Monday, August 04, 2003


Just to show that all is not lost as far as civility in Anglo-Saxon politics is concerned, let me tell a fourth story from much more recent times:

This is a story that Australian Prime Minister John Howard told in his victory speech in the 1996 Australian Federal Election. Howard said that like everyone else that day he had had to line up in order to cast his vote. (Casting a vote in Australia at the time did often require some patience. A 20 minute wait was not unknown). He found himself standing in a line behind a man whom he saw holding a Labor Party "How-to-Vote" card. The man turned around, saw the future Prime Minister standing behind him and said, "Hello. Nice to meet you. But I am still not going to vote for you". John Howard then said on national TV that that incident typified for him what Australia is all about. I have to agree. In how many other countries would a future Prime Minister find himself in that humble and humbled position AND BE GLAD OF IT? It also showed John Howard as a sensitive and thinking man in being appreciative of the civil and yet "no nonsense" society we have here in Australia.


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