Kevin Rudd became Australia’s prime minister a scant three months ago, but he already has set in motions new policies which have shaken the nation and fortell the arrival of a brand of new politics in the world. According to a survey published yeterday, nearly 70% of voters approve what is happening in their country. There is a new mood in the nation, a sense of regneration and change, a feeling of a rebirth in the offering which will allow Australians to become 21st century citizens rather than slumber in past politics. Some say the discarded poltics of former Prime Minister John Howard made them feel ashamed of their nation.,
Within 10 days after assuming office, Rudd signed the Kyoto Protocol on global warming leaving the Bush administration as the last industralized nation still opposed to global warming. A week ago Rudd made his famous apology to Aboriginal people for past discrimination, an act approved by 69% of Australians. He appointed a woman of Asian background who is gay to serve in his Cabinet. Rudd is planning to hold “community Cabinet meetings” around the country in order to involve ordinary citizens in public discussion with the government concerning policies. He will hold an April summit meeting of 1,000 of Australia’s “best and brightest thinkers” in order to map out new directions for the nation.
Barack Obama in the United States might benefit from this Australian change since it might reflect a global shift in thinking. Has the new century sparked planetary changes in which humans are seeking new answers not merely to old issues, but new directions for the new century?