… at least at the state level? Put it another way, how bad does Labor have to get in any of the states before the Liberals can win? A change of leaders would have been the ideal opportunity to coalesce dissatisfaction with long running ALP rule and it has been lost. It is quite possible that Labor will now reconsolidate its position and regain a positive swing next time round.

Perhaps it really was Debnam, or his Speedos, or the tactical mistake in focusing on water not transport etc. etc. etc. Or maybe the fact that we see the same state of the Coalition in Queensland, Victoria (including the recurrence of the Speedos phenomenon), SA, WA and NT that we can talk about a trend. In this blog’s view, the old political rules at the state level are over and state politics has simply become about services. Labor may be lousy but NSW Liberals cannot even summon a policy on transport, not because they forgot but because they have no relationship with the interested parties such as the transport unions to create a policy from, and no broader consensus to take them on. Politics has been drained from state politics.

Unsurprising that the Liberals will blame the leader, and other tactical issues, to take their mind off the more depressing long-term conclusions. More interestingly, the media will probably do so too.


One interesting point came from the interview with Pru Goward is the way that the ALP has been fostering and supporting the Independents. Again this closer relationship with Independents to undermine the Coalition has been replicated by the ALP in Vic and SA. Indeed it could be argued that with candidates like Phil Koperberg, they are fostering Independents in the ALP as well.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Saturday, 24 March 2007.

Filed under State and federal politics

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