THE Labor Party and its supporters cannot get over Saturday's federal election defeat until they accept the result was no mistake.
One of the great strengths of our Westminster democracy is that is serves up the government the country most wanted.
On Saturday, the Scott Morrison-led Coalition won more seats than Labor and more primary votes.
The result was clear and emphatic. Clive Palmer's wrecking ball advertising campaign designed to keep Bill Shorten out of The Lodge does not invalidate the result any more than GetUp's fierce campaign to get Tony Abbott out of Warringah would invalidate it.
The Coalition's so-called "scare campaign" does not invalidate the result any more than Paul Keating's "scare campaign" in 1993 would invalidate that result.
The way back for Labor and Labor supporters is to look closely at the result and try to take real meaning from it. Labor must spend the next three years reaching out to the electorate that rejected it on Saturday and listening to what those voters are saying.
And Labor supporters must let go of the idea that they somehow hold the moral high ground in Australian politics and that winning government should be their right.
One of the clearer examples of this wrong-headed thinking was a Tweet on Monday from the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (since deleted) seeking new members among those who were "angry" with Saturday's result.
That single Tweet did a great disservice to the vast majority of journalists in this country that seek to report all news fairly and impartially and betrayed a tin ear with regards to the feelings of most Australians.
It's fine for the MEAA to be surprised by Saturday's result, but angry? What is there to be angry about in an election result that puts into government the party preferred by the majority of the electorate? We should all be ecstatic that we live in such a country.
Labor's first step back will be its choice of a new leader and the party is fortunate to have some serious talent in the contest.
Anthony Albanese (pictured) and Joel Fitzgibbon come from the traditional Labor Party of Curtin and Chifley and either would be a worthy leader. More importantly, they appear at ease talking to all people.
Labor needs to return to its roots, to lose some of its slickness and again start engaging the people that have always been the core constituency.