The news story of the day yesterday was undoubtedly the selection of the Labor ministry.
Katz was probably right:
Members of the Labor factions conspired with each other to maximise factional outcomes and then complained when they felt themselves personally short-changed.
Shorten, or any other Labor leader, is the victim, not the author, of this process. Because of the process, the Labor leader is forced to give portfolios to individuals he prefers not to have on his front bench.
Clare O’Neil was positive about the leadership election.
But the fruits of allowing members a say in the leadership run deeper than yesterday’s result. The Labor Party is buzzing. Membership has increased. Policy forums have sprung up in every direction. Policy ideas that would never normally see the light of day have been hotly debated. Critically, the ballot has been marked by civility.
This civility fell away a bit with the choice of ministers being done by factional heavies behind closed doors. Anna Burke feels women in particular did not get fair consideration admitting she was bitter and disappointed.
It seems the right did not play its part selecting only three women in its 16 choices. Eight came from the left.
Returning to Clare O’Neil’s piece, she cites Tanya Plibersek on why Labor lost the election:
As Tanya Plibersek has said, we got nine out of 10 for governing the country, but one out of 10 for governing ourselves.
But to O’Neil Labor won’t regain government and hold it for extended period unless it tackles the task of reform:
It has also been said that Labor has focused too much energy and attention on itself over the past few years. This is undoubtedly true. But we cannot use this as an excuse to gloss over the internal problems of the last term. To do so would be to cover a festering sore with a Band-Aid. Our problems are clear. We face a brief opportunity in these first months of opposition to confront them. We must take it.
That’s what we owe to the millions of Australians who count on stable Labor governments to deliver fair policies on health, education and employment. Good reform through difficult conversations now will help us win government at the next election – and this time hold it for the long term.
Let’s hope it can be done with the minimum of acrimony. Both Albo and Shorto promised reform. Let’s see it happen.
Update: The Shorten shadow ministry is here.