Month: May 2014

Campaigning in a Land Down Under

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men at work

I love Australia, and I have enjoyed New Zealand on two separate election-related visits.

I also (being a child of the 80s) love Men At Work (and 90% of Australian 80s rock, a truly golden age of Aussie music).

Understanding local culture is an essential foundation for anyone who wants to understand politics. Here are the words to the unofficial Australian anthem, because everyone should know it (courtesy of http://www.songlyrics.com/men-at-work/land-downunder-lyrics/)

Travelling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast

And she said, “Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover”

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, “Do you speak a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

And he said, “I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover”
(Yeah)

Dying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and nothin’ much to say
I said to the man, “Are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?”

And he said, “Oh, you come from a land down under?
(Oh, yeah, yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Ooh)
You better run, you better take cover”

We are livin’ in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
(Yeah)
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Thunder)
You better run, you better take cover

Livin’ in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Ooh yeah)
Then I run and then I take cover
(Yeah)

We are livin’ in a land down under
(Under)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Ooh da da laa yeah)
Then I run, then I take cover

We are livin’ in a land down under
(Under)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Ooh da da laa yeah)
Then I run, then I take cover

We are livin’ in a land down under
(Under)
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
(Ooh da da laa yeah)
Then I run, then I take cover

men-at-work-down-under-epic-3

And here’s a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfR9iY5y94s

OK, here are the words to the official Australian anthem (including the much-ignored but absolutely vital second verse)

Verse 1

Australians all let us rejoice,

For we are young and free;

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;

Our home is girt by sea;

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

Of beauty rich and rare;

In history’s page, let every stage

Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

Verse 2

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross

We’ll toil with hearts and hands;

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands;

For those who’ve come across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share;  <<I’m surprised this line hasn’t been deleted by our current Prime Minister http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/nat_anthem.html>>

With courage let us all combine

To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

 

The words to Waltzing Matilda (another unofficial Australian national anthem) probably needs a few hours of explanation for unsuspecting tourists, but here it is anyway …

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong.
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred.
Down came the troopers, one, two, and three.
“Whose[N 1] is that [N 2] jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
“Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong.
“You’ll never take me alive!” said he
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Short explanation for non-Australians: this song is about a homeless guy who steals jumbuck (sheep), presumably for tucker (i.e. food), and then drowns himself in a billabong (creek). More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_matilda

I should find the words to the New Zealand national anthem as well… For the time being I’m happy to sing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0pWejAnLUQ

Why Blog about election campaigning?

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voters-at-polling-booth-data

Why am I (and a few others) blogging about campaigning in Australia and New Zealand?

Lots of reasons! A few years ago (back in 2008) a started a thesis and explained: ‘A quick review of recent Australian research on political campaign techniques, as well as popular literature, reveals no published political campaigning texts or ‘manuals’. There are numerous papers and books on different aspects of campaigning, such as books on media advice and numerous political biographies, as well as accounts of recent election campaigns, but no authoritative texts or manuals that look at Australian political campaigning as a whole, detailing all the aspects of campaigning from the foundations (like strategy, message and finance) to the work that goes on in the trenches as candidates and their teams fight for each individual vote. The two closest texts that can be used as examples of public “campaign handbooks” in Australia are Mills’ ‘The new machine men: polls and persuasion in Australian politics’ and Stockwell’s ‘Political Campaign Strategy – Doing Democracy in the 21st Century’. This apparent disparity in publicly available instructional literature, in comparison to the United States could be due to a number of reasons including differences in historical, political and cultural norms, voting systems, the relative sizes of the political institutions and professional class, as well as financial regulations and wealth.’
The purpose of that thesis (which I haven’t completed as of 2014!:) was to produce scholarly research on campaigning techniques in modern Australian politics. Since I started it (back in 2008) a lot has been written about campaigning techniques in modern Australian politics by MANY other people, including favourites such as Stephen Mills, Peter Brent, Nick Economou, Brian Costar, Sally Young, Mike Smith, John Hart, Ian McAlister, John Warhurst, Wayne Errington, Peter van Onselen  and Jennifer Rayner, just to name a few!

One of the reasons for this blog is the same as that original attempt at a thesis. To create a repository of collected thoughts, experiences and references for my own information and to share with like-minded individuals. Someone also pointed out to me recently (and I suspect it to be true) that more people will eventually read the blog than ever read the thesis anyway! Also this blog will prove one of the universal truths about campaigning, recently paraphrased by our PM: “No single person is the suppository of all wisdom”.

This blog also will (over several years probably 🙂

1. Share lots of stories, jokes and interesting info about campaigning in Australia and New Zealand

2. Question some myths about US-style campaigning in Australia. Australian campaigning news still dominated by US-based media (I’m just as guilty as the next political geek of over-sharing news about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton)

3. Smash some misinformation shared in the MSM about campaigning in Australia (mostly by sharing wisdom and sage analysis from some of the writers listed above and others).

4. try and bridge the chasm that often separates political scientists and political practitioners, mainly by sharing some of the political wisdom and analysis that is regularly done within academia but doesn’t get much coverage outside of academia.

5. Help me keep numerous links , clippings and references to lots of existing, interesting blogs and media articles that deserve to be congregated in one place for easy future reference. Again, this may take years so please be patient if you read this within the next six months and wonder wtf?! 🙂

6. Share my recently discovered joys and benefits of blogging!