It has been a week since the referendum, and despite the dire predictions of calamities, the world continues to spin in its orbit. Contrary to the warnings of a Fairfax columnist, there have been no confirmed sightings of “the colonial ghost of dispossession” or “the ghost of White Australia policy” awakened by a No vote. The national reputation of Australia remains relatively unscathed, with no further damage done beyond what was inflicted by the Wallabies’ performance in the World Cup.
However, the outcome of the referendum has had significant political repercussions. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has suffered a major blow, scoring what can only be described as a spectacular political own goal. With a national result of 61 percent against the Voice to Parliament, it is a catastrophic setback for a Prime Minister who had hoped this reform would be his signature achievement in his first term.
Yet, the true political damage to Labor is even more pronounced. The support for the Voice was concentrated in seats that the Coalition is unlikely to win, with only one Liberal seat, Bradfield, voting in favor. In contrast, the referendum was defeated in 60 out of the 78 seats held by Labor, with an average margin of 18 percent. This raises questions about Labor’s grip on power and the reception the Prime Minister will receive if he campaigns in traditionally Labor-held seats where a significant majority voted No.
While the referendum highlighted serious flaws in Albanese’s character and leadership, it also provided an opportunity for Peter Dutton to shine. Despite being out of step with the metropolitan elite, Dutton’s stance on the referendum resonated with six out of ten voters who voted No. For them, he became the voice of common sense. This has solidified his image as a politician of conviction, capable of standing up for what he believes in.
As Albanese grapples with the aftermath of the referendum, it is clear that his confrontational approach to politics may not be serving him well. His focus on fighting political opponents instead of finding common ground has been detrimental to his leadership. The Prime Minister’s admission that he hadn’t even read supporting documents related to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was seen as sloppy and smug, further eroding his credibility.
In the end, the outcome of the referendum has left Albanese looking less like a prime minister and more like the Member for Grayndler. It is high time for him to reassess his policy settings and consider a more moderate approach that can resonate with a broader range of voters. Only by embracing the center ground and appealing to the national interest can he hope to rebuild his leadership and regain the trust of the Australian people.
Q: What was the outcome of the referendum?
A: The national result was 61 percent against the Voice to Parliament and 39 percent in favor.
Q: How did the referendum impact Anthony Albanese’s leadership?
A: The referendum dealt a major blow to Albanese’s leadership, with his support for the Voice as a first-term reform failing to resonate with voters.
Q: What seats saw the highest support for the Voice to Parliament?
A: The support for the Voice was concentrated in seats held by Labor, with the referendum being defeated in 60 out of 78 seats by an average margin of 18 percent.
Q: How did Peter Dutton fare in the referendum?
A: Dutton’s stance against the Voice to Parliament aligned with the majority of voters who voted No, solidifying his image as a politician of conviction.
Q: How did the referendum impact Albanese’s character and leadership?
A: The referendum exposed serious flaws in Albanese’s character, highlighting his confrontational approach to politics and lack of attention to detail.
Q: What should Albanese do to regain trust and rebuild his leadership?
A: Albanese needs to reassess his policy settings, embrace the center ground, and appeal to the national interest to regain trust and rebuild his leadership.