Think global, act local… mate. Australians certainly lived up to this slogan in this past weekend’s election, annihilating former Prime Minister John Howard and his liberal coalition, which ended eleven years of conservative rule.
Prime Minister Elect Kevin Rudd wasted no time moving forward on one of his campaign promises to combat climate change. Rudd quickly met with government officials to discuss signing the Kyoto Protocol to cap greenhouse emissions, leaving the U.S. as the only major economy to boycott the pact. Rudd also confirmed that he would be attending the upcoming UN climate summit in Bali, and has already discussed climate change issues with Gordon Brown and Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
As a further slap in the face to the U.S., Rudd is also looking to pull all 500 combat troops from Iraq. Not a huge number, for sure, but a meaningful symbolic gesture nonetheless — and a big departure from the buddy buddy days of the Howard government.
The right to vote is a true testament to local actions having global consequences.