Former PM Bob Hawke dies on eve of Australian election

18 Mai, 2019, 04:21 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Former PM Bob Hawke dies on eve of Australian election

He had been actively supporting Labor's campaign for elections on Saturday after six years in opposition.

From negotiating with Frank Sinatra to ensure the crooner's 1974 Sydney concerts went ahead to shedding tears over bloodshed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, Mr Hawke was a huge presence on Australia's political landscape.

Bob Hawke, one of Australia's longest-serving prime ministers, has died at age 89.

The son of a preacher, Mr Hawke led his country during the 1980s, a period during which he seduced the nation with his everyman appeal while beginning deregulation of the economy, including floating the dollar.

"I regard Bob Hawke as the best Labor prime minister this country has ever had", former conservative leader John Howard, who served as Fraser's treasurer, said this year. But sure, I want to do it for Bob as well. "I don't want to let his memory down".

While Mr Hawke won the 1983 election convincingly, the following year, he suffered the devastating blow of learning that one of his daughters was a heroin addict, giving a tearful press conference in which he said prime ministers were still husbands and fathers.

"He was beyond politics".

When Australia won the America's Cup yacht race in 1983, a jubilant Mr Hawke sporting a white blazer printed with the words "Australia", memorably said: "Any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum".

"I don't think anyone. thought this is where the election would be the day before", Morrison said. He was ousted by his own party during a recession in 1991.

Others have argued that older Australians would be most affected by tax reform proposals that have dominated much of the campaign.

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Voting closes on Saturday at 1800 local time in each Australian state and territory - the first results will be expected soon afterwards.

The poll was based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,42 voters this week from Sunday to Wednesday. "It's Time" was also the campaign slogan.

This is despite the same measures showing that Mr Shorten trails Mr Morrison as preferred prime minister.

Morrison accused Labor of indulging in self-congratulation with the reminder of the Whitlam victory.

Whitlam, who died in 2014, is remembered for sweeping reforms including government-funded universal healthcare and free university education.

"Through his many years in politics, he was a true and genuine friend of our leaders including successive prime ministers".

Scott Morrison, the incumbent prime minister, extended his condolences to Hawke's family and paid tribute Thursday on social media.

Voters are being urged to go out and vote if early ballots have not been cast - not least because there is $20 fine if you forget to. Labor was formed by striking sheep shearers meeting under an Outback tree in 1891.

The left-wing Greens, meanwhile, seem likely to benefit from voters wanting decisive action on climate change - which recent polls have shown is the number one issue for much of the population. Labor has pledged to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2050.

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