Australians All, Let Ostriches

Letter From Australia

"Australians all, let ostriches, / For we are young and free"—the attempt by an expensively educated Australian schoolchild to notate the first two lines of Australia's national anthem (the first line of which is "Australians all, let us rejoice").

Bill and Hillary not surrealistic enough for your jaded tastes? Alarmed by passing signs of incipient realism in the Republican camp? Then come to sunny Australia, which now requires only the late Herve Villechaize frenziedly squawking "The plane! The plane!" before its resemblance to the more deranged outpost of Fantasy Island is complete.

Having presided over a few trifles like 12 percent unemployment (this on the most cautious estimates) and a foreign debt of $170 billion, the incumbent Labor government—led, if that is the word, since December 1991 by Prime Minister Paul Keating—romped home in last year's federal election. Like John Major's narrow margin of victory in 1992, the Keating triumph defied the expectations of almost all pollsters and op-ed "experts" —even the more timid of whom had predicted success for the opposition Liberal-National alliance by a margin of at least two percent. Had such panjandrums taken due heed of maverick Labor Senator Peter Walsh (effectively marginalized by his own party for his repeated censure of its incumbent treehuggers and mass-immigration apologists), they might...

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