Days 32 & 33

I started out this campaign trying to give a quick daily rundown of the sorts of things I did, but it soon proved too difficult to provide something that mentioned an issue or two of substance, rather than just give an itinerary (which people can see daily on the homepage of my website anyway). My final two days of last week provides an example of what campaigning can involve. 
Thursday started with a visit to a childcare centre in New Farm with Natasha Stott Despoja to talk about maternity leave, followed by a visit to the Federal Court building in town to hear some of the arguments being put in court by the government in their appeal on the matter of Dr Haneef’s visa. I then visited a youth program in Redcliffe on the northern outskirts of Brisbane, and drove up to Montville – a picturesque town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland – for a meet the candidates meeting. The day concluded back in Brisbane with a meeting talking about health policy. There were some media interviews in amongst all that too.

Friday involved an early flight to Rockhampton, where I met with a local Aboriginal elder about progress on the stolen wages issue, also doing some media on that and other Indigenous issues. I then spoke at a higer education forum out at the university campus, before flying to the Gold Coast to speak at Bond University at a forum of community housing providers. From there I went back into Brisbane to particpate in a launch of Julian Burnside’s new book “Watching Brief: reflections on human rights, law and justice.” This launch was very well attended, which meant a lot of chances to chat with people afterwards – although chatting when you’re exhausted and also know you have lots of other work to catch up on can be harder than it sounds.

Julian Burnside was kind enough to also speak at a gathering the following morning, which was aimed at marking one week to go to polling day and encouraging people to make that final effort to get the message out to the public – especially about the Senate contest, which is still being mostly ignored by the media, even though it is much more unpredictable than the contest for government.
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  1. What has been your campaign strategy? Shore up existing support and hope to stop leakage to greens? Is there one articulated?

    I am much struck by your diary that there seems almost no opportunity or stratgey to attract new votes – much as otehr diary entries hav ebeen during the capaign. Busy and committed as you obviously are.

    Boring as it must be to the cognoscenti some time with the masses is the only way to expand the pie

  2. what on earth makes you think I haven’t been with the ‘masses’, Ken? I would have spoken to thousands of people in the last few weeks.

    my strategy of course is top secret, that’s why I put it all on the web :-)

    But basically we have a voter base we lost at the last election which we ned to regather

  3. Yes , I’m sure you have, but thousands of who? My guess was basically right, and thats a fair enough strategy, but that pond is small and too crowded now.

    Not many shopping centres in that lot on day 32 and 33.

    Me I would have gone with a braoder xpansionasry stratgey, not going down the soft policy stuff line, but more the indeopendent curb the excessess of the big parties line. Trying to appealt to those who wouldn’t even know who JB is let alone attend a book launch.

    However, it perhasp a bit unkind to be talking in the past tense, good luck.

  4. No, not many shopping centres on those two days. Have done some on other days, although it hasn’t involved anything I’ve felt was overly blog-worthy. Given the sub-contest/context I’m engaged in, the feeling I’ve had is that winning over support from the somewhat engaged has more chance of bearing fruit than trying to persuade the not really engaged. Getting the ‘curb the excesses’ message into mind of such people is hard if I get one fleeting shot at it in a supermarket – if I’d had a big advertising campaign or even a moderate amount of media coverage to be able to reinforce the message there might be a better chance. Although, having said that, some of the spontaneous feedback I’ve had when doing the wandering the streets and malls stuff has been better than I’d expected. Always hard to know what it will all translate to as far as votes go though.

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