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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

work and politics « Previous | |Next »
February 17, 2005

This is a good article by Barbara Pococke in The Australian about the changing patterns of work and its implications for party electoral politics. The points Pocock makes are that participation is paid work is increasing, the sex of the worker has changeing as Australian women join men in work, and the new jobs are in the retail, property and business services, health, education and community sectors.

What then are the implications for the ALP? Pocock says:

The ALP is watching the wrong bellwether if it thinks blue-collar workers hold the key to electoral recovery. This worker is increasingly rare in the labour market. Re-wedding him to the ALP is fiddling while Rome burns -- and the ballot box swells with the votes of women, service sector, casual, part time and professional workers, who live in every electorate.

And the implications for the Coalition?
...the union bogy and strikes are lost in history, while the daily struggle to work reasonable hours for a fair wage that covers debt and allows a decent household life is front and centre. The remade worker is no longer an assured vote and a standard sort of guy - instead he is diverse and politically unattached, but someone to whom work continues to matter a great deal.

Pocock should say 'she' as well 'he' since male participation in paid work has fallen steeply whilst the particpation of women has risen steeply.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:14 PM | | Comments (0)