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5.2.03

Senate Declares No Confidence Motion In PM

The [Australian] Senate today censured the federal government for deploying troops to a potential war against Iraq, declaring no confidence in Prime Minister John Howard.

The opposition and minor parties combined to censure the government and slam Mr Howard for his handling of the situation.

In a 33 to 31 vote, the Senate criticised the government for sending troops to a potential war without a proper explanation to the Australian people.


This sounds like a big victory for the antiwar side. Even the country most likely to back the US in attacking Iraq (Britain is waffling) is divided. But in reality, most Australians want war. And on the domestic front, Americans are increasingly getting behind the President. Soon conventional wisdom will declare Colin Powell's UN testimony to be conclusive and denial of it to be willful ignorance. The sliding overall approval ratings that liberal bloggers pounce gleefully on say more about the decline in Americans' views of the economy than their dissatisfaction with Bush's foreign policy. Antiwar partisans may hope that, when reports of casualties start showing up, the public will snap out of its video-game view of war. But what nearly always happens is that going to war solidifies public opinion behind the cause of their country. And considering how tight a rein Bush has on the press, it's unlikely that we'l hear much beyond Tommy Franks' talking points for quite some time.

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