Flood Control

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ads That Fail To Grab

I live in Australia. Hi.

Here in Australia, there's a complicated set of laws going in that are intended to achieve 'workplace reform'. Nevermind that the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in years.

I'm not entirely sure what the changes entail, however - there's certainly a whiff of making it easier to fire people, and you would think, considering this current government is very, very good at fulfilling middle class aspirations, that the ability to organise more flexible working hours would be on the cards. The only thing I can really go on is the advertising.

It's been interesting enough, though: one the one hand, the mega-union, the ACTU, has been running pure propaganda with very little factual basis and more than enough emotional manipulation. The government's finally mobilising its warchest and making its own ads, telling us that various conditions are 'protected by law'.

I've really got only one problem with that - the way workplace conditions are handled here is every industry negotiates to determine an 'award', a standard set of conditions that everyone has to follow. The whole point of having an independent commission doing this stuff is so you don't have to mobilise the governmental machine when it turns out that, say, 10 public holidays off a year isn't good enough. (Example from thin air, mind.) Protecting parts of those conditions under law means that to change them, you've got to mobilise the parlimentary machine. This seems like a bad idea.

Anyway, just a thought. I'm not entirely happy with the debate, because I haven't seen much meat on it, but I figure in the end nothing much will change. I'm a bit of a cynic like that.

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