Looking forward to the next three years. Also, having my Liberal Party membership forms mailed out.
Update 29/11/2007 6:00PM AEST: Andrew Bolt is not impressed. I am also prepared to disagree with him on a point or two:
Nelson having been a former Labor Party member may be a minus for insiders (no pun intended), but I think it will resonate well with swinging/independent voters. Is a personification of what Coalition supporters want to see happen in 2010: people who voted Labor in 2007 swinging back to the Liberals in 2010.
I think Abbott's leadership contest was a ploy designed to swing support behind Nelson (a more proven and tested conservative) in his bout with Turnbull. And it worked. Abbott's "reserving the right to challenge in the future" is I think a rearguard against a hot and bothered Turnbull or Costello: according to some accounts, Abbott has greater partyroom numbers than Costello had they gone head-to-head and toppled Howard. This is Abbott signaling the Right's warning to the Moderates.
Being from Melbourne, I understand Bolt's concern about the Victoria's absence in the leadership of the Opposition. Short of seeing a justification for why he thinks this absence may have "electoral consequences", I say "who cares?".
I have heard the message from Australians that was delivered on Saturday and whatever some critics of the Kyoto Protocol might actually think, it's symbolically important to Australians.
Kyoto is symbolic. He also said that any Rudd government initiative at next month's Bali conference "...must look after Australia's interests at the UN climate change meeting in Bali next month." I have not seen evidence to suggest Saturday was about Kyoto, but if there is, then Nelson's approach to Kyoto is very intelligent: support ratification but look out for Australian interests before all others.
He has also urged Rudd to continue the NT aboriginal intervention plan. So far so good.
Patrick Sookhdeo is a former Muslim now a Christian who heads of the Barnabas Fund, a group that looks after Christians who are being persecuted around the world. He has responded to the Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders dated 13 October 2007. He asks:
Does it [the Open Letter and Call] indicate a fear that the West is finally awakening to the reality of Islamic intentions and therefore needs to be lulled, even anesthetised, to the prospects of deliberate Islamic expansion into the West? Or does it indicate a growing Muslim confidence and self-awareness of Islamic power, the letter itself being part of a strategy of Islamisation of the "Christian" world?
His answers to these rhetorical questions are in the affirmative.
Saturday's electoral defeat of the Coalition has resulted in the Prime Minister losing his electoral seat and thus the leadership of the party. There were three contenders earlier today, but one, Tony Abbott, left the race this afternoon, leaving him to comment that:
It's pretty obvious to me that Malcolm and Brendan [the two other leadership contenders] have more support and so I am announcing today that I will be withdrawing my candidature and I won't be running tomorrow.
Over the last three or four days we have seen two polls released that suggest the Prime Minister has eaten away at Labor's massive lead: yesterday's Galaxy poll has Labor up by 4% on a 2 party preferred basis with today's Newspoll showing a halving of Labor's 2 party preferred lead to +4%.
France's state-owned rail operator SNCF says there is a "concerted campaign of sabotage" on the tracks of the high-speed TGV network aimed at stopping services resuming amid a national strike...These included several fires, including a "very large" blaze on the Atlantic branch that damaged 30 kilometres of the signal network and forced TGV trains to use normal tracks.