BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 15:58 GMT
Australian voters' panel: Hugh Holt
Hugh Holt
Name: Hugh Holt
Age: 25
Lives: Melbourne

I form part of a very safe Labor-voting community. We are in our mid to late twenties and we are bitter about the direction the country has taken under the Howard government.

What is important to the average Australian are things like interest rates, which have risen six times since the last election.

Also important are the industrial relations laws. They were never mentioned in the last election and as soon as the government got a majority in the Senate, they pushed them through, depriving people of basic workers' rights.

This government has shown an undercurrent of racism towards refugees, locking them in detention centres and refusing them to enter Australia when claiming asylum under international laws.

Our multiculturalism is our most valuable asset and our country could be a more moral and inclusive beacon of global envy.

Before the 1950s and 1960s, when immigration from European countries was allowed to happen, Australia was 'the arse end of the world' to quote former Prime Minister Paul Keating, with no culture of any sort apart from beer, meat and two veg.

As much as I want Labor to win, I want Howard to lose
I have followed this election with a great interest. This is different from past elections because Kevin Rudd genuinely has a chance to win.

He is intelligent, speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and his international credentials are sound. He seems principled, something I had almost lost hope of happening in Australian politics.

Australia is a frustrating country to live in. Australians rarely read, our media is sub-standard and it doesn't tackle issues that are in the least bit complex. Howard has largely taken the fears of Australians and turned it into political gain.

I wouldn't have imagined ten years ago, that this country would have had even the remotest chance of being a terrorist target. Howard's kow-towing to George Bush has ensured that we now are.

As much as I want Labor to win, I want Howard to lose the election and his seat. Total humiliation would go some way to making up for the cynical and divisive crimes of the past decade.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific