In the last few days of Parliamentary sitting this year, PM Scott Morrison and his team repeatedly accused the Labor Party of gloating over the divisions within the Coalition, and taking for granted a victory at the next election. But if anything it is they, rather than Labor, that is exhibiting a dangerously complacent culture.
Two terms from incumbency, the Labor Party is being as painstaking as possible to avoid the appearance of complacency. They are developing democratically agreed party policy positions, and their rhetoric has softened. Labor is being seen as the more likely party to form government, and even Andrew Bolt has acknowledged this by interviewing Bill Shorten on his Sky News program.
The perception is that Labor has built a diligent and competent team, eager and able to assume office with moderate policies, now that the Coalition is faltering. Much of the Coalition’s squabbling and self-serving poor parliamentary behaviour over the past year can be ascribed to having become complacent in office. They have developed a misplaced sense of self-importance and entitlement. Their year of disgrace has now ended with the revelations of the sexual indiscretions of the National Party Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad.
Rather than imposing a needed discipline on the Coalition, an ebullient and triumphal sounding Scott Morrison has cockily vaunted his advantage over Bill Shorten in the polls of preferred prime minister. He obviously fancies his chances of winning at the approaching election contest between the two of them.
Many previously loyal supporters have been quite appalled and angered by the Liberal antics of this year. So they may well express their disapproval, especially of those they hold most responsible, by casting their vote elsewhere this time. In fact, a term or two in the wilderness of opposition may be just what the Coalition needs to remake its image.