It's "enhanced luminescence".
It describes the positive glow that almost immediately surrounds any victorious Opposition Leader (like Bob Hawke, Kevin Rudd and now Anthony Albanese) after becoming prime minister. It's bizarre, real and revealed in post-election opinion polls.
Authority and endorsement conferred simply, seemingly, by being seen doing the job as PM. People who didn't (or wouldn't) vote Labor think, well, the sky hasn't fallen in so maybe our new leader really isn't so bad after all.
But it can spiral - both up and down.
Success breeds legitimacy, just as electoral disappointment establishes preconditions for failure. Take Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull. After their coups both were popular.
Neither, however, ever managed to recover from subsequent electoral stalemate. Maintaining positive momentum for as long as possible is the secret to successful leadership.
That's why it's so vital to retain this enthusiasm for as long as possible. It protects and insulates any leader; elevating them from previous negative images and allowing them to establish a position as leader of the nation.
And this is exactly why Albanese's move to slash staffing levels for independent politicians is so damaging.
It is, firstly, so tiny and officious that it screams of someone who isn't focused on running the country properly. Who can believe that, in the middle of international trips, concerns about rising inflation and maintaining living wages, and insisting that the government is so busy parliament's only going to meet for another eight weeks this entire year, that Albanese personally has time to comb through and slash away at independent MP's staffing arrangements.
It smacks of his past as a transactional warrior, unable to escape their past in the 1980s as a resentful, factional sword-bearer for Labor's NSW Left. This was a period when both sides of the party fought each other just as ruthlessly and bitterly as they battled the Liberals; when they thought it was funny to lock each other out of offices and refuse to drink coffee, let alone eat, with those from other cliques.
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What makes Albanese's action particularly self-defeating is that the decision doesn't even make political sense. Teals took seats from the Liberals that Labor could never have won: he should be supporting them, rather than needlessly alienating potential supporters because they're not wearing his colours.
More importantly this move is a signal that the PM's focus hasn't lifted to his new task - running the country. He's still down battling in the weeds, fighting for votes booth by booth, instead of being where he should be, rising above partisanship to create a new future.
Finally, most significantly of all, it's a sign Albanese hasn't understood what the election result meant.
Yes, Labor achieved a victory (by one seat) in the lower house and grabbed the Lodge. To win a vote in the Senate however, Albanese will require the support of the Greens.
Adam Bandt's party now holds four seats seized from Labor; the party won't win them back by engaging in acts that appear little more than political bastardry, particularly when the government's entire legislative agenda depends so much on goodwill.
Last week Chris Bowen and the PM beamed as they posed in front of the cameras while announcing the government's new emissions reduction target. Cuts of 43 per cent sound good and the smiling business leaders stood behind them to endorse the plan. But don't be fooled. They don't have a vote.
The so-called 'solid commitment' is rubbish: nothing more than a scrap of paper. Without the Greens endorsement nothing will pass through the Senate and their plan - like the one Labor took to the previous election - is far more ambitious. If Bandt's smart he too will gather business leaders (think Mike Cannon-Brooks) and unions to endorse his target.
Any stalemate will leave Albanese trapped in a repeat of the precarious quandary that eventually led to Rudd's dispatch a decade ago. The then PM attempted desperately to triangulate a middle path between the demands of the Greens and the conservatives but there was none. Albanese needs the Greens and independents far more than they need him.
Only a coalition of Greens and cross-bench senators (either David Pocock's vote or one of Jackie Lambie's two) can pass legislation. No matter how much gratitude there may be towards the leader at the moment, the party is watching critically to see how well he preforms in this new role.
Failure won't be tolerated and Albanese now needs to quickly demonstrate that he's capable of handling the job confidently, without slip-ups. Otherwise, no matter how tired voters may be of the succession of PMs, the party will act decisively to ensure it retains its grip on power.
The cutting back of the parliamentary calendar demonstrates Albanese's personal vulnerability. It's difficult not to suspect his bluster camouflages nervousness.
During the election campaign he demonstrated policy confusion and made a couple of serious mistakes, flubbing simple questions and raising doubts about his command of the issues. Nobody has any doubt that Albanese didn't win the last election; Scott Morrison lost it.
It's way, way too early to try predicting what's going to happen over the next three years. What we can do is analyse personalities and the external environment.
When Labor looks at the issues mounting up outside Australia's border it's obvious world events are combining and presenting radically different (and existential) economic, environmental and strategic challenges.
Resolving these will demand a new path that carefully balances competing policy options while maintaining internal cohesion. The secret to accomplishing this will come from building unity rather than creating division.
Last week's moves were gratuitous and ungracious. Creating opponents is never wise policy.
The country desperately needs a leader who will construct a new future, instead of a master of the politics of the past who bashes their way to victory through conflict.
We'll soon find out which leader Albanese wants to be.
Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer.
Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer.
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