-dealing demons” Nalliah, of Catch the Fire Ministries. Whereas the commentators of the media and blogosphere may have based their predictions on statistics, anecdotal evidence or just gut feel, the Christian fundamentalist self-professed prophet Danny Nalliah based his prediction on a personal call from God. And so, it seems, did a number of other people associated with his little group. — Austrolabe

Enjoying the moment. I don’t know what Kevin Rudd is up to this morning, but we went out for pancakes. With a smirk. — My favourite plum

What about nuclear? Now that the election is over and done. Labor has a formidable task – to demonstrate their energy related rhetoric prior to and during the campaign can be put into practice. Since nuclear is – ‘they’ say – too expensive, too risky and takes too long, can we expect that within a very few years, Australian emissions linked to climate change will noticeably plummet through some other technologies? I certainly ‘hope’ so – and furthermore I would like to ‘hope’ it can be done without nuclear, but I’m not so sure – when one examines the maths involved – we should pin our collective future on ‘hope’. Because in reality, as a nation, we can’t manage to stop building new CO2 belching plants, let alone shut down any existing ones. — Nuclear Australia

Let’s talk Iraq. Today Australian Prime Minister John Howard was ousted by the Labor Party, which easily took back control of Parliament from Howard’s party. The defeat was so severe Howard may even lose his own seat. So, now is a good time to look back at something little-noticed in America: Howard’s shameless lying on Iraq. — Mother Jones blog

Same for the US please. After spending a year living in Australia and listening to my progressive friends lament of ever getting rid of John Howard, I find these results incredibly encouraging. I know that George Bush won’t be on the ballot next November, but the fate of his right-wing agenda will be. And if the good people Down Under can give such a resounding victory to their progressive political party, maybe, just maybe, we can do the same. — An exchange of words: David B Coe’s weblog

A great man gone. I failed on Insiders yesterday and in my piece today to pay a tribute to our second longest-serving Prime Minister. I may do something at fuller length later, but for now there’s this: John Howard has always conducted himself with great personal courtesy and dignity. Whether you liked his policies or not, his personal behaviour was impeccable and his courage beyond question … I heard yesterday that during this frantic campaign for his political life, Howard called in to see the dying Matt Price. No cameras. No fuss. And a chat to the neighbors afterwards. I think he’ll be remembered with a great deal of respect and fondness. A great man. — Andrew Bolt

Is that all there is? Is Greater Wingnuttia that upset about Howard losing simply because of his occasional rhetorical support of Bush? It certainly is not because of Australia’s (and again, not to demean their help) contribution to the force make-up. Is this what the Bush dead-enders are left with- clinging to the rhetoric of a foreign leader? I realize, I think the Republican party and right-wing are such losers and so wrong on many issues I left the party and joined a party I don’t feel wholly comfortable with, but are they really THIS pathetic that all they have left are Bush, Cheney, and Australia’s Howard to worship, and now just Bush and Cheney? Is that really it? How the mighty have fallen. — John Cole’s Balloon Juice

Rudd = Australia’s answer to Pelosi. The mood among the Labor supporters pretty much resembles that of Pelosi’s supporters after their Congressional win. In the end, Howard’s loss probably has to be put down to hubris. His margin over Labor and the Left was always much thinner than his oversized image seemed to indicate. His image was so oversized, in fact, that it probably kept a new generation of leaders from rising within his party. On the other hand, Labor ran through a succession of losers until they came to Rudd, who realized he had to run to the right of his predecessors. That cut away Howard’s already thin cushion. — The Belmont Club

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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