Is Kevin Rudd the anti-Labor candidate?

Watching the election from this distance is quite a disorienting experience. My lens is Catallaxy, Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair and The Australian Online. And it seems, if I have this right, that the ALP and the Coalition are now level pegging mainly because K. Rudd promises to remove all of the unpopular legislation passed by the same mob of people he originally led to victory in ’07. If this really is the case, the American version of the low information voter has nothing on the Australian variety.

The most remarkable part about being here is to watch the news on the spot and in real time. The US is not refracted through the usual websites – Drudge, Instapundit, Lucianne, etc – but right there in the newspapers and on the news. Scandals, what scandals? It’s been Zimmerman first and foremost along with quite a bit about the travel plans of Edward Snowden. IRS, Benghazi, reading our mail, economic decline? Forget it.

The theme of Freedomfest has been, “Are We Rome?” as in the decline and fall of. The parallels are there, all right. But let’s face it, if you are part of the political and financial elites here or in Australia, there will be some delay before the decline is going to affect you. But the likelihood that larger proportions of our populations will be living poorer more restricted lives as time passes seems inevitable. And with the government’s power to monitor and control growing, the convergence of the American and Chinese ways of life is not as farfetched as it once might have been.

The last session I went to at Freedomfest was a debate on Intelligent Design (which is not creationism – ie no one disputes the planet is 4.5 billion years old give or take a billion, and there is no disputing that evolution has taken place, only the mechanism). Anyway, a Chinese scientist was quoted as putting an anti-Darwinian position which surprised someone else who pointed out how difficult it would be to say the same in America. Yes, said the Chinese. You can criticise your government but not Darwin. I can criticise Darwin but not the government. It was a funny line but with our ability to criticise the government under various kinds of threat, not really so funny after all.

From Catallaxy 15 July 2013.

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