The right must purge itself of paranoia

If the Coalition can't rid itself of the cynical campaigning which shot the Republican Party in the foot, there's every chance Tony Abbott will 'do a Romney'.

Does the Obama victory change everything? Not quite. It defers the real decision about where US politics and governance is headed until the next mid-term election in two years' time, when either the Republican-held House of Representatives or the Democrat-dominated Senate will see a big shift in power.

It's as if US voters, acting as a proxy for global political sentiment in liberal democracies, were not yet ready to give their final verdict on what the global financial crisis (to use its Australian moniker) means for democratic rule.

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