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Obama's win is a rejection of rightwing politics

5 November 2008
Obama's win is a rejection of rightwing politics

The victory of Barack Obama in the United States presidential election is a rejection of old rightwing politics, the Green Party says.

President-elect Obama's victory shows the change we need is Green, rather than going back to the old days of climate change deniers and oil wars, as parties like Act and National want, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"National Party deputy Bill English's recent comments that he would support more wars and that he opposes Obama's approach to foreign affairs only underlines just how out of touch National is with where the world is going," she says.

Greens from New Zealand and Australia have joined to welcome the election of President-elect Obama, and are warning climate change deniers that their political allies are dwindling.

"We expect to see a wind of change blow through the corridors of power in Washington," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"George Bush effectively blocked moves to take action against climate change, however with a new, more reasonable President in the Oval Office we expect the world will see big steps being taken in this area.

"Those who strive to prevent action being taken on climate change - like National Leader John Key and ACT's Rodney Hide, are becoming increasingly isolated.

"First they lost their ally in the Australian political world when John Howard was ousted. Now they can no longer look to the US Government for support with George Bush gone and the Republicans no longer at the helm.

"President-elect Obama aims to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by mid-century. I look forward to the US playing a role in negotiating a post-Kyoto agreement for international carbon emissions after 2012, and taking steps to reduce its own emissions before that.

"Just a few short years ago, businesses who did not want to take steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions could make excuses and bandy about flawed science. They could point to the US and Australia and say 'we shouldn't do anything until those countries do'. This is increasingly difficult for them to do.

Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said in Auckland today: "President-elect Barack Obama raises the hopes of the world for a fairer, securer more ecologically sound future.

"The world's richest nation is set to enter a new era. Hope for George W. Bush's replacement will return a greater decency and dignity to the White House. The world faces a rapid countdown to climate change, over consumption and misuse of catastrophic weaponry. Obama's election is a breath of fresh air after perhaps the most important presidency in a century. His biggest challenge will be to end the undemocratic power wielded by an army of lobbyists and vested interests which is camped in Washington," Senator Brown said.


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