Australia: Hawke Outflies Peacock

Not even a last-minute television debate could lift Australia's eight-week election campaign from near somnolence. Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 54, who enjoys the highest popularity rating of any Australian leader in history, and Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock, 45, whose ratings have been among the lowest ever, slugged it out last week in a 90-minute encounter over the economy, crime and other topics.

Surprisingly, Peacock outgunned the normally loquacious Prime Minister with a dynamic performance. The debate had its effect, reducing Hawke's margin and boosting Peacock's popularity; but the result itself was never in serious doubt. The Prime Minister's Australian...

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