When you criticise the election loss of the party you support and you do so without the benefit of any internal analysis, then your critique must be flawed to some degree.
I have recently written two such critiques. The first, “The Bill that Australia despised” was an attempt to describe the depth of untrustworthiness the public had for the Labor leader. In it I said that:
My view nevertheless wasn’t that of the majority of Australians. More than enough hated him for reasons beyond my understanding to make the difference between winning and losing.
In a couple of weeks a small group of Laborites will report on why Labor lost to such a group of pathetic individuals unfit to govern our great nation. They will come up with a multitude of reasons, but Shorten probably wont be on the top.
In my second piece, “Is Labor doomed for oblivion, or can Albo mount a comeback?” I wrote:
A leak, however, from the committee appointed to reason why Labor lost, seems to lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of Shorten.
It is now almost 6 months since Labor experienced its night of soul-destroying darkness. All the untruths and scares told by a prodigious teller of fabrication by Morrison wasn’t enough to unseat him.
The accrued mistrust of Shorten together with union association and unpopularity reigned supreme over the lies and scare campaigns of the Coalition. It must have run deep.
Now I know it wasn’t a miracle at all. There were perfectly good explanations,
And so the report by Labor luminaries Craig Emerson and Jay Weatherill saw the light of day on Thursday 7 November.
That Bill Shorten was one of the three reasons nominated by them as the reasons for Labor’s loss came as no surprise.
That Labor went into the contest with no documented election strategy was.
Was it that confident of a win that important matters of stratagem could be overlooked? That a campaign strategy had not been discussed, argued and agreed to within the wider Labor party – smacks at over confidence.
And to not have some formal means of monitoring it’s progress and indeed its implementation is a mystery.
The report found that there were three factors in Labor’s defeat: 1) weak strategy, 2) poor adaptability, and 3) an unpopular leader.
I find it rather odd that the popularity of the leader figured so prominently. Normally in an election the popularity or otherwise of the leader (in polling) means nothing. It’s whom they are going to vote for that counts.
So what does this mean for the future? If popularity is a prerequisite for winning then Albo on current polling doesn’t stand a chance.
“So if Albo is less popular than Morrison before the election, do they dump him?,” a Labor strategist wondered.
Perhaps it means that leaders who play popular politics, like Morrison and Trump, will inherit the world.
Or could it be that Morrison turned it into a Morrison Vs. Shorten campaign and if that theory is correct then Bill in accord with the polls never stood a chance.
If Shorten was unpopular, then he must have been immensely so.
The report says that, “Unsurprisingly, the Labor campaign lacked focus, wandering from topic to topic without a clear purpose.”
And that cannot be denied. Sitting in front of the television some nights I felt as though they were just saying things for the sake of saying them and without any coherent narrative.
The report is comprehensive, outspoken, and fair. That it is open for all to see is commendable and should be read by all with an interest in politics.
However, there are three things that puzzle me.
- What does a political party have to do to defeat what was for 6 years arguably the worst 6 years of governance in our history?
- Why didn’t the composers pay more attention to the influence of Clive Palmer and more particularly that of Rupert Murdoch?
- As reported in The New Daily, the publicly available Newspoll figures had a persistent technical error that overstated Labor’s primary vote, understated the Coalition’s primary vote and
“… consistently suggested Labor was in an election-winning position,” the report states.
“However, the persistent Labor lead in Newspoll (and other published polls) created a mindset dominated by high expectations of a Labor victory, and this affected the Party’s ability to process research findings that ran counter to this.”
Sure, this may have made Labor’s chances of winning less even less so but it draws me back to question 1.
If Labor was never actually in front against a hopeless lot of charlatans what does that tell you?
It says both the Coalition’s and Clive Palmer’s campaigns trained their guns on the unpopular leader, and the interaction between Labor’s expansive policy offering and the doubts about Shorten became a “lethal combination”.
“Labor lost the election because of a weak strategy that could not adapt to the change in Liberal leadership, a cluttered policy agenda that looked risky and an unpopular leader,” the review says. “No one of these shortcomings was decisive but in combination they explain the result”.
You can read the report here.
My thought for the day
The first rule of politics is to gain power. The second is to retain it.
PS: It seems it wasn’t a miracle at all.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!