Another SOFT "labor" premier So what scandal is this bloke running away from? VICTORIAN Premier Steve Bracks quit politics this morning, citing personal reasons for his decision and a realisation that he could not continue to dedicate all his energy to his job. Mr Bracks said he intended to make "a new and different life outside of politics". He said he would like to be remembered as the man who "put the heart back into Victoria", through a combination of strong economic management and compassionate policy. "I leave politics proud of what has been achieved, proud of what we have done, and confident of Labor's future in this state," Mr Bracks said. "For me, it is the right time to step down." Mr Bracks said the recent involvement of his son, Nick, in an alleged drink-driving incident had played a part in his decision. "The truth is they did, but only in confirming my course, not in setting it,'' he said. He said he had realised he could not give a 100 per cent committment to his future in politics. Mr Bracks, a Catholic of Lebanese descent, was elected Premier in 1999, beating Jeff Kennett in a major political upset. Mr Bracks had been significantly behind in the polls throughout the campaign. He went on to win the 2002 election in a landslide. It has also been reported that Deputy Premier John Thwaites may also resign from his position this afternoon, although Mr Bracks denied any knowledge of this. Mr Bracks publicly endorsed Treasurer John Brumby as his successor during his press conference. Pressure politics The Victorian Premier joins a long list of Australian politicians who have resigned due to medical, personal or family reasons. In December, 2003, Andrew Bartlett temporarily resigned as leader of the Australian Democrats after he was caught on video apparently drunkenly confronting Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris. Former NSW Opposition leader John Brogden resigned on August 29, 2005, before an apparent suicide attempt. Geoff Gallop resigned as West Australian Premier on January 16, 2006, blaming depression. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“My doctors advised me that with treatment, time and rest this illness is very curable, however, I cannot be certain how long I will need," Mr Gallop said at the time. "So in the interests of my health and my family I have decided to rethink my career." In October that year Queensland's Attorney-General Linda Lavarch resigned, saying she had been ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“diagnosed as experiencing a major depressive episodeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â. This followed intense criticism after delays in extraditing alleged rogue surgeon Jayant Patel back to Australia to face charges related to 17 patient deaths. Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham cited family reasons and ill health for his resignation in January 2005. "After 17 years and two serious life-threatening illnesses, the time has come to put my family and my health first,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â he said. Mr Bracks said his departure would allow for a "smooth and effective" leadership transition. Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting this morning where his decision to resign was discussed. At the time of his son's car crash, Mr Bracks said: "He's been an absolute idiot. This has really shocked me. "I just felt hopeless and useless, and you can't help feeling a bit of a failure in some ways as a parent." Nick, 20, escaped injury in the crash, which happened about 4.30am at the junction of Melbourne Rd and Hosking St, Williamstown, just blocks from the Bracks family home. He later returned a blood-alcohol reading of .129.