E.J. Dionne writes in his Washington Post column today that the landslike victory last weekend of the Australian Labor Party under Kevin Rudd’s leadership provides important lessons for Democrats in the U.S.:
Rudd’s balancing act provides a model for center-left parties that also points to the tensions they confront once in power. Rudd won as a self-described “economic conservative” who would tightly manage the nation’s budget. But he also won thanks to an activated trade union movement fighting for its life in seeking to overthrow Howard’s workplace rules….
Rudd relied on youth, moderation and the voters’ exhaustion with the ideological categories of the past. But he also needed the passion of activists determined to end a long conservative era. Sound familiar?