Friday, November 30, 2007
Even though its just a matter of saying a single word, this has been debated for a long time. Out going Prime Minister Howard was in the opinion that there is no reason for the current generation to say 'Sorry' for wrong doings by their previous generations. At that stage, it looked like his entire party was behind him, however, soon after the election defeat, several cats jumped out of the bag. Several leaders openly said that its required to say 'Sorry'.
However, the new PM or his party was never in doubt.
As I gather, this is not going to do a major 'tangible' difference, however, its a welcome gesture, a gesture that closes the gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals.
Following web report from news.com.au gives the current background on this new initiative from the new government:
APOLOGISING to Aboriginal people for past injustices would not open the door to compensation claims, Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said today.
Mr Rudd has promised to apologise on behalf of the Government to indigenous people, including the stolen generations who were taken from their families.
Asked if that might lead to compensation claims, Mr Rudd told Southern Cross Broadcasting: "Not at all".
"I believe that the only appropriate thing that we've got to get right is the exact language of the apology," he said.
"The purpose of saying sorry is to build a bridge, establish respect so we can move on with the practical business of closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy and other challenges facing indigenous communities."
Mr Rudd has not yet said whether the apology would include the word "sorry".
He has promised to consult indigenous groups on the precise wording.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
KEVIN Rudd’s Labor has swept aside 11 years of Coalition rule, destroying John Howard’s hopes for a record fifth term and consigning him to a humiliating exit from public life. Voters turned to Mr Rudd’s pitch of fresh leadership and new ideas over Mr Howard’s record of economic management and unprecedented years of growth under his government.
"I will be a prime minister for all Australians. It's time for a new page to be written in our nation's history."
He restated education, health, climate change and water, broadband infrastructure and a fair balance at work as his key tasks.
By 10.15pm John Howard had called the Labor leader to concede defeat as his own seat of Bennelong remained on a knife-edge.
The Prime Minister said he took full responsibility for the defeat and admitted he could well lose the seat of Bennelong he has held since first being elected to Parliament in 1974.
By 9.30pm Greens leader Bob Brown welcomed Mr Rudd as the new prime minister of Australia.
The Coalition campaign was dogged in its final days by scandal in the marginal New South Wales seat of Lindsay, with the Prime Minister left haplessly condemning an electoral stunt from his party involving fake Muslim pamphlets.
In his last pleas Mr Howard told the people if they changed government they would change the country. Voters seem to have taken him on his word, punishing him at the polls after unpopular reforms including Work Choices and six straight interest rate rises since winning the 2004 election with the promise of keeping them low.