We have to make some observations about the Federal election

If He Wins You Lose

There have been times in Australian politics where people actually liked political leaders. Sometimes even loved them.

People loved Gough, thought Hawke could walk on water and even loved Keating, people liked Malcolm Fraser more after he got out of politics, as they did John Hewson who became a climate change warrior because he thought it was smart economically to move quickly to a low carbon economy, people didn’t really like John Howard and the extent of that dislike was clear when he became only the second Prime Minister to lose his own seat at the same time his government was defeated in an election but really, no one has liked anyone much from the major parties since.

At the same time that we struggled to find political leaders we liked, the intellectual level of political debate collapsed. Focus groups, cheap shots, fear mongering, a lack of vision, climate change is either “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” or its “crap”, it’s all very, very disappointing and depressing. We are a smart, multicultural and dynamic nation, we really deserve better. We’re even crap at sport now, so we don’t have international sporting success to distract us from the uninspiring political misery at home

But we know that a Coalition government is always going to be more hostile to employees and your rights at work. We know that WorkChoices, that creature of the Howard Government, opened the floodgates to individual contracts, and reduced rights to fight unfair dismissal and significantly reduce rights generally. In the current debate about industrial relations, the Coalition is quite open that they want to swing back the pendulum away from employee rights to increased rights from employers.

Increased rights for employers, means trouble for you.

The illustration in this article comes from UnionNSW’s election campaign, we are an affiliate, as are all New South Wales unions and it does sum up the difference between Labor and the Coalition on your rights at work.

Still, we are not a political organisation, we don’t favour either or any side as a matter of policy and we are clearly quite happy to attack planning ministers and Governments of either persuasion. But, when you make up your mind about what to do on the 7 September, if issues like climate change, economic management, refugee policy, or even gay marriage aren’t enough for you to decide, think about how it might affect you at work.

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