Terrorism and Elections
Last night terrorists exploded a large car bomb outside the Austrialian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. This terrorist attack not only shows that terrorism is alive and well throughout the world, but also has the potential of effecting the upcoming elections of both Austrialia and Indonesia.
In Australia, this attack could favor John Howard, who is also seen as tough on terrorism over his challenger, Mark Latham. As one of the Australian papers says, Howard got a leg up during the last election due to the the fear of terrorism after 9/11, so this could be the second time terrorists influenced the Australian election.
The Jakarta blast is likely to swing Australia's election campaign away from the bread-and-butter matters of tax and health care and back to national security. The Prime Minister, John Howard, is consistently seen as a strong leader on security issues. His swift response to the explosion, his appropriate sympathy for the families of those Indonesians killed, and his Government's record of effective co-operation with the Indonesian authorities after the Bali attacks are all likely to enhance this advantage. The fear provoked by the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington before the previous federal election consolidated support for Mr Howard and his security policies.
The upcoming election in Indonesia could also be effected as this attack could help President Megawati Soekarnoputri's challenger.
Will it also effect our election? Certainly Bush has been more than happy to claim he was right to take the US military into Iraq because this means they are fighting to keep terrorism away from the homeland. Will he use this attack in Indonesia to say he was right?