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    Australian Election 2013: Boat people debate runs aground

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    The Australian government under a resurrected Kevin Rudd made world headlines in July when it announced a new policy to deal with seaborne asylum seekers which ensures people fleeing hot, violent and unpleasant places will end up in Papua New Guinea - a developing country with significant levels of violence.

    The conservative opposition coalition, led by Liberal Party leader and devout Catholic Tony Abbott, has maintained an extremely hard - yet popular - line on boat arrivals and has successfully made it a key issue (or distraction) in the upcoming federal election.

    The embattled Labor government, under fire from the Murdoch press and slipping in the polls, has freaked out. Rudd's time in the political wilderness seems to have motivated him to close the policy gap by taking a leaf from a certain former PM's playbook in the hope of improving his party's chances.

    Whichever side wins the election when Australia votes in September, people around the world are hoping the public will drive some sense into the major parties, arrive at humanitarian policies on asylum seekers and then turn to more immediate issues.
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