The 2007 Federal Election will be fought on WorkChoices

April 2, 2007

Attended Capelfest yesterday, one of the biggest local annual fairs held in the South West of Western Australia.

The Liberal Candidate wasn’t in attendance. Pure stupidity, Forrest might have a 10% margin but she won’t have the advantage of incumbency and if the swing is on the seat could easily be tight…even lost.

The ALP candidate however was clever enough to have a stall, right near the main entrance as well, so exposure would have been huge, I’ve got no idea what the attendance figures would have been, but I’d guess maybe 20,000 people, certainly at least 10,000, there were people everywhere.

The stall was decked out nearly exclusively with anti Work Choices stuff, everything from portable 2.5m full colour banner displays, stickers, flyers etc… I didn’t take the camera and forgot to grab a photo on the mobile, I should have.

She who must be obeyed said to me that it wasn’t a professional layout in her opinion, but we’re both seasoned at this sort of stuff and in years gone by, from shopping centres to country shows we’ve got a ton of experience at these sorts of things, but we shouldn’t really be the bar to which all such displays should be measured + her analysis ignored an important point: the stall wasn’t there as an information booth, it was there so the ALP candidate could play meet and greet with as many people as possible. And indeed, in the couple of times I walked past it there was always a pile of people around the stall, a sure sign that not only was it working, but it was serving its purpose.

Given the quality of the anti-Work Choices material it’s as clear as day to me that the 2007 Federal Election is going to be about WorkChoices….and as long as the ALP can keep on message Kevin Rudd will be the next Prime Minister of Australia, after all, general support for WorkChoices is minimal in the electorate. If 2001 was the Tampa election, 2007 looks like being a referendum on WorkChoices, and it’s a vote the Government cant win.

3 responses to The 2007 Federal Election will be fought on WorkChoices

  1. While we’re talking elections – I’d agree with you on the Federal Libs more or less having dropped the ball on staying in touch with the electorate. I’ve not seen them show a public face at any events of significance anywhere of late. As for any Federal Liberal parliamentarian being in touch with real people – we know it’s been a good long while since folk like Malcolm Turnbull even talked to a regular person.

    Over Summer, they should have been at all the music festivals, all the cultural events, etc. The Greens and Dems are always there – so much so they actually look like parties of significance (which tickles me, as they are where my political heart lies) rather than flies in the ointment. Labor even makes the odd appearance, and they are turning up at events that largely are attended by their habitual voters anyway, so they almost have an excuse not to.

    I also agree that WorkChoices will be the most significant deciding factor at the election. Climate Change and the War on Terror (otherwise known as grandstanding on issues that are about fearmongering to the uninformed and uneducated, rather than actual security) will run as dead-heat #2 issues. Climate Change particularly is now in the minds of a significant subset of the entire electorate since the Libs decided that they’d better jump on that bandwagon rather than have it depart without them. I think they’ve come on board too late though. Their “me too” announcements, accompanied by policy statements that suggest they really still don’t get it, even after Stern’s visit last week, don’t ring true.

    As an aside, I was speaking on the weekend with a politically astute and connected friend who is now a constituent of newly-elected NSW Parliamentarian, Verity Firth ( He has declared her to be NSW Premier or significant federally in 10 years. He notes she is one of the most compelling face-to-face politicians he has ever met.

  2. I’ll agree to disagree with you on the issues outside of Workchoices, Environment + Iraq might be issues in the electorate but they aren’t vote changers outside of the inner city electorates (which mostly vote ALP anyway). Iraq will only cost votes if Australians are killed, say a APC is wipped out with 5 killed. Same with Hicks, Doctors Wives care about Hicks, the average Australian on the other hand knows a terrorist when he sees one.

    No 2 issues will be Interest Rates and Cost of Living. Rudd has already rumoured that the ALP will run on Interest Rates…they’d be mad not to given the Liberal Campaign at the last election…interest rates have gone up 4-5 times and are due up again this week, Cost of Living, both cost of goods + housing is really starting to bite, people can’t afford housing, and if they get it the repayments keep going up…I also believe CPI isn’t really showing the increase in the cost of staples: supermarket items keep going up, CPI is balanced only because non-food imported items keep getting cheaper.

  3. I’ll buy your assessment. Interest rates and cost of living are far closer to the general electorate’s heart than “chattering classes” issues. And while they are important to me as well, the global warming and improper and arguably illegal conduct of war issue, which, as you correctly identify are inner-city electorate focussed, have significant sway for left/libertarian types like me.