Labour in 2007 campaigned against John Howard’s Pacific solution which saw boat people go to Naaru, while their claims for asylym were processed (but if they qualified, they could them come to Australia). Howard was demonised for this policy, but Labor’s replacement policies have been disastrous, with the number of boats and people attempting the voyage increasing almost exponentially, and many many people dying in the attempt.
Kevin Rudd has now come out with a policy that is to the right of John Howard’s. He has announced that all boat people will be sent to Papua New Guinea, regardless of whether or not they qualify for asylum.
This could well help him win the election, as Labor’s failed policy was indefensible. However will his own party and activists support such a policy? The next few weeks will be interesting.