| Abott: bigoted bigot? |
A "compassionate conservative" in the tradition of George W Bush, a "bigoted air-head" and a leader with a markedly different view on a strike on Syria were among the international assessments of Australia's prime minister elect Tony Abbott.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron called to congratulate Mr Abbott following the election before taking to Twitter announce his delight at working with "another centre right leader".
In the same mould: a statue of former US president George W Bush.
Meanwhile, columnist Tim Stanley proclaimed Mr Abbott's victory a "win for the Christian conservatives" in the UK's Daily Telegraph.
"Whereas some Western conservatives seem to be entirely motivated by the desire to win (Romney, Cameron), Abbott has a philosophy and – almost unique in our materialist age – a theology," he wrote.
"This puts him in the George W Bush, Stephen Harper compassionate conservative tradition – the tradition that tends to attract the most votes."
British Tory MP Douglas Carswell said Mr Abbott's victory should inspire his UK counterparts.
"Abbott's views are throughly (sic) modern. He seems to have seen through global warming fad, wants less government and is pro Anglosphere," he wrote on Twitter.
But British Labour politicians were caustic.
"Oz has elected a bigoted air-head to drag them backwards into mean prejudice and vainglorious chauvinism," wrote MP Paul Flynn.
New Zealand's conservative Prime Minister John Key also extended his congratulations to Mr Abbott, saying he looked forward to building on the two countries' close relationship.
"Australia is our most important relationship. Our common interests span trade, economic, defence and security matters and we co-operate closely in our region and on the international stage," he said.
The New York Times noted that while Mr Abbott was unlikely to herald a change in US-Australia relations, he had "been far less vocal than Mr Rudd in his support for an American-led strike against the Syrian government over a chemical weapons attack in that country's civil war" and pointing to Mr Abbott's “baddies versus baddies" assessment of the civil conflict.
The Times' columnist Nicholas Kristof revealed he had been a classmate of Mr Abbott's at Oxford.
"When we were students, we liked Tony but thought him way too conservative to succeed in Australian politics. I guess Oz changed," tweeted Mr Kristof.
As Australians went to the polls, the LA Times declared a "gaffe-prone conservative" was likely to become prime minister.
"Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott has also scandalised political circles by praising a fellow candidate for her 'sex appeal,' denounced abortion as 'a question of the mother's convenience' and dismissed the notion of climate change as 'absolute crap'," the story stated.
The Jakarta Globe queried what an Abbott government would mean for relations with Indonesia, particularly in relation to foreign aid, defence and the handling of asylum seekers.
The paper quoted Mahfudz Siddiq, head of the Indonesian House of Representatives' foreign affairs commission, saying a Coalition proposal to buy back Indonesian fishing boats was "crazy". “The idea is degrading and offensive to the dignity of Indonesians.”
French newspaper Le Monde made particular mention of the disastrous result of the Wikileaks party in the national election, with the headline "Julian Assange fails to enter the Senate."
Australian born media mogul Rupert Murdoch also took to Twitter on Saturday night to offer his analysis of why the Labor party had been tossed from power.
"Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony (sic) welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy. Others nations to follow in time," he wrote. Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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As Fiji regime awaits change in Australian foreign policy, new Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott likened to George W Bush - is Abbott a "compassionate conservative" or a "bigoted air-head"?
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