||Issue No. 242||15 October 2004|
Interview: The Last Bastian
Unions: High and Dry
Security: Liquid Borders
Industrial: No Bully For You
History: Radical Brisbane
International: No Vacancies
Economics: Life After Capitalism
Technology: Cyber Winners
Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Locker Room
Invest in Dignity Part III
You Need Help
Whose Party Is It Anyway?
Letters to the Editor
You Need Help
Yet again I suspect the right of the ALP has lead the party away from any real challenge to the ruling ideology, and left the public no other choice but to return a party they see as doing reasonably well.
The ALP has to understand that they are not losing the war of catchy slogans, or presenting well, or PR statements. You won most of these things in the election campaign, yet you have been trounced yet again.
You are losing the battle of ideology, you have lost the battle for the minds of people in this country, whilst all the while you are exerting most of your energy on trivial PR exercises. "Ease the squeeze" means nothing, it is useless to the person sitting at work debating who to vote for, even if they want to talk about Labor, you are giving them nothing to work with but a slogan that is more annoying than it is catchy or memorable. You need short succinct intelligent ideological statements, easily rememberable and encapsulating a philosophical proposition that differentiates you from your opponent. "Opportunity for all" is reasonable, but again too airy-fairy in itself, at least tack "Australians" on to the end so people can identify personally with it. Ideas should be grounded to things tangible "Keeping interest rates low", that is the sort of thing I am talking about.
Obviously you(i) would need more time to work on a better slogan but something like "Bringing the Australian Community Together" or even something simple like "No More Lies" which shows yourself as having integrity and gives people a simple message to work with around the water cooler and in the ballet box, that doesn't require the deeper intellectual understanding of facts and figures that
"Opportunity for all" does, but has some use beyond a catch phrase unlike
"Ease the Squeeze".
Election campaigns should be used for bringing out spending commitments, not for releasing untested policies that you have no chance of mitigating should they prove unpopular or have negative reactions a week or two before the election. Test your ideas in the marketplace before you commit to the final forms they will take.
As for your positive campaigns, you don't decide on your tactics based on wishful thinking. Yes we would all like to live in a world where people were positive, but the fact is that none of us are all the time, so trying to run a campaign that way is unlikely to succeed. Read the book "Going Negative" about stuides into US politics, it will show you how to be negative in an effective manner, so you can use as little as possible of it and also maintain a positive image to the smaller portions of the public which vote for that sort of thing. Not to have read this book is to court ignorance for a political leader.
OK, noone will probably read this so I will stop, but I will end by saying that you should spend some more time crunching the numbers about what is going on in our society, rather than following opinion polls. Lead debate instead of following it. Things aren't all rosy and wonderful, there are some deeply troubling trends, perhaps instead of Medicare Gold you could have pointed out to the elderley the 50% increase in most violent crime since this government that rambles on about making Australia safer came to power. Ratifying Kyoto would have given you the green vote (which you pretty much had anyway) in itself, you didn't need to waste energy any further during a campaign, increasing the MRET is much less politically sensitive than saving our beautiful trees, yet it would still hit home with
Help the Australian people to understand what is really going on in this country is the only way you will have a chance in the next election. You are too far behind to do it on your own, you need educated people out there in the Australian community helping you.
And lets face it you will have to do this yourself because the Murdoch and
Packer owned media sure isn't going to do it for you.
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