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Paul Keating

Paul John Keating (born January 18, 1944) was the twenty-fourth Prime Minister of Australia, from 1991 to 1996. He is a member of the Australian Labor Party. He was Treasurer under the Hawke government, when he challenged Hawke for leadership of the Labor Party. He won, and hence became Prime Minister. He led the Labor party to an unexpected election victory in 1993, where it is generally agreed that the attack he led on the Liberal Party's economic policies (including the electoral poison of a new value-added tax) was decisive.

As Prime Minister, Keating's interests and public perception widened from the narrowly focused technocrat he seemed to be as Treasurer. His agenda included items such as severing Australia's ties with the British monarchy, reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population, and further engagement with Asia. These issues, which came to be known as Keating's "big picture" approach, were highly popular with the tertiary-educated middle class, but failed to capture the aspirations of rural and outer-suburban voters who swung to the Liberal Party in the 1996 election.

Since his election loss in 1996, Keating has mostly kept a low profile as a director of various companies.

Previous Australian Prime Minister: Bob Hawke
Next Australian Prime Minister: John Howard



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