‘As in nature politics abhors a vacuum’.
The NT News pre-election editorial described the past three years as the ‘federal coalition being at war with the Territory Labor Government’. Believing Labor would win they urged Territorians to support Shorten to end the ‘war’.
That was a big mistake.
The election of Labor federally at best could only mask the governance problem at home; not fix it.
They said the ‘war’ was caused by the coalition mainly for political reasons. But there is a more logical and less cynical explanation.
If Scullion and the Coalition are critical of Territory Labor it is more likely because it is warranted. The lack of scrutiny at home is the cause much more than any attempt to score a political point.
The Territory Government is not being adequately tested and without competition they can never be better.
A ‘friendly’ Labor government in Canberra would only reduce the amount of rigour and scrutiny needed at a time when it is needed most.
Territory Labor is performing very badly.
Truth is they can only blame themselves for that but still insist in attempting to blame the former government or the Federal Government for problems they have primary responsibility to deal with.
Now they have no option but to stand up and govern as they should.
It is noted that the editorial would not spare ongoing scrutiny of Territory Labor, that is good because it is needed as is a mature assessment of Coalition shortcomings.
But at home Territory Labor still gives the distinct impression they have failed to grasp the seriousness of our economic situation and the compounding social decline. Territorians are becoming increasingly worried about our future.
This is not political it is real and very serious.
Yes, the Coalition’s view that Territory Labor are the worse economic managers in the country may be harsh; but it is true.
The problem is the lack of robust scrutiny. Never forget Territory Labor Government’s cynical attempt to reduce scrutiny to almost zero by generously and swiftly resourcing a two-member opposition then offering crumbs to the five independents points to this being more about political self-interest than strengthening democracy.
To cynically and deliberately attempt to inoculate themselves from harsh criticism is a foolish and naïve tactic to secure victory at next year’s election.
This has never been about resourcing but governance.
They have openly attempted to sacrifice democracy to political expediency. What is compromised to keep makes an electoral loss next year much more likely because people expect more from government. A change of government is almost certain If a robust alternative articulating the concerns of the ‘quiet Territorians’ is formed.
Because of the lack of a strong opposition at home is a better explanation for why Scullion and the Coalition came in to fill this vacuum.
So where to now NT News?
After Saturday’s election ‘miracle’ it is ‘quiet Territorians’ who will be seeking new leadership and the media have a particular and important role in contributing to that leadership.