Tag Archives: Politics

Proposition 8: When asked to do the improbable, some achieve the seemingly impossible

2008 – California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage
Yes – 5,376,424 (52%)
No – 4,870,010 (48%)

2000 – California Proposition 22:Ban on recognition of same sex marriages

Yes – 61.4%
No – 38.6%

That’s a near 10% swing in 8 years against one of the largest coordinated campaigns by out of state influences.  California voted for 61 percent in favour of a ban on gay marriage which, when over turned by the courts, created the freedom to marry.

Support for Proposition 8 was down 10% from Proposition 22. The defending team conceded a 10% swing despite the massive resource push into the fight.  They gained no ground on what they had in 2000, they lost substantial ground from where they stood, and they had to fight like mad to hold onto a slender majority.

Given the seemingly impossible challenge of 12.4% swing required to stave off this attack on individual rights, the electorate mustered up a near 10% swing, (which in political marketing terms is this side of a miracle when dealing with an issue with such a well resourced opposition)

Now the margin is 2.1% for a 50.1% majority vote to support same sex marriage.

The battle was lost today in 2008.  The battle for tomorrow is a 2.1% margin from the campaign teams that have a 10% margin gain under their belts already. That future is winnable, because despite the massive resources the various opponents of same sex marriage brought to their fight, they still bleed massive numbers of supports, and a huge slice of the electorate.  Their time is running out, and they just saw their A-game only narrowly scratch out a win

For same sex marriage supports, it’s only a 2.1% margin left to convert.  For the opponents, given they can’t defend a 12% lead?  They’re running out of options, time and support base.

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Prediction for the The 2008 October Surprise

Here’s my prediction for the 2008 October Surprise.  First, the lead up.

Sarah Palin’s speech where she mentions her eldest son, Track.

Play by Play Timeline

15 seconds into the clip: Date check September 11, 2007, Track enlists.

48 seconds into the clip: Date check September 11, 2008, Track’s unit goes to Iraq.

In the time elapsed between Track’s unit going to Iraq, and the US election, there is a 54 day window of opportunity for the Republican presumptive Vice Presidential Nominee’s son to be killed, wounded or maimed in action in “the service of his country”.

I’m calling it here and now: Track Palin will be the October surprise to rally the “patriot” vote as he is killed or wounded in action in Iraq.  It would be exceptionally easy to arrange for it to happen through something as basic as a calculated troop movement of his squad into a known red zone, or just planting an IED somewhere “hostile” that he’s sent to patrol.  It’s a big war, and there’s plenty of ways to do this easily if you’ve got the motive, money, and no regard for human life.

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Disengagement in the New Media

Foyer of the w:en:Australian Parliament

Image via Wikipedia

I spent the morning at a seminar on politics and technology where noticable by the absence was the technology, and present by the ministerial load was the politics.

Three observations of the session

1. Senator Joe Hockey plays a character in Parliament.  Given he registered his own namespace domain name in 1996, he’s got geek blood.  He showed his colours for a few seconds, remembered that journalists and political types were present, and reverted to his party endorsed yobbo bloke persona.

2. Senator Kate Lundy is awesome.  She had five minutes and said more useful stuff in that time than most people did for half hour speeches.  Still, if you have someone who has to leave 20 minutes after the start of the session – give them the first question, not the second one.  Poor form moderator, poor form.

3. The event was so horribly managed it was frustrating. I walked out of the last session frustrated at the inept management – if you’re going to do a panel of Web2.0 and political campaigns, and open the floor to discussion, you might want to let the audience engage in the debate.  Moreover, if this was a showcase event of politics and technology, bring the wireless networks and have the technology.

This panel concept was an old media dinosaur town hall smashed into 55 minute windows with brief intermissions for commercials.  Two five person panels sitting around talking about politics and technology should have been a full day session.  Hell, the first guest could have used 90 minutes easily.

All up, I’m probably not going to attend future sessions of this nature if I have deadlines, due dates or a better offer from a SPSS analysis output (unless Senator Lundy is speaking for longer on technology. Then I’m there)

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Political Marketing, Kevin07 and the media

ANU Sign

A short time ago, in an electorate quite nearby, there was an election. A small matter, and one which Andrew Hughes and I spent a good deal of time watching, analysing and trying to write up to meet a series of deadlines around the same time as the vote was on. The end results of the first paper we wrote (Howard’s leading) rewrote (Howard’s losing) rewrote again (Howard’s lost) and finally rewrote (Kevin07 FTW) once the dust had settled, and the analysis was finally possible.

The paper came out in the Monash Business Review at the end of April (academic version is under embargo until October). We put out a press releases to discuss the finds, and let’s just say, it’s was a good day to be an academic. Andrew was fielding the media calls whilst I stood around in class, and I think he clocked up half a dozen radio interviews across the country.

For posterity (and bragging rights) The Hughes and Dann political marketing machine media coverage on the Lessons of Kevin O7:

It’s good to be doing work on local issues, topical content and ideas that suit the Australian Political Marketing spectrum rather than just focusing on writing for the esoteric internationally focused Tier 1 journals. It’s even better when the media picks up the story and runs with it.

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2008 Federal Budget Speech

Second analysis of the budget using tag clouds, after key phrases have been coded so that “1.8 per cent per year per child per family” style phrases didn’t make ‘per’ the most common word.


created at TagCrowd.com

The main story out of round 2 of the analysis is simply that government talks about itself a lot, and for a proclaimed long term focused budget, there’s a whole array of four to five year statements in the mix of policy and promise implementation. It’s amusing to see a Labor Party budget say “Five year” quite so frequently – Marxian or Freudian slip?