On this day, 2 March in 1996, the last truly conservative Federal government Australia has seen – John Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition – won office from opposition, beginning nearly 12 years of stable, predictable, mature, responsible and principled government.
In a landslide, Howard swept away a flailing Keating Government – mired in chronic debt and deficits, rigid labour markets, high unemployment, and political correctness spiralling out of control.
Particularly in its early years, the Howard government fixed the inherited budget debt and deficits, reformed our workplaces and wharves, eased the cost of living for the “Howard battlers”, sold surplus assets, unapologetically kept our borders secure, stemmed the tide of political correctness and restored pride in our culture, society and nation.
The Howard government bequeathed the Rudd Labor government– who tried to imitate him as a fiscal conservative and “Howard-Lite” – with strong surpluses, no debt, Future Fund money in the bank, record low unemployment (near 4%) and over a decade of strong real growth in output, incomes and wages.
Celebrate this day, the first election victory of John Howard and his almost 12 years of conservative government, by:
- Thinking about whether you might owe a mate some money and pay him back, saying ‘it’s the conservative thing to do’
- Cleaning up some clutter in your home or office you’ve been putting off and enjoy the benefits of getting on with something, like the Howard government did with debt, that was considered in the ‘too hard’ basket
- Put on your most Howard-esque athletic tracksuit on your morning or evening walk, and
- Sharing this post on social media.