I'm not a strongly political person, but I have to say, so if not Howard, who? Not Beazley. Not any other serious contender that has led the Australia Labor Party since Keating. I'm not even that convinced that Costello makes a fantastic successor to Howard.
I was fairly okay with Howard until the Iraq war, then I got seriously pissed off with him. Aside from that, and refusing to sign on the Kyoto agreement, and his general tendency to follow Bush around like a sheep, I think he (and his Government) have done a reasonably good job of running the country in the last 10 years. Look at the economy.