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Oz election thread #3 - Rudd's Labour

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 04:17 am
@msolga,
Whoops! I actually meant to say : I sincerely hope that more future election outcomes aren't decided this sort of way. Many voters must feel rather irrelevant.

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:43 pm
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,6253725,00.jpg
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:46 pm
@msolga,
Turnbull eh? Interesting. Could go right or horribly wrong.
msolga
 
  3  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 09:49 pm
@hingehead,
True. (A Latham moment/choice, perhaps?) But it could at least be very interesting, watching it go right or wrong .... Wink

Let's face it, they didn't have much to lose.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:00 pm
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2008/09/16/1709_cartoon_gallery__600x361,0.jpg
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:30 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
A Latham moment/choice, perhaps?)


Exactly what I thought.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 02:50 am
@msolga,
He's warming the seat until Costello figures they can win, I suspect.

Seems a very aggressive fella so far.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 05:19 am
@hingehead,
... & he had this rather strange, sort of exhilerated glint in his eyes in the report on the news tonight .... Laughing
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 05:20 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
He's warming the seat until Costello figures they can win, I suspect.


You really think so, Deb?
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 07:20 am
@msolga,
Quote:
You really think so, Deb?



I really think Costello thinks so.


As for me? Dunno.


That glint is the blood rushing to his head!

There's something about getting the leadership that sends most pollies' hearts a pumping...even when it appears a doomed thing to everyone else.

Actually, I know almost nothing about this new leader.

What do you think of him, Msolga?





msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 02:11 am
@dlowan,
Costello? I'm not sure exactly what he's up to. Apart from trying hard to feel like less of a down-trodden worm ( under Howard) & trying to sell his book. I think he cares very much about what history makes of him. And doesn't at all like the prevailing view of his wishy-washy "almost" moments under Howard. But how much he cares about the Liberal Party these days? - that's the question.

What do I think of Turnbull?: I think he's very bright & is able to apply his intelligence & drive to a variety of endeavours. He seems to enjoy change a lot, too. Check out his working history. It's pretty impressive & colourful.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Turnbull

But why does he want to be leader of the Liberal Party? Who knows? The next "Malcolm experience", perhaps? How committed is he to the Liberal long haul? Who knows. It could be just another in a series of challenging Malcolm experiences. He's been through a number of very interesting reincarnations now & perhaps this is just the next one? I certainly don't see him as a traditional Oz politician with a strong commitment toward a particular ideology or platform. I see him as more of a maverick. As hinge said, it could go horribly right or wrong. Certainly Labor is not seeing him as the sort of push-over Brendan Nelson was.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 01:13 am
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,6257477,00.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 01:29 am
WorkChoices-lite: the Gillard brew for IR
Anthony Forsyth and John Howe
September 19, 2008/the AGE


Unions will not be happy about many aspects of the new IR legislation.

THE Rudd Government was elected on a promise to "rip up" or "bury" WorkChoices and is now seeking to restore the notion of a fair go in the workplace. While there are some positive developments for employees and unions from Julia Gillard's speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, there is enough of the Howard government's legacy left intact to keep many employers happy. So are Australian voters getting all that they voted for when they so decisively rejected WorkChoices at last year's election?

One of the most unpopular aspects of WorkChoices was the power that it gave employers to foist individual agreements on employees that removed award entitlements such as penalty rates for working on weekends and public holidays. Labor acted swiftly to abolish AWAs through its transitional IR legislation in March this year.

In place of individualised bargaining, Labor will implement a system of collective bargaining based on two key principles. First, if a majority of employees in a workplace want collective bargaining, their employer must respect that choice. Second, negotiating parties must bargain in good faith. These new rules are aimed at dealing with disputes such as the one playing out at Telstra, where the company is refusing to negotiate a collective agreement with the unions. However, there is some doubt about whether Labor's changes will be effective in compelling employers to negotiate collectively. ...<cont>

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/workchoiceslite-the-gillard-brew-for-ir-20080918-4jdl.html?page=-1
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 01:37 am
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2008/09/18/190908_cartoon_gallery__574x400.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 06:04 pm
I can't say I'm at all surprised by this. But I'd be curious to know how Labor's "Forward With Fairness" (Ha!) proposals will actually help "working families" .... (many of them being the very workers & unionists who copped such a raw deal under Howard's WorkChoices.):

State of the union
Shaun Carney
September 20, 2008/the AGE


http://images.theage.com.au/2008/09/19/212745/svOPED_SEP20-420x0.jpg
Labor's industrial relations package confirms the loosening of ties with the movement that created the party.

THROUGHOUT most of the 20th century, Australia's industrial relations system worked along relatively simple lines. There were unions and there were employers and there was a central tribunal with powers to conciliate and arbitrate in the middle. Please note the last two words of the preceding sentence, "the middle". Because more often than not, the tribunal would look at the claims of both sides, find the mid-point between them and that would form the basis of its decisions.

In some superficial respects, the Rudd Government's proposed workplace laws, its much-awaited replacement for John Howard's ill-fated WorkChoices, sit in that old Australian IR tradition. What the Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard has done is to look at what the employer organisations wanted, which was to hold on to WorkChoices, and what the ACTU wanted, and given them both a little bit of what they were after " in effect, splitting the difference. On the face of it, this might seem a reasonable enough approach, perhaps even fair.

But the very nature of WorkChoices needs to be borne in mind. It was the most revolutionary set of industrial laws Australia had seen. Labor's substitute for WorkChoices, which it calls Forward With Fairness, is no counter-revolution. In a way, it's more an attempt to make WorkChoices more efficient, the sort of prescription that John Howard might have gone for had he not been overwhelmed by the desire to leave behind a profound ideological mark after he won an increased majority at the 2004 election.

Howard made two massive misjudgements in 2005 that ensured he would leave politics a loser. One was to set the ball rolling on WorkChoices. The other was not to hand over the Liberal leadership to Peter Costello. Combined, those two decisions guaranteed his defeat last year. But on the WorkChoices score, Howard should have some cause to take comfort.

WorkChoices had two goals: an economic objective of giving employers extensive natural bargaining power over hiring, firing and wage-setting; and a political goal of crushing the union movement and, as a consequence, weakening the Labor Party. The political consequences of Forward With Fairness could well turn out to be more profound than the industrial ones. All told, this new IR regime reveals the truth about the contemporary Labor Party: its ties with the unions are technical and historical, not elemental. There is little in this package of measures that suggests it is the product of a Labor government committed to entrenching social democracy.

Forward With Fairness does make some fundamental changes to WorkChoices. The application of a sunset clause to Australian Workplace Agreements, which were the bluntest instrument of the old laws, is the most obvious. Some of the restrictions on collective bargaining have been eased, and the new industrial tribunal Labor will set up to supersede the Industrial Relations Commission will have some sort of power to arbitrate intractable disputes, although how much power and in what circumstances is yet to be determined. Importantly, the burden of the law will require employers and employees to negotiate but not to reach an agreement.

Resort to unfair dismissal procedures will be extended to many small businesses, but the threshold for employers to dispose of employees has been lowered significantly. Even the Fair Pay Commission, which sets minimum wages for the lowest-paid workers, will continue to exist, rebadged and with different members. The wage-setting power will continue to be denied to the central tribunal.

Voters who expected to see WorkChoices dismantled probably should have looked beyond the rhetoric and examined the fine print of the policy outlines Gillard delivered last year. The John Bray professor of law at Flinders University, Andrew Stewart, is advising the Department of Workplace Relations on the drafting instructions for the Forward With Fairness legislation.

He said yesterday that the relatively mild nature of the package should come as no surprise. "Early last year when it announced its policy, the Labor Party made a whole series of compromises. It was very concerned that there might be a backlash from employers and as a consequence it wanted to go to the election sending out two messages. One was that it would get rid of WorkChoices and the other was that it would look after business. There is no significant commitment that it made back then, as far as I can see, that it has gone back on," he said.

The changes that Forward With Fairness imposes on the existing WorkChoices model will lead to a fairer and more efficient industrial relations system. In tandem with the new laws, the award modernisation process being undertaken by the Industrial Relations Commission " a massive project " will streamline workplace relations.

But they do little to encourage the growth of unions, and that's where the political significance of Labor's course on IR lies. The Whitlam government cruelled itself by giving too much to the unions. The Hawke government avoided that mistake by tying the ACTU to a joint approach on incomes, the social wage and economic policy generally. The Rudd Government, faced with a union movement that's been weakened by 11 years under Howard, has accepted the diminution of union power as a fait accompli and has fashioned its new IR regime around that fact.

Eventually, Labor will have to reorganise itself internally to reflect this reality; it cannot continue indefinitely to have 50% of its conference constituted by unions " especially if its IR laws regard union representation as an incidental extra. What is guaranteed is that the public campaign by the ACTU in response to WorkChoices and which provided so much help to Labor in its 2007 election effort will not be repeated. That campaign was a reflexive attempt by unions to escape the hangman's noose under Howard. Victory has resulted in unionism being plugged in to what amounts to a rudimentary form of life support under Rudd and Gillard.

The attentions of many union officials will now turn to the Greens, with a view to persuading Bob Brown and his fellow senators to negotiate amendments to "toughen up" Forward With Fairness in the upper house. Thus the minor party that has a good chance of taking a number of formerly safe inner-city ALP seats at the next election could, in the case of this policy, save modern Labor from itself.

Shaun Carney is associate editor.

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/state-of-the-union-20080919-4k5g.html?page=-1

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 07:26 pm
@msolga,
.. I guess, in the same way that John Howard reinvented the Liberal Party in his own image, Kevin Rudd is now doing the same to the Labor Party. It will be very interesting to see how these changes will translate re ("traditional" Labor) voters' affiliations. I strongly suspect that the Greens will continue to do well with the disaffected Labor left. (Where else has the left to go?) But I'm not so sure of who the new "natural constituents" of labor will be. Possibly not those who swung back to Labor at the last election. (Especially those working class voters who'd defected to the Libs under Howard, then finally rejected him when WorkChoices became too repressive & scary.)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:26 pm
More on The Rise & Rise of Malcolm (to Lib leadership). Labor's reaction to his elevation, this time. I rather thought they'd been over-reacting in parliament, but put it down to Malcolm being a completely different kettle of fish to deal with, compared to poor old predictable Brendan. :

Team Kevin rattled as Malcolm eyes the middle
Paul Daley
September 21, 2008/Sunday AGE


MALCOLM Turnbull has been labelled arrogant, aloof, condescending, impetuous, demanding, autocratic, slippery, irascible, rude, intemperate, foul-mouthed and impatient. And you should hear what his enemies say.

Sound like prime ministerial material? You bet.


That's why Kevin Rudd seems to be so utterly rattled by him. Rudd, of course, is all these things too. Just ask anyone who's ever worked with pre-PM Kevin.

For the most part Rudd keeps his prickliness in check - publicly, at least. It's something Turnbull has learnt to do very quickly in the few years he's been in politics, too.

A dull, drone-like dependability masks the political and policy fire and brimstone within Rudd. He wanted to make a seamless voter transition from the ostensibly dull but reliable John Howard to himself. Now, 10 months later, we're stuck with - you guessed it - dull but mostly reliable.

While the fundamental criticism that self-avowed conservative voters and their politicians level at Rudd is that he and his government are "doing nothing", a largely disengaged electorate - I'm told by some senior Labor figures - sees it differently.

Those voters believe Rudd and his team are actually getting on with the job of governing - even if it is being done low-key and in response to a plethora of policy reviews. No. The biggest criticism voters will make against Rudd is that he is "boring".

Rudd's coterie has never been displeased with such sentiment. Until Malcolm came along, that is. Suddenly, it seems, boring could become a negative for Rudd.
...<cont>

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/team-kevin-rattled-as-malcolm-eyes-the-middle-20080920-4kmx.html
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:33 pm
I've never heard a bigger load of self serving tripe than the swill spewed out by Turnbull in his first speech. As a member of the Howard government, he was involved in removing more rights and opportunities than any government in Australia's history. The only thing he's proved himself to be is the perfect conservative. A liar, a cheat and a hypocrite.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 01:23 am
@Wilso,
Quote:
I've never heard a bigger load of self serving tripe than the swill spewed out by Turnbull in his first speech. As a member of the Howard government, he was involved in removing more rights and opportunities than any government in Australia's history. The only thing he's proved himself to be is the perfect conservative. A liar, a cheat and a hypocrite.


Gosh Wilso, I missed Turnbull's first speech. Please tell us more. Not that I'm about to become a Malcolm supporter or a Liberal voter. (As if! Laughing Wink ) But to say that you've "I've never heard a bigger load of self serving tripe", well that speech must have been something! Details, details, please!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 01:30 am
@Wilso,
I'd also be interested in your assessment of Labor's position on industrial relations" "Forward With Fairness".
 

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