In politics the underlying factor that dictates success of a candidate does not rely on the issues he/she plans to address but also on the candidate himself. In my search for a candidate I was determined to get one who has got the electorates interests at heart and not one venturing into politics for personal gains, in search of power or for self actualization. Among the candidates that I had sampled Mr. Wan proved to be the only candidate that met the above conditions and thus my ideal candidate.
Brief history of Mr. Wan
Mr. Wan is not a new kid in the field of politics. In 2000, he successfully contested through the unity party that leapfrogged him to the post of Deputy Mayor of Burwood city council, a position he earned due to his ability to strike a good rapport with fellow councilors. Moreover being a legal practitioner he was in a better position to articulate council issues and a wealth of experience to build on since he has been in the legal profession for the better part of his life. At 65 this year, Wan will be attempting to retain the same seat on the Labor Party, a strategic shift from his former affiliation-Unity party.
Brief introduction of AU political system.
This years election will practically be one of the highly competitive elections in the Australian election history and Burwood city in particular since there are so many candidates that have shown interests in the same slot and are out selling their policies to the electorate with a view of convincing them to support them so as to emerge as winners come the D-day. (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008). Bearing this in mind I would want to portray Mr. Wan as an experienced candidate who understands his work well considering the fact that he had served in the same position in the last council. To achieve this I would want to capitalize on the power of incumbency and pass the message that Wan is not basically contesting on the platform of what he intends to do but also to improve on what he has been doing. I would also want to beat the bandwagon by talking issues and not just politicking since this will basically be one of the major points of differentiation between Wans candidature and his competitors.
Among the issues that Wans campaigns team will be tackling would include :Provision of better services for the entire Burwood city and community, this would be done through getting to know the cities requirements through holding in depth discussions with residents and also build a multi-cultural city that is accommodative to all. In his last term at the council Wan did prove to have much concern for the Chinese community that has been feeling marginalized for long. In order to win their votes I would recommend that his messages should stress on maintaining the status quo for the Chinese voters.
Due to the strained relation between the federal governments and the local government (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008), I would like to magnify on Wans policy of improving the relation between the two bodies. This would be done through highlighting how the local residents stand to gain when the two institutions work together harmoniously.
In Australia the campaign development stages (Elections, 2002) start with the preliminary stage where candidates focus on announcing their candidature. Thereafter the Nomination stage will basically involve setting the plan of action on how to out do fellow contestants for the partys nomination. This will be more of a party affair and Mr. Wan would have to position himself as the best bet for the party capable of beating other candidates from the other parties like his former Unity party. This could be achieved through his sound development record and plans for the city outlined above.
In politics money plays a major role in that a candidate will need to produce campaign literature, communicate to the electorate and also run his/her campaign secretariat of all which require funds. This justifies the attack stage of which I would propose that Wan adapt a more aggressive method of mobilizing funds. He could do this by initiating a campaign kitty and requesting his supporters to contribute to it, through subscribing in the web or other means that they would deem fit for them. This would enable him compete effectively because he would be capable of meeting his political budget and even have an edge over his competitors.
In all political contests, one should always have more than two plans of action, this is essential because if the first plan fails then there is an option. This calls for regrouping where Wans campaign team would have to evaluate the progress so far and initiate measures to ensure continuity if the system is running well or do an overhaul if he is likely to fail. In Australia, regrouping is basically the second last stage that precedes the final election process where the electorates go out to vote for their preferred candidates on the one man one vote method.
In Australias political system, power is distributed between a national government which is also referred to as common wealth and the six states. The queen heads the state and she is represented by the Governor-General, who is advised by the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (Wales, 2008). The party with the most number of representatives in the lower house forms the government and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister. On the other hand, the upper house is formed by two senators from each of the 12 senates and their major function is review. The major parties are the Labor Party, Liberal Party and National Party. (Wales, 2008).
Before the general elections, Governor dissolves the assembly and issues a writ (official document authorizing a general election) that indicates the polling day, the close of the electoral roll and nominations of the candidates. (Elections, 2002). Each states electoral office is mandated to provide electoral information to its members. For one to be able to vote, they must have filled out an electoral form that will validate their eligibility to vote. The enrolment closes within 7 to 10 days after the issuance of the writ. (Elections, 2002).
Voting day is usually on a Saturday between 8am and 6pm where the electorates cast their votes in secret. At the end of the casting, the voters eligibility has to be checked before ballot papers are taken through the counting process. (Elections, 2002).The electoral results are announced to the people through media or the internet but the final results take several weeks because the legislative council ballot papers are usually complex in counting. On completion of all district results, the electoral commissioner has to take back the writs to the Governor at the Government House. (Elections, 2002).
The NSW Local Government has over 1500 councilors in 152 councils. NSW provides various services to the city ranging from waste management, economic and community development, environmental protection, town planning among other services. (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008). However, the councilors are the ones who will ensure efficiency in the provision of these services. Therefore the local elections take place after the state election. They are usually held every four years on the second Saturday of September unless a ministerial order or legislative amendment orders otherwise. (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008).
Nomination proposals are submitted either by a proposal by two eligible proposers enrolled for the same ward or a proposal by a registered political partys registered officer. (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008). Nominees then fill out forms and pay a $125 election deposit after which they complete and sign a consent form. To be eligible to register as a party, a local government party needs to have at least 100 members. The mayor is elected either by a vote of the councilors or a popular vote by the community. The results are usually published on the NSWEC website and the local newspaper after the returning officer has been given approval by the Electoral Commissioner. (NSW Department of Local Government, 2008).
This years campaign as already stated will be more issue based than never experienced before in Australia. For this reason the major issue that I would like to adapt for my client Wan basically would revolve around effective and efficient service provision by the council to the city residents. The other major campaign issue would be on how to reduce environmental pollution as well as being a conduit between the federal government and the local government. In addition the candidate will also have to stress on the issue of improving the business environment in Burwood to boost investor confidence and thus employment opportunities.
Goals and objectives.
1) To win the forth coming elections fair and square
2) To be the best candidate among the others.
3) To gain popularity across the city.
4) To woo as many supporters as possible to our side
5) To sell our policies aggressively to the electorate.
. This would be made possible through the use of the following strategies and tactics:
To be the best candidate I would propose that my client Wan adopts a unique campaign slogan that would be appealing to the wider city residents and also covering their concerns as well as the campaign issues. Such as A vote for Wan means a cleaner and safer city.
To gain more popularity and woo as many supporters as possible we would need to refocus our communication channel to the voters. This would be done by adopting diverse channels of communication and ensure that at least each and every one gets to know about Wans policies. The campaign team will basically use specially and attractively designed posters and banners for the outdoor advertisement passing the message that Wan is the ideal candidate that will ensure that the city grows, this will be reinforced by the message that all he needs to accomplish his objectives in serving in the council is just another term to complete the projects he had initiated bearing his development record in mind.
For the door to door campaigns flyers would be used to communicate the candidates policies since they are small and easy to carry around. To instill professionalism the door to door campaigners would be trained on ethics and good etiquette to ensure that they discharge their duties effectively. For instance the door to door campaigners would not be allowed to visit a house past 7:30 in the night or interfere with anyones private life.
For publicity and social responsibility purposes my candidate would be involved in a number of projects within the city that would include visiting and donating to childrens homes as well as assisting the needy in the society, this will basically pass the information that the candidate is as well concerned about his community and always ready to help where need be.
In positioning himself as a unique candidate who is serious in clinching the seat I would also propose that the candidate adopt a more personalized mode of communication to the target voters where a data base of the supporters phone numbers would be entered and any new development would be sent directly to their phones thus having the privilege of being the first ones to know. The disadvantage of this method would be the cost but with proper planning it can be used in the civic elections. Apart from holding public rallies the candidate would also hold seminars to teach people on how to vote effectively to and to enlighten them on their democratic right of voting and how it impacts on them.
The election process in any state always has to be preceded by a campaign. This is because it is through the campaign that the candidates can be able to outline their policies heightening their popularity and to get the chance to woo the electorates into voting for them as the best candidate.
As a result therefore, the campaign strategy must be clearly outlined. The strategy has to cover a clearly defined campaign issue as well as the goals and objectives of the campaign process linking it to the five stages that need to be implemented for the campaign development. Furthermore the stakeholders need to be identified bearing in mind the election process. In addition, the tactic that is to be used in implementing the campaign strategy should be identified and clearly outlined. All these will enable a smooth running campaign because when the campaign is successful chances of victory are also raised a notch higher.