What Bush fails to grasp, or refuses to acknowledge, is that America's actions automatically impact on the rest of the global village. So it is quite wrong of him, and of Republican Party voters, to act in the interests of the US alone (not that he is doing that either). The reason I am profiling, even tangentially, US pre-election is because I know how much effect the administration will have: economically, diplomatically, and militarily. It's not that I don't care what system of government gets up in Liberia but I feel it will impact less on my way of life, whatever the outcome.
As it happens, we are also having an election this year. The Australian Labor Party have finally stopped shooting themselves in the foot and have appointed someone who can lead them out of the wilderness after eight long years.
Where Kim Beazley jr was too intellectually top heavy and too circumspect in detailing what he stood for in layman's terms, and Simon Crean simply lacked the charisma and game plan to convince anyone, Mark Latham hit the ground running; quickly defining his position*, and that of his party, to differentiate it fully from the incumbents, and hit the Howard government with a series of curveballs that put them on the back foot for the first time.
So effective has he been that a recent poll shows them winning in the two party preferred system. I'm not counting my chickens just yet but it's looking less grim than when I was wailing about how ineffective Crean was in encouraging the usual voter-weariness with the government at around this juncture.
[*a good example is his stance on marriage and families. He supports the idea of gay marriage by saying that, as long as a couple are committed to a loving, lasting relationship, that is the most important thing. This contrasts considerably with the Howard view and makes the choice clear whatever your own position]