Howard, John Winston

Howard, John Winston,

1939–, Australian political leader and prime minister (1996–2007), b. Sydney. A graduate of Sydney Univ., a conservative lawyer, and a member of the Liberal party, he was elected to parliament in 1974 and served as minister for business and consumer affairs (1975–77) and treasurer (1977–83) in the government of Malcolm FraserFraser, Malcolm
(John Malcolm Fraser), 1930–2015, Australian political leader and prime minister (1975–83). A graduate of Oxford (1952), he entered the Australian parliament as a Liberal member in 1955.
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. As head of the party (1985–89; 1995–2007), he was an advocate of economic deregulation, smaller government, and other free-market reforms. He became prime minister in 1996, leading a Liberal-National party coalition and promising sweeping economic and labor reforms. He retained power after the 1998, 2001, and 2004, elections, becoming the third Australian prime minister to win four terms. He strongly supported retention of the British monarch as head of state in the 1999 referendum, opposed a formal national apology for Australia's mistreatment of the aborigines, and increased Australia's involvement in the Asia-Pacific region. Although he oversaw an extended period of economic growth, his staunch support of the U.S. President George W. BushBush, George Walker,
1946–, 43d President of the United States (2001–9), b. New Haven, Conn. The eldest son of President George H. W. Bush, he was was raised in Texas and, like his father, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, graduating in 1968.
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 and voter unhappiness with labor-law changes and various social issues contributed to his defeat in 2007.