AUSTRALIA: Back to the Polls

Compared with other countries, Australia can hardly be said to have problems. Its economy is exuberant, its people are prosperous, and the country is still a magnet for talented immigrants who admire its opportunities and easy, informal living. Yet Australians are troubled—seemingly more uncertain and divided than they have been since they achieved independence from Britain 73 years ago. Their problem is a sudden political crisis that has precipitated the second national election in just 17 months, posing the basic question of what kind of country Australians want.

Many thought that they had decided that in December 1972, when they...

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