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corrosive effects of the IR legislation « Previous | |Next »
November 29, 2005

We know that the industrial relations bill will enable those on high incomes to win greater benefits whilst those on low and middle incomes stand to lose, especially in times of economic downturn and recession.

Louise Dodson in the Sydney Morning Herald draws attention to "the corrosive effects of the IR legislation, and suggests why the slow burn may well have political fallout for the Coalition. The legislation:

"...will produce losers as well as winners and set the two constituencies of the Coalition - economic rationalists and social conservatives - against each other. The Coalition has been successful in recent times partly because it has managed to gain support from both constituencies."

The politics is this:
Nowadays the National Party, just as much as Labor, represents the poorest electorates. Its constituents are unskilled, blue-collar workers, with higher income farmers these days voting Liberal. National Party constituents have most to lose from the industrial relations changes and fear them just as much as Labor's supporters. On top of this they worry the legislation will drastically affect family, community and church life. Church groups and leaders have been some of the strongest opponents of the legislation for the same reason.

This is different from the fear of industrial relations changes not being enough for Labor to win the next election. It brings us to a return of 1996 when the economic rationalists and social conservatives split asunder and the abandoned the Keating ALP.

Will this happen to the Coalition in 2007?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:42 PM | | Comments (0)