Federal

Sep 8, 2013

Disunity was death for a government with a strong record

Labor managed the economy well and achieved significant reforms, but ultimately simply couldn't govern itself. Voters were always going to punish them for it.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

How did a second-term government that delivered some of the best economic management in the world and established major reforms in education and health so popular its opponents were forced to agree to them, manage to lose an election?

The standard answer, not incorrect, is that Labor has struggled to communicate its message on the economy. It never owned its economic success; indeed, many voters didn’t even think the economy had been managed well, even as Europe plunged into depression and the International Monetary Fund routinely downgraded its global economic forecasts.

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28 comments

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28 thoughts on “Disunity was death for a government with a strong record

  1. Peter W

    Yes, Labor managed the economy well if you consider that borrowing over 300 thousand million dollars and spending it on essentially non productive trinkets and more paper shuffling bureaucrats is good management.

    Such profligacy is, in lefty parlance ‘unsustainable’? The interest bill alone could provide the kind of reforms that Labor like to announce but are unable to fund.

    Labor have always been economic vandals, pure and simple. Good riddance to the wastrels.

  2. Ben heslop

    Gillard could have made the hung parliament work if she focussed on connecting with the public.

    Instead Labor were led around by the nose by Abbott when all they needed to do was ignore him.

    If Gillard and Swan had of connected with the public (for example, did they ever describe how the NDIS actually WORKS??!*) then Rudd wouldn’t of had a platform to return on.

    *hint its a voucher system

  3. paddy

    No one in the Labor party will feel safe until Rudd actually resigns his seat. For any sane politician, the sort of defeat Rudd has just endured, would make a “dignified” retirement in a couple of months a foregone conclusion.
    But Rudd’s not exactly “sane”.
    Last night’s bizarre performance at his “concession speech” was downright surreal.
    Hopefully Julie Bishop will find him a nice job somewhere out of the country.

  4. David Hand

    You guys are dreaming if you think it’s all down to some clever politicking and a disciplined coalition team.

    $300bn in debt is a big price to pay for continued economic growth and even if it was the best policy, voters are looking for some fiscal responsibility going forward and they don’t see it in Labor. Comparing us to Europe in like suddenly taking out a big mortgage and comparing yourself favourably to the guy down the road suffering a mortgagee sale.

    But Labor’s real problems began on 23 June 2010 when a group of inside powerbrokers decided they knew better than the electorate and that the prime ministership was a privilege they were empowered to handle and bestow as a reward for loyalty. The rot set in then and to blame Rudd for undermining the subsequent administration is like complaining about being shot by someone you’ve just stabbed in the heart.

  5. Venise Alstergren

    Did anyone notice the speed with which Tony Rabbott got rid of his family for his victory speech? It was a poor reward for the family that worked hard to elect him.

    Of course they are all female and we know what Abbott thinks of women.

  6. Venise Alstergren

    PETER W: If there’s one thing I despise, it’s a sore winner.

  7. AR

    PeterW & DavidH – a single cell ameoba with the same digit IQ, it couldn’t even vary the verbiage sufficiently to pretend.

  8. shepherdmarilyn

    Peter W, why do you lieberal supporters only read the Murdoch rags? The GFC would have seen the liberal party borrow just as much because the effects of the GFC were global.

    Why do you weird little people think that Australia has so much control over things.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    When you keep prattling about the so-called leaks in 2010 what are you actually on about? Gillard didn’t want to grant pension increases. That was it, but the increase had already been granted.

  10. Andybob

    There are some who say coalition supporters are bad losers, but in fairness they are also appallingly arrogant winners.

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