Climate change, China and a chance at political stability took center stage among Australian voters Saturday with polls suggesting the left-leaning Labor Party was in a strong position to flip the country’s leadership.
Such an outcome would offer a counternarrative to the rise of nationalists and conservative groups across the West and elsewhere.
A Labor victory in Australia also could provide a morale boost for U.S. Democrats and other left-of-center parties around the world, including the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, which has long had close ties to its Australian counterpart.
On China, it would also put Australia possibly at odds with the United States as the Trump administration steps up tariffs and pressure against Chinese technology giant Huawei.
On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said it was adding Huawei to its “entity list” over worries of potential — but unspecified — security risks. The listing makes it virtually impossible for companies to survive in the U.S. market.
Australia’s government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, has placed restrictions on some Chinese investments and effectively banned Huawei from Australia’s 5G telecommunications network.
But Labor leader Bill Shorten has suggested Australia needs to recalibrate its relationship with China, saying Australia must take a more rounded approach in its dealings with Beijing and not only view it “through the prism of strategic risk.”
Shorten’s promises of a wider social safety net, support for renewable energy and government stability — after six prime ministers in eight years — have resonated strongly across the country.
The Labor Party wants Australia to generate half of its electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030, a huge shift for a nation with the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves and the eighth-biggest natural-gas industry.
Labor’s popularity also has been boosted by its foreign policy chief, Penny Ying-Yen Wong, a Malaysia-born lawyer who has a wide following and is seen as a top candidate to become foreign minister.
The Labor Party has promised more free health care, greater spending on education and tax cuts for the middle and working classes. The wealthy should be forced to pay higher taxes and unions should be given more power, it has said.
The Liberal and National parties also have pledged to bring tax cuts, although both have been ridiculed for offering much of the reductions until 2024, which would be after at least one more national election.
Environmental policies are possibly the biggest difference between the two sides.
To encourage new sources of power, Labor has promised to subsidize the purchase of solar-panel batteries by individual homes. It also has said it will introduce a compulsory carbon-trading system for some 250 companies responsible for the greatest emissions of greenhouse gases.
Pollution-emissions standards for vehicles also would be toughened to encourage the purchase of electric cars, a policy the current government says threatens many Australians’ love of trucks.
The election comes just days after the death of one of Australia’s transformative political figures, former prime minister Bob Hawke.
His wife, Blanche d’Alpuget, announced the death Thursday of the 89-year-old Hawke, but did not give a cause. In Hawke’s last public statement, he issued an open letter urging voters to support Shorten .
Hawke, who served as prime minister from 1983 to 1991, was widely regarded as the most successful Labor politician in Australian history and was known for integrating the country into the global economy, forging alliances with Asian nations and strengthening ties with world powers such as the United States.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.