The Australian: Rudd should stay on track
On Saturday, the Australian people voted the government out as much, perhaps more, as they embraced Mr Rudd. For all the assumptions of a bright new era that are being foisted on Mr Rudd by the green Left, and the desire for a return to the 1950s expressed by class-war warriors in the union movement, the prime minister-elect has given us every indication that he will deliver more of the same economic management strategies the previous government gave us.
AUSTRALIA’S political landscape has changed utterly. The Howard era is over. Emphatically it is over. Voters have delivered to John Howard and the Coalition a resounding verdict of renunciation. They did it across the continent and they did it personally. Mr Howard is likely to lose Bennelong, which he has held for 33 years. It will be only the second time that a prime minister has done so. Stanley Bruce was the other in 1929. Mr Howard will have to live with this legacy: that he will enter the annals of history as much for this ignominy as for anything he has achieved. He has no one to blame but himself. On Saturday night he took responsibility for defeat. He could hardly have done otherwise.
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Sydney Morning Herald: Howard goes out a fighter, now for the aftershock
John Howard gave one of the great speeches of his career in signalling its close. Some may see the result in Bennelong – still in doubt, but likely to fall to Labor – as an ignominious end for one who has been a giant of Liberal and Australian politics. It is not. Some of history’s greatest heroes have gone down fighting; so it was with John Howard. As successive redistributions transformed his seat from the blue-ribbon Liberal stronghold he inherited from Sir John Cramer in 1974 to a marginal proposition in 2007, Mr Howard spurned the temptation to move somewhere safer. His prestige will have helped shore up his party’s support as Bennelong’s voters started to look elsewhere; if it was not enough this time to hold the seat for the Liberals, it was not for want of leadership – or effort, or courage – from Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister.
Courier Mail: Time to prove people’s choice
CONGRATULATIONS to Kevin Rudd and his team on an emphatic victory. It not only vindicated the stance of this newspaper and many others for a political renewal with a forward-looking government, but also reinforced the importance of Queensland on the national stage … The magnitude of the transfer in the power base from the traditional centres of Sydney and Melbourne and their entrenched networks should not be under-estimated. It is not so much an anomaly as a paradigm shift that says a lot about the future direction of Australia.
Herald Sun: Dawn of a new PM
Now Mr Howard is gone and the man we expected — and the Libs needed — to lead is also halfway out the door. Peter Costello, at 50, cites a need for “generational change” when the Coalition — and the country — most need his experience and talent to scrutinise the new Government. The Prime Minister-elect, also 50, is a 21st century leader. We can only hope his policy work will be for bedrock modernisation.
Daily Telegraph: The challenge is in the delivery
IT is Mr Rudd who has been given the opportunity to be at the forefront of “generational change”. He and his party were elected on the basis of a promise of a better, brighter, fairer country, a country which – on Mr Rudd’s own assessment – is already pretty good. So the challenge is before him – and every Australian will wish him success. But they will expect him to deliver.