This week, Anthony Albanese and his cabinet completed their first hundred days in government with his approval ratings remaining high. At the beginning of August, Newspoll found that Mr Albanese has record satisfaction rating of 61 per cent – the highest satisfaction rating since Newspoll began polling in 1985.

Before he gets too carried away, he should remember that approval rating can change very quickly: Kevin Rudd got to 59 per cent after he entered The Lodge – and we all know how that went.

The Prime Minister has generally received positive press from all reputable news sources though they have also been quick to point out his few slipups. For example, the Prime Minister’s decision to enlist Shaquille O’Neal for the voice referendum was quickly denounced across most outlets including the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lisa Visentin who described it as a ‘misstep.’ Though Visentin did also point out that it may also be seen as an “attempt to tap into an otherwise difficult-to-reach cohort of Australians,” demonstrating “the scale of the educational challenge the government faces before any vote can be contemplated.”

Every new government experiences a ‘honeymoon’ period, but a more nuanced analysis highlights that Albanese has performed well because he has tapped into what the electorate has been longing for: an end to the culture wars and an attempt to confront some pressing policy problems that have been ignored for far too long.

In so doing, he has tapped into the electorates general desire for solutions rather than politicking. Albanese has achieved this in four ways, and Australia’s ‘exhausted majority’ – a term I borrow from a USA study I describe briefly below, are positively responding.

Albanese avoids personal attacks

The election of Albanese was a good news story: son of a single mum growing up in housing commission accommodation.

Not only did this make us all feel positive that Australia really is a meritocracy, but it also this put his humanity on show.

As he called for greater respect in Parliament, the Prime Minister had to deal with sustained attack from the Opposition focused on his relationship with the unions. While the Prime Minister responded quickly and fiercely, he did not make it personal about the Opposition leader, Peter Dutton, nor any other members of the Coalition.

Even Albanese’s attacks on Scott Morrison’s his decisions to appoint himself to five ministries have been specifically targeted and avoided dragging in members of the Opposition – who have also lined up to criticise Morrison.

In other words, he has continued this show of humanity when he demanded Tanya Plebersek apologise when she personally insulted Dutton. This has played out well because Albanese has placed himself above the school yard tactics that our parliament has become known for. How long it lasts, no one knows, but for the moment, the Prime Minister has held his nerve.

He takes on the big issues

Be it the Voice to Parliament, energy and climate change policy, the need for Australia to respond to a skills shortage through the Jobs Summit, or a discussion of the crisis in aged care, the Albanese Government has not shied away from the taking on the big issues. This is in line with the Hawke Government’s move on the Accord: it’s about getting people in the room together to compromise and find a way forward.

In so doing, Albanese has positioned his government as one that is more interested in solutions than points scoring.

In their ground-breaking report, More in Common identified that while US electorate may lean left or right, 86 percent of them want to find middle of the road solutions to today’s challenges. This is the ‘exhausted majority’ that I describe above.

While no comparable figures are available for Australia, this sense of wanting results not being captured by ideology is likely to reflect most of the Australian voting public. Albanese clearly understand this.

No culture wars or wedge issues

One criticism levelled at then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was that he wanted to ‘win’ the public sentiment and political battles every day. This meant he searched for issues that would place pressure on the then Opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull. Likewise, Scott Morrison was obsessed with cultural issues that would wedge the Opposition: be it immigration, the electorates in coal industries, transgender people in sports or religious freedoms.

With the backing of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, Jason Clare, made the ending of the culture and curriculum wars a priority for his portfolio. He wanted to stop the endless tinkering of the curriculum.

While this is easier said than done, what is key for the Minister Clare is the tone that has been set for a way forward that will not leave educators, students and parents wondering where to next.

Small steps and some more of the same

During the election, Albanese promised reform not revolution to give the electorate a sense of comfort. He did say this while promising action on climate change, energy policy, aged care, First Nations Voice to parliament and more.

These have been pursued but in a consultative way that has not given his critics little ammunition.

In other areas, the Albanese government has continued along a similar line as the Morrison government. While Albanese has ended the war on universities and promised no more direct interference in funding grants, the sector has received little additional funding as government has focused on TAFE. In fact, as pointed out by the Campus Morning Mail, when the Australian Research Council announced $215 million in new money over four years “to fuel research in industry”, the outline of the program’s intent mirrors that of the previous government’s research commercialisation plan.

The fact that the Albanese government has been governing rather that politicking explains the high approval ratings. Despite this, there are many challenges ahead from continued pressure on the cost of living to rising interest rates that will ensure all policy announcements are under scrutiny. Likewise, the industrial unrest in NSW which could spread elsewhere is likely to place pressure on the close relationship the ALP has with the unions.

Despite this, if Albanese can continue to focus on this moderate form of governing, we will enjoy something that most of us long for: boredom with politics.

Professor James Arvanitakis is the Director of the Forrest Research Foundation. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society (Western Sydney University), the Patron of Diversity Arts Australia, the Founder of Respectful Disagreement, and a Fulbright alumnus.