Hugh Mackay, social researcher extraordinaire, is starting to think Howard is on the nose. I can't imagine why, but Hugh thinks:
"Gradually, we got the hang of Howard. The core/non-core promises episode and his hastily revised code of ministerial conduct suggested he was slippery. We saw the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community hit hardest by his two big "reforms" — the never-ever GST and the unfortunately named WorkChoices — and wondered if he cared.
When he declared he could have brought David Hicks home sooner if he had wanted to, we wondered if there was a streak of cruelty in this government — especially when we pondered its treatment of asylum seekers and its extraordinary attempt to chisel poor little East Timor out of its rightful share of royalties from the oilfields in the Timor Sea.
He plunged our defence force into a morally dubious pre-emptive strike and he's sticking by George Bush in the face of incontrovertible evidence that the Iraq invasion was both folly and catastrophe."
This is a cursory overview of Howard's report card but you get the point. I would hold him accountable for turning a blind eye to Indonesia's ongoing rape of West Papua and the AWB kickbacks scandal in Iraq, compliance with rendition and torture of an Australian citizen, using official aid to coerce smaller, poorer countries to do Australia's bidding and much, much more. Roll on election day.