The 2010 election, and the parliamentary term that followed it, is seen as a freaky time in Australian politics. Minor scandals (e.g. Gillard's bathroom, Thomson's pants, Slipper's diary, Kelly's solvency) assumed seismic importance. Neither Labor nor the Coalition held a majority in their own right. Neither of them, nor the press gallery, were comfortable with this situation becoming the new normal. But it did for a while, and it will again.
Articles from Politically homeless
Australia has a two-party system, where the Labor Party and an established Coalition of parties contend to form government. Each of these parties (the Liberals in particular as the lead party in the Coalition) have a responsibility to choose candidates worthy of the responsibilities of government.
I beg your pardonI never promised you a rose gardenAlong with the sunshineThere's gotta be a little rain some time ...- Lynn Anderson (I never promised you a) Rose garden
The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs.- Hunter S. Thompson
There is a myth in the press gallery that Tony Abbott had a deep and abiding concern about Indigenous people. There was never any evidence of it, but it has become the stuff of unshakeable press gallery myth. Another myth in the press gallery is that Malcolm Turnbull might be more moderate and accommodating than Abbott.
I find it hard to believe that:
There is one matter on which Labor and the Coalition, Turnbull and Abbott, and every media organisation represented in the press gallery are absolutely agreed: you can have a public debate about a matter of national importance, but only if you know the result in advance. If you don't, it's all a bit shambolic. Only if the result is managed in advance can the 'debate' be managed in an orderly way.
Press gallery journalists continue to assert that their years of experience are valuable, and that they draw on it to the benefit of readers. It should be valuable - but the actual value of press gallery experience is one of those PolSci101 nostrums that vanishes upon closer inspection. There is simply no evidence to support it.
Not ready for a ministryFor years, Little Jimmy Briggs was touted as a rising star in the Liberal Party - particularly by journalists who've been around the press gallery long enough to know better. Just because the Liberal Party holds someone in high regard it doesn't mean they're much good: Ross Cameron, Tony Abbott, and Peter Shack, among others, got the Rising Star treatment.