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Health versus personality in Australian politics

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 10 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:334
  1. Simon Chapman

    Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating has called a national election for 2 March. For many months Keating and his Labor government have lagged badly in the opinion polls behind John Howard's conservative Liberal-National opposition on every scale except strong leadership. Nevertheless, most expect the gormless “Honest John” Howard to win, riding home on the sentiment of the slogan borrowed from Margaret Thatcher's 1979 “enough is enough” campaign and his comforting “back to the future” 1950s persona.

    Labor has been in power since 1984, and while many indicators (jobs created, unemployment, economic growth, public debt) have sparkled, much of middle Australia detests Keating's swaggering style and is suspicious of his embrace of Asia and of what they consider the ephemera …

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