Today, Federal Labor Opposition Leader Kim Beazley claimed it was because of John Howard's IR Laws, which are designed to lower wages in Australia.
But was it? There was little in the media about Federal issues, although John Howard's entry into the campaign was tarnished by some political bad news: interest rates up; more superannuation for federal politicians. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the major media stories about the election centred on:
1) (Labor) Government problems with:
- electricity supply
- hospitals, especially the quality of care & doctor competence, including the "Dr Death" scandal
- water shortages, especially in SE Qld
- accident prone ministers (incompetent?)
- who would lead the coalition
- a new Liberal leader chosen JUST before the election
- poor voter identification of leaders
- ineffective leadership and communication with voters
It's true that there will be people in Qld who registered a "protest vote" about IR Laws, because they are an ongoing source of discontent, especially in light of Federal Politicians "collective bargaining" for more superannuation! However, I believe such a vote would have been small, because there was no mention of it in the media during the campaign! (at least not in NSW media)
The test of Mr Beazley's statement will be at the next Federal Election, due before the end of 2007. He has much work to do before then to convince the "ordinary Australians" and the "aspirational Australians" that they should vote Labor.