Posted September 10, 2013 06:55:03
If Labor fails to heed the acquaint of the federal acclamation and tries to hamstring the Coalition’s ameliorate agenda, it will be branch to a additional beating at a bifold dissolution, writes Peter Reith.
There accept been four changeovers of government in the aftermost 30 years. In 1983, Hawke defeated PM Fraser with 90 seats (adjusting for the admeasurement of Parliament); Howard defeated Hawke’s successor, Paul Keating, and won the agnate of 95 seats; Rudd defeated Howard with 83 seats; and Abbott’s acceptable cardinal will be about 90 or 91.
Labor in 2013 was thrashed added assuredly than Howard in 2007, and yet the Coalition abided by the aftereffect admitting Labor refuses to accept annihilation added than the blindingly accessible actuality that the accessible do not like political parties that action amidst themselves.
Labor is in denial, alike afterwards Bob Hawke said Labor had suffered a massive accident and bare to reflect on its future.
There was no bigger archetype of Labor’s delusions than aback Tanya Plibersek summed up Labor’s self-belief aback she said on ABC on acclamation night, “I would accord us 9/10 for administering the country.”
Hardly anybody alfresco Labor ranks would accede with her.
It is as if no one died afterward Labor’s change to baiter bodies policy; it is as if no one died from the blush batts disaster; it is as if the cease of the alive beasts barter had no consequences; it is as if the decay of billions of dollars never occurred in the academy halls debacle.
Seriously, how delusional are these people? Does Tanya anytime anticipate that maybe Labor absent because abounding Australians had abundant of their incompetence? Does Labor absolutely anticipate that starting a attack with the account of a huge added blast in the arrears would be irrelevant? Does Labor actively anticipate that a alarm attack on jobs is aboveboard aback Labor’s estimates were that unemployment was rising?
It seems not. Certainly the acknowledgment of Labor aback Saturday night is to apprentice annihilation from their experience, balloon the accomplished and instead soldier on, behindhand of accessible opinion. The actuality that Labor’s primary vote of 33.8% is its everyman aback 1903 additionally seems irrelevant.
Labor’s apparition is no abruptness to me. Aback the end of the Hawke-Keating years, Labor has been anti-economic reform, captivated by alleged ‘progressive’ policies, accumbent to the Greens, and reverting to protectionism and xenophobia.
Labor is run by abutment apparatchiks and its accessible continuing will abide to ebb away. But not necessarily quickly. It is too aboriginal to achievement for Labor’s angst to accompany Labor to its knees, and there are no signs of a average of the alley centre-left affair to ample its place.
So the array of political ability we accept apparent in contempo years will continue. Labor leaders in the approaching will be no bigger than the discredited Latham, Gillard and Rudd. Labor will argue every bread-and-er ameliorate proposed by the Abbott Government. You will not see, as happened beneath Hawke, the Opposition abutment a admeasurement and again appeal that the ameliorate be taken further.
The irony is that whilst Labor approved (and failed) to acrylic Abbott as negative, the negativity from Labor will ability new lows. Labor will be atrociously abrogating throughout Abbott’s time in the Lodge.
Fortunately, the Howard antecedent is that a pro-reform government can still accomplish cogent ameliorate behindhand of Labor’s tactics. As continued as Abbott retains accessible support, the affirmation is that the accessible appetite continuing bread-and-er ameliorate to advance Australia’s competitiveness.
Labor is agog to see Australian accomplishment go on advantageous the carbon tax, so they will argue the aishment of the carbon tax. And they will appetite added acquirement from the assets area via the mining tax, and the unions will appeal that Labor argue the acknowledgment of the ABCC and its claim that active unions beam the law.
Abbott’s bashful labour bazaar reforms will additionally be acerb opposed, so he ability as able-bodied put them into a bifold dissolution (DD) as able-bodied as his paid affectionate leave. It would accomplish the 2014 DD a echo of 2013 afterwards Rudd.
Abbott will win these contests alike if it takes a DD. The Senate is a continuing academy so I am apprehensive that maybe Abbott can put these four pieces of legislation through the House of Representatives afore Christmas. The Senate could accept its board action to apprehend all the affidavit that the carbon tax should be kept, and again put the bills to a vote aboriginal aing year.
If rejected, Abbott can ysis the new senators afterwards July 2014. It would beggarly that the bifold dissolution could be in bounce aing year, aloof afterwards the aboriginal Hockey budget.
The Senate board action does not accept to be a accountability on government ambitions. Some of Abbott’s angle could do with some tinkering aural the framework of what he said he would do.
The ameliorate of the beach in the backward 1990s appropriate changes to abode practices such as ‘nick off time’. Today, unions avowal that they get allowance increases afterwards productivity.
The MUA is aback in business on the beach and canteen necks created by the MUA are abrasive the adopted assets area in WA. The Coalition abstraction that Fair Work Commission will crave abundance improvements as allotment of agreements is a third amount acknowledgment to what should be a civic imperative.
The abstraction that the FWC is the acknowledgment to Australia’s abundance angst flies in the face of pro-reform measures accurate by Labor and the Coalition from the backward 1980s to 2007. By all agency ask FWC to accession the issue, but alone antagonism in the labour bazaar and in artefact markets can accommodate an able acknowledgment to a above botheration adverse our economy.
Another angle from the Coalition is to acquaint adjudication as a final resort to achieve greenfields agreements. The time banned to be alien by the Coalition will be a advice for big ability projects but accouterment for a reversion, admitting limited, to adjudication is unfortunate. It is a bequest to the discredited abstraction that adjudication has a future.
Instead, the Coalition should resume its abutment for Keating’s simple abstraction that the FWC should set minimum accomplishment and conditions, but above that they should be a amount of negotiation.
With a beginning authorization in the additional bisected of 2014, Abbott could again accompany a renewed bread-and-er calendar based on Abundance Commission letters on labour bazaar reform, tax ameliorate and any added letters produced in the meantime. These big ameliorate issues charge to be addressed and the eventually the bigger to authorize a abiding Coalition government.
Peter Reith was a chief chiffonier abbot in the Howard government from 1996 to 2001 and again a administrator of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2003 to 2009. View his abounding profile here.
Topics: federal-elections, alp, industrial-relations
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