The result of the federal election was undoubtedly a surprise to many and certainly highlighted the inability of opinion polls to accurately predict outcomes.
Whether this is a fundamental problem with their methodology or with the assumptions the survey companies make about key issues is now a contested area.
Democracy is indeed a strange beast and predicting the issues of greatest priority to voters is clearly a precarious pastime.
Whatever the issues playing most on the minds of the electorate were, they do not seem to have included education or industrial relations.
We are conscious that voting decisions are seldom made on the basis of a single policy but as a trade union and an education trade union we set out before the election to highlight the policy positions of the major parties on education and workplace rights.
In our view our members would be best served in these areas by an ALP government, but that was not to be.
Following so close on the NSW election the federal result should not have been a surprise because voters in this state returned a government resolute on dropping the current 2.5% wages cap to 2%.
The NSW electorate, including those dependent on public sector wage increases, voted to decrease the capacity for their own wages growth. In regard to their income they voted against self interest.
In Canberra, the return of a coalition means that government schools will remain underfunded and continue to fall well short of the agreed schools resourcing standard.