Sensible students of history will recall that when John Howard came to power almost all the States had Liberal Governments. Within just one electoral cycle the now familiar landscape of Labor State Governments was pretty much in place.
Partly I blame the talent syphon of Commonwealth Government which robs the State parties of their best and brightest as long as the serious jobs here in Canberra are going to the mob holding Government. Partly I suspect the cyclical nature of incumbency leading to eventual contempt re-inforces this with the Federal party triumphant just as the public has lost all patience with the State regimes.
With the right of Labor well to the right of moderate Liberals it’s not as if there are major ideological differences to distinguish them.
Anyway this view of Australian politics appears to have a lot going for it at the moment.
The West Australian reports that Alan Carptenter’s WA Labor looks like they’ve lost government despite, until just a few weeks ago, the Liberals being led by a chair sniffer.
This is combined with a big swing against Labor in the NT, and in NSW the ALP hangs on pretty much only thanks to term limits and Peter Debnam’s incompetence at the last election.
Here in the ACT there certainly seems to be a great tiredness with the current Labor government.
The Liberals are setting nothing alight except with their TV advertising and aborted poster campaigns. But oppositions don’t win elections, they just have to be vaguely presentable when the villagers turn against the incumbents.
So… Are we seeing a national malaise for Labor at the State/Territory level? Or are they un-related coincidences which won’t play out here?