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Class Warfare and the Australian Elections

The November 24th Australian election has resulted in a sharp defeat of the neoliberal pro-US John Howard government, and a victory for the slightly less neoliberal and pro-US Kevin Rudd of the Australian Labor Party.  But what has not been much noticed in global commentary on the result is the intense class struggle atmosphere in which the election took place.

A pro-Howard election advertisement:

A less slick, but seriously real, anti-Howard video from a local campaign, sponsored by Your Rights at Work, a community campaign spearheaded by unions and the Australian Confederation of Trades Unions (ACTU):

With this most satisfying result:

Swing to Cheeseman Stops Lib’s Long Run
David Rood
November 25, 2007

FORMER Ballarat councillor Darren Cheeseman claimed victory in the coastal electorate of Corangamite last night, becoming the first ALP candidate in almost a quarter of a century to defeat Liberal stalwart Stewart McArthur.

Mr Cheeseman, a former organiser with the Community and Public Sector Union, needed a 5.3% swing.  Early last night, the Australian Electoral Commission was showing a swing of 6.6% to Mr Cheeseman on a two-party preferred basis.

Claiming victory, he said his win was based on opposition to the Liberal Party’s industrial relations laws.

“It’s very clear that John Howard’s unfair workplace laws had a substantial impact on the community,” he told The Age.


John Mage is an Officer and Director of the Monthly Review Foundation.



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