WHEN Premier Christy Clark told us this week 'mistakes were made' in the handling of the Liberals' quick wins strategy, she chose ominous words.
It's a classic phrase, long used by politicians to acknowledge problems, while attempting to deflect responsibility for them.
But for anyone who cares about the way democracy is supposed to work, the report into the ethnic vote scandal - and its detailing of Machiavellian power mongering in Victoria - is bad.
The report makes it clear those near the top of the heap in Liberal circles didn't just consider the business of running the government and the business of getting the party re-elected projects to be blurred, they didn't consider them separate at all.
It's not that they didn't know lines were being crossed. They didn't care and actively encouraged it.
For the party hacks in charge of the program, government was a resource to be plundered in their attempts to hold on to power.
The provincial Liberals aren't the only ones who practise this line of thinking.
But it is indicative of a government that has forgotten it is supposed to be governing, not campaigning.
It is a political world where every policy and action is viewed through an intensely partisan lens, and the next campaign begins the day after the election.
Plans like the quick wins strategy and the actions of those in charge are simply a natural, insidious outgrowth of that mindset, where the goal of hanging on to power justifies all means.