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How to win the 2007 election
In Bipolar Nation, Peter Hartcher discusses the fantasies and realities at the heart of our politics. When our political leaders look at us, what do they see? What are the hopes, fears and dreams of the Australian electorate, and how might they be turned to election winning advantage? What, most fundamentally, do we want in a prime minister?
In this scintillating and original essay, Peter Hartcher investigates today's "bipolar nation", where Australians are more economically secure, yet existentially as anxious as ever. He explains how the Lucky Country and the Frightened Country will be the two grand themes of the election year, and discusses how John Howard will set out to craft an election winning strategy on that basis. He revisits Donald Horne's Lucky Country, looks at the legacy of Paul Keating, and analyses Kevin Rudd's many layered effort to out-manoeuvre the Prime Minister.
Peter Hartcher's essay is as elegant and erudite as its author.
Hartcher tells us in his essay Bipolar Nation that Howard is playing the 2007 election like a shrewd game of bridge. Labor can put down as many policy aces as it likes between now and polling day, but if Howard wins in the end it will be because he holds all the trump cards.
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