Sunday, September 16, 2007


The Federal Government has promised no further industrial relations upheaval if it wins the upcoming election, admitting employees already have a poor understanding of its sweeping workplace reforms.

Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey last week flagged further tweaking of the unpopular laws before the election.

But today he ruled out any major changes to the laws, which took unfair dismissal protection away from millions of workers and allowed employees to bargain away penalty rates and other award conditions in return for more pay or flexible hours.

"We are committed absolutely to the fundamentals of our workplace relations laws," Mr Hockey told the Ten Network.

"We're not going to change them.

"Obviously, it has been a challenge in the face of the fear campaign to bed them down.

"I have no desire to undertake further structural reform to the workplace relations system for the next three years."


Over the last few months, the issues that the Coalition had good positioning on have been eroded. Interest rate rises would have diminished to some extent their lead on the Interest Rate issue (or at least its significance and positioning), Rudds APEC activity would have pushed the international issues more favourably toward the ALP, and the leadership fiasco would have shunted their Strong Team and Strong Leadership issues.

I’m starting to believe that because the strategy is failing, it will be junked.It will be junked because keeping it will lead to oblivion.

Doing more of the same just means receiving more of the same kinds of polling. The Coalition vote cannot get much lower anyway, the strategy has failed them all the way down to the bottom few percent of their electoral support level.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a complete strategy reversal.

Look for big tax cuts, a few Workchoices backflips, a billion dollar health system injection and something large on education. The public seems to have shifted and the Coalition was caught with its pants down. Minimising their losses by focusing on their existing strong points is failing dismally through both Rudds actions and a large dose of self inflicted wounds.

A strategy reversal might minimise some of the ALPs leadership on issues like health, education and IR for a small chunk of ex-coalition voters while pushing ALP ownership of the issues for continuing ALP voters out further, while big tax cuts would play to their own strengths and might perhaps lure some of that same ex-coalition voting group back.It might be the best opportunity they have to grab a small chunk of their deserted voter base back to minimise their loss.

Possums Pollytics

Well we know that Nick Minchin doesn't think that Workchoices go far enough. We know that the BCA agree with him. So, are they lying to the BCA, who have spent millions of dollars that could have been reinvested in their members' businesses, supporting the govt. or are they lying to us, the mugs who hand over our taxes to pay for millions of dollars on Workchoices ads?