Labor voted for another leadership change this morning for the fifth time in the Howard era. But the more things change, the more they stay the same …

  • The Opposition still has to beat Australia’s most politically savvy Prime Minister.
  • The Opposition still has to change enough votes of a middle class basking in house-price-fuelled prosperity.
  • The Opposition still has to change the votes of enough older Australians who have been given the greatest superannuation boost in history by the current government.
  • The Opposition still has to convince enough Australians of its credentials on climate change, while assuaging workers in energy industries who will lose their jobs.
  • The Opposition still has to generate wide anxiety over WorkChoices without any clear-cut evidence that it’s caused anxiety.
  • The Opposition still has to stir up voters over Australia’s participation in a war that has not inflicted one fatality.
  • The Opposition still has to incite voter rage over the AWB affair that paid bribes to one of the world’s great dictators.

Beazley. Rudd. Crean. Mr Magoo. Maybe the real problem isn’t Labor leadership. Maybe the real problem is the comfortable, relaxed, unvexed status quo of a majority of Australians who, quite understandably, continue to reward the PM who delivered it to them.

Peter Fray

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