Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia.
He does not pretend to be a charismatic leader, but I know him well enough to say he is a reliable administrator and proven negotiator who will not run away from any of the huge challenges that now face Australia. I wish him well and, like you, will hold him accountable if he fails to implement the mandate for which he sought approval during the election.
I particularly welcome Jim Chalmers as Treasurer. I have known him for a long time and am certain that he will be a safe custodian of our money and an innovative reformer of the nation’s financial and taxation systems. Let me say that he is as talented a political leader as I have met in 65 years of visiting the Australian Parliament.
Three facts will be noted by the Albanese Government.
*Their primary vote was their lowest, percentage wise, in 110 years. Actually lower than Bill Shorten received in 2019.
*They lost a ‘safe’ seat in their heartland.
*They did not win a single extra seat from the LNP in Queensland. Their electoral impact there were nil.
The ALP will be wise to address this prior to Election 2025.
The so called TEALS have arrived on the political scene as Independents in significant numbers and are here to stay. The ones I know are highly intelligent, committed and motivated. They will strive to cement their place in the Parliament with positive negotiations and should be reelected many times, also increasing their numbers. They will progressively reduce the power of major parties and this will be good for democracy in Australia.
Greens have enjoyed a resurgence in the House of Representatives and in the Senate where they will hold the balance of power. They are a more pragmatic and balanced Party than they were under their founder Bob Brown and will continue to grow in strength and influence due to their superior policies on climate change which have captivated younger voters.
The Liberals are in their death throws.
In terms of seats won, they had their worst election result in 70 years and they suffered a significant drop in their % of primary vote.
It is highly likely they will split into two parties.
The right wing are so extremist they cannot possibly continue to call themselves Liberals without displaying utter hypocrisy.
The moderates have been decimated by the Teals and some of those who did survive will probably walk out of their Party and sit as a group on the crossbenches where their neighbours will be the Teals.
May I also say that Josh Frydenberg is a valued friend of long standing, introduced to me by our mutual friend, Sir Zelman Cowen, long before Josh went into Parliament. While I warmly welcome so many Independents into the Parliament, I am sad that Josh was a casualty. He is an honest and decent conservative whose presence will be missed.
The Nationals did not lose a seat, which is quite extraordinary, but the childish negativity of Barnaby Joyce did cause moderate conservative voters in cities to vote for Teals. They have nothing to gain by renewing a Coalition with the Liberals as even their combined numbers will still be insignificant in the Parliament. To survive, they need to establish their own clear identity.
Clive Palmer spent huge sums of money in political advertising in both Election 2019 and Election 2022 and was rejected by voters on both occasions. Despite his political failure, the Australian Electoral Commission must request that legislation be passed by Parliament to make it illegal for any person or entity to attempt to buy an election.
The political star of Pauline Hanson is quietly fading. Few will weep.
So, how will all of this pan out in actuality for the people of Australia.
I have always held the view that no government should stay in power for more than three terms, certainly no more than a decade. A long term government usually gets tired and runs out of ideas and almost certainly needs a clean out by then. So, our change of government right now is a good thing for next decade, but no longer.
Labor has won only one third of the elections held since Federation in 1901. Conservatives have consistently been able to convince voters than the ALP are big spenders who will lose their money. However, Albanese is not going to allow himself and his Party to be tarred with that brush this time and then be tossed out after just one term. He will be careful and responsible.
In deciding their own fate, the Liberals will do well to recall Menzies speech when he created the Liberal Party in 1943. I heard it on ABC Radio at the time. I was just 12 years old. He said,
‘I have called my new Party the Liberals as we are not a Conservative Party. Our ideology is in the political centre.’
If the current Liberals don’t reclaim the initial ground staked out by Menzies, they may find that Albanese decides to move there in what for him and his party would be a very smart political move.
All is well for now.
Albo deserves a fair go. If he fails to deliver, we will have the chance to kick him out in 2025. This is our democratic right.
Scomo is finished and it is possible that the laws of the land will hold him accountable for some undemocratic and unethical behavior. Nevertheless, his miracle victory in the election of 2019 was the most spectacular of my lifetime.
Enjoy a good read about the creation of the nation of Australia in 1901 and join me in a crusade to improve our Constitution in a new world of 120 years later.
Buy my book by visiting its website https://dinnerwiththefoundingfathers.com