It is now a strangely bruised and quiet country. Postmortems of the election bring people together in sad and puzzled groups. I have yet to meet anyone who admits to having voted for John Howard. My colleagues, kids and friends say the same. Everyone seems simply baffled. One radio station, having observed the same thing, put out a call asking anyone who had voted Liberal to ring in. The phone lines were silent. And yet the country has had a massive swing.