Forget about the combination of broken promises, asylum seekers, pink batts, women, or on the other side Abbott, Abbott, Abbott and Abbott – what is the single most important issue that will compel you to vote one way or the other in November 2013?
What is more important to you policy-wise over all else?
I lean left, but have swung, and I am not scared of the implementation of the carbon tax. At the end of the day the most important thing to do is to look out for #1, and the very best way I can do that is to do my level best to stay in my job above all else. It sustains my family and my lifestyle! My workplace is carbon neutral despite choofing huge amounts of visible emissions, my house is energy efficient and generates some of its own requirements, and combined tax cuts will actually make us richer despite rising energy costs. I work in manufacturing but our foreign owners continue to heavily invest here in their quest to become a major regional player. I am not concerned by people from overseas lobbing here by boat; I do not fear them, and as a compassionate human being, if a family of them moved next door I would probably go over and give them a hug. Pink batts were not an issue for me and I will always maintain my opinion that it was a brilliant scheme poorly implemented and managed, and taken advantage of by rogues.
I fully understand the increasing collapse in the Labor vote. A lot has gone wrong. Even I am not as steadfast as I once was. But the single biggest issue for me, which will no doubt not come to light until October 2013, is workplace relations.
During the ill-conceived coalition Work Choices proposal from several years ago, my employer (different owner but same managers) addressed the workforce directly with a promise to (actual words) “Screw us to the wall” in an effort to increase profits. That is what I am most fearful of. I don’t deserve that - in over 30 years I have never struck in a push for higher pay; the only time ever lost has been in direct response to the employer being in breach of the agreement, riding roughshod, and has only totalled a handful of days over the decades. Why should employers be given free licence to strip away everything that makes a job in a hot and noisy factory bearable?
I feel for retail and hospitality workers. Because the boss is unable to compete with the internet, he expects his workers to work casually, split or double-split shifts for single time on any day of the week, public, I repeat public holidays included. There is a reason for penalty rates - it is designed to be a penalty after all. If it is not viable to open the shop on certain days, then DON’T.
I genuinely look forward to the next election to see if a viable alternative to the present government exists, but my vote will hinge solely on workplace relations.
Please, stick to a single policy issue – what will decide your vote?