As the major parties and commentators seek explanations for the latest federal election results, they should re-visit the lessons of the 2004 federal election.
Of course, factional power doesn't go away overnight and it was no surprise when the inaugural contenders in the first party-wide ballot for the Labor leadership were factional heavy-weights from the Right and Left.
We are genetically wired to follow our leaders.
It's impossible to relive the past, but a better future can be forged. Australia is best served by two major parties whose 'inclusion' doesn't feel like exclusion for a vast swathe of voters.
The Labor Party campaigned on the cause célèbres of any number of inner urban hipster coffee shops, bistros or university campuses.
While it’s virtually impossible to be certain even about the exact details of the past, it is completely impossible to be certain about the future.
Did the constant reference to 'True Believers' and 'Faith' by the major Leaders show that both parties have gone back to their roots with their slogan efforts this year?
In Australia, our political system promotes all the wrong childhood, competitive behaviours like tactical play, groupthink, manipulating, and even backstabbing over our more mature adult behaviours.
Twenty years ago, Trade Union legend Bill Ludwig introduced me to Bill Shorten, telling me that here was a young guy who was going places.
In Queensland, the ALP was devastated electorally because voters put jobs above climate change.
The pollsters got it wrong, the bookies got it wrong, the punters got it wrong the ABC and most of the mainstream media got it wrong and obviously Bill Shorten got it very wrong.
Throughout the Howard years, federal Labor found itself constantly incapable of recovering the 'aspirational' blue collar voters who had found comfort in the arms of the conservative Coalition government.