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Names, games and politics

18/08/2010

Okay. I am not a political pundit in that I have not sat down and read treaties and histories or did 4 years of study in a library somewhere. But since politics is the science of being human, I think I have something to say to that.

In Australia, we are currently going through a federal election. The name calling had started well before and the games! Mygod! Who would have thought to see the removal of not one leader but two.

Or have we?

See I had a little thought. And I looked at what has being happening in govt since I first eligible to vote. And what I find is… stability. Hmmm how odd. You would expect when a country shifts alignment from right to left or left to right or left and right to middle you would see some wholescale changes.

Yet I dont see people goosestepping in the streets or having large Stalin like parades. We go from one to the other and Australia barely skips a beat.

And here is why!

I sincerely believe with all my heart that every single politician is striving to make Australia great. Sure they may have opposing views on getting there, but the goal is the same.

And to to this, the country needs reforms at times. But politics also requires to be against these reforms even if you want to see them implemented with all you heart.

When Paul Keating floated the dollar, this was seen as some great reform. But in effect, it had been raised in pariliment on both sides for years. And when the Hawke govt swept into power in 1983, they labor had the numbers to implement the policy and so did. But they would have implemented the same policy WITHOUT the numbers too because both major parties wanted it badly.

When Keating later suggested GST as an option, the tide of thinking turned and he had to shelf the idea. And when Howard came into power, he implemented it because his party had the numbers etc. Again, it would have been passed regardless, but the audience: us; need to see lines in the sand.

For example lets take the phrase WORK CHOICES. When people see that term, the immediate association is JOHN HOWARD. Just shows you how stupid people can be, because all WORK CHOICES is is industrial reform. Thats all. Nothing new there at all especially after the Hawke/Keating industrial reforms.

But here comes the game. And it is all in a name.

Hawke/Keating offered reform and called it ‘THE ACCORD’. What a lovely name! And so inspiring. See it means hey employer, we understand you concerns re productivity and we will take it to the workers and get it for you. If they reject it then we will come back and renogiate because guys! We need you to understand we have an ACCORD. And when talking to the workers they would say yes we understand your concerns re pay and conditions and we will take them to the employer and fight for you and if it fails do not worry because between me and you we have an ACCORD.

Brilliant really!  And it worked. Now when John Howard won office, he renamed the brand. He couldnt call it ACCORD 2 because the credit would go to the labor party! So it needed rebranding. Viola! WORK CHOICES was born.

They say a rose is a rose no matter what its name. And industrial reform is industrial reform also regardless of name. BUT a brand name is something different!

When I see the term WORK CHOICES as a worker I can interpret that as either I have more choices at work OR I have to work and have no choice about it. The fact the business were happy with these modifications only played into the hands of the opposition who played on their strong link to workers even though it was them that had created the industrial reform in the first place.

Another brilliant branding was the term GST. Prior to this the US had sales tax and the UK had Value Added Tax or VAT. Both terms stink really. Sales tax reminds the purchaser that when they reach into their wallet, they are going to be taxed. VAT is a misnomer in that the purchaser has to ask why do they have to pay a tax for any added value to a product?

The term GST though is a master stroke. Goods AND Services Tax. Now you the purchaser will still be charged tax when you shop BUT you  yourself will also receive addition monies when you provide a service to someone else! Not a win win but more like same same.

And it was all in a name.

(okay have to do stuff. will come back to finish later)

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