As the dust starts to settle following the US election, and Donald Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton, world leaders are weighing up the new presidency, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull included.
Immediately following Trump’s election, Turnbull sought to reassure the nation that “we have so much in common” as billions of dollars were wiped off the Australian stock market.
Last night he continued his encouraging tone by praising the “strength” of American democratic system.
“This was a long and gruelling campaign, certainly by our standards,” he said.
“As President Obama said overnight: ‘Campaigns are hard and sometimes contentious and noisy…. Many Americans are exalted today, a lot of Americans are less so, but that’s the nature of campaigns, that’s the nature of democracy.’
“It shows… the enduring strength of the democratic system, where the power to choose the Government resides with the people.
“And there has been perhaps no greater demonstration of that process than in the United States.”
It’s an interesting perspective as his government struggles in the polls just four months after its narrow reelection.
A recent Roy Morgan poll reveals that the ALP leads the Coalition 51% to 49% on a two party vote.
Turnbull went on to say that when he spoke to Trump following the election the new president-elect spoke “warmly and admiringly” of Australia and reaffirmed the importance of the Australian-American alliance.
“I can assure… that my Government will continue to work closely with the administration of the United States when it is installed in January to advance Australia’s national interest – for this is the ultimate role of national leaders, of prime ministers and presidents,” he said.
“It is in our nations’ mutual interest to maintain the strongest and closest ties between the United States’ and Australia’s defence forces – a relationship that has seen American and Australian troops fight side-by-side in every major conflict in the last century.
“Australia has close, indeed intimate, security arrangements with other friends and allies, but our Alliance with the United States is unquestionably our single most important security relationship, underpinned by our mutual security pact – the ANZUS Treaty concluded between Australia, New Zealand and the United States in 1951.”
Turnbull also reiterated that the two nations will continue to cooperate closely on trade and investment, including the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.
“The ties that bind Australia and the United States are strong, profound – they are based on the experience, on the engagement of millions of Australians and Americans, but above all they are based on our enduring national interests,” he said.
“Americans know they have no better ally – no better friend – than Australia.”