The massive media fail, Morrison censured and Labor ends the year on a high

The Victoria election was held last weekend and, contrary to what everyone in the media wanted and predicted, it was another crushing defeat for the Liberal Party. It wasn’t even close. For the past three months, many in the mainstream media predicted Daniel Andrews had to lose the election; it was going to be very close; there was a surge for the Liberal Party; Andrews was possibly going to even lose his own seat.

While there was a 3 per cent swing against the Victoria government – seat wise, it’s more or less the same result as the 2018 election: Labor has won twice as many seats than the Liberal–National Coalition. And this was despite the entire media edifice – News Corporation, Seven West, Nine Media, the ABC – fully campaigning against Andrews and the Labor Party, not just during the election campaign, but for the past three years.

Scott Morrison has been censured by the parliament for secretly acquiring five ministries in 2020 and 2021. And while what he did was not unlawful, it’s one of the most bizarre incidents in Australia’s parliamentary history: there was no need for him to do this; there was absolutely no need for him to keep it a secret; he hasn’t actually offered any valid explanation for it; it totally undermined the principles of Westminster democracies.

The Opposition labelled this censure as a grubby political exercise but it’s a situation that couldn’t just be left behind or forgotten about. It’s an action that should never have happened and the public needs to keep being reminded about it, so it doesn’t happen again.

The parliament has ended for the year – Labor’s industrial relations and National Anti-Corruption Commission bills were passed by the Senate, and these are two massive legislative victories for the Labor government. Anthony Albanese ends the parliamentary year high in the polls, and he was able to relax and go to a Nick Cave concert in Canberra during the week.

These moments have to be lapped up because they’re not going to last for too long – Kevin Rudd also enjoyed high support six months into his prime ministership in 2008, and Labor occupied every single state and territory government around Australia. Many people at that time said that Labor was going to be in office for at least the next decade or two, but it didn’t quite turn out that way. But after seven months in office, the Labor government should be content with its achievements so far.

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