After Australian voters re-elected Howard last month, giving him an expanded mandate and control of both houses of parliament, commentators in that country also raised the idea of unhappy Australian liberals fleeing to New Zealand.
In a satirical column in The Bulletin magazine, Tim Blair wrote: "The malaise among this bunch is so profound, many are threatening in various online forums to leave Australia for New Zealand, which is as close as you can get to committing suicide while still registering a pulse."
Strong words, especially considering that the contrast is with Australia, which already seems unusually calm and remote to us Americans. I had thought that blue-state types generally looked down on the red states for being boring -- too remote, too rural, too monotonous, too bland. I cannot understand the idea of leaving the country -- where presumably you are already living in blue-state, urban pluralism -- to go someplace that seems more bland and remote.