Getting the message out (Gavin McAuliffe)
In reference to Margo's comments about influencing people to stand as independents, I think a better way is to get a party of integrity into government. This is my suggestion:
Plan of action to make the Greens our next Government.
1. Every electorate is carved up into lots of a few streets.
2. Every lot is allocated to a group of supporters who are charged with the responsibility of their lot.
3. Every household is contacted 7 times prior to the election by the group responsible for the lot, in a systematic, planned and organised manner. (Because studies show that an average person needs to see something 7 times before they notice it properly.)
4. The key aim of each contact is to be a personal visit with literature distribution and explanations of key policy areas. The result of each contact is recorded for statistical purposes. A personal contact will not result in every case so letterbox literature will be left. Either way, people will also talk amongst themselves thus helping to spread the word. The reason for using groups rather than individuals is that it is more successful in maintaining good spirits in the face of adversity due to mutual motivation and support. (I have done it both ways and I know which one I prefer by a country kilometer.)
5. The number of households per group is kept to a manageable level so that they have plenty of time to discuss, befriend, explain and pursuade.
6. As usual, 6pm to 8pm is the best time to catch people home, and that is what we want. High School and University Students make the best canvassers. Candidates should seek to visit all High Schools and Universities in their electorates with the aim of addressing the students. This could be in conjunction with a Political Science or Government Studies type Curriculum activity, or a simple lunch time hustings style rally (properly arranged with appropriate permissions etc) at which, of course, the need for volunteers will be subtly introduced, and volunteers recruited on the spot. Perhaps a Club culture such as 'Young Greens' could be cultivated to create a focal point. 7. All the resources required for the mobilisation of every group must be accurately determined and supplied. In the case of the literature, ample supplies must be readily available on demand. The decision as to what will be promulgated will be made by Campaign Head Quarters to ensure consistency. Keeping it simple clear and to the point. Hand held PCs, Palm tops or similar cool gadgets (eg electronic organizer) could be a valuable incentive if economically feasible. Tight reporting requirements via the internet would ensure the program is kept on track. With today's technology, availability of literature could be via a down load leaving it up to the groups to organise copies through there own resources. This needs to be evaluated though, as it may be more expensive than centralised printing and distribution.
8. Our principles and our concerns for the welfare of people, the planet and all living things are clearly our strong points, in addition to our freedom from the influence of powerful vested interests, which are always in conflict with the best interests of ordinary people. These are the very values held by the ordinary general public as being absent from the main political parties, but the fact that we are different needs to be articulated to the general public, who have been so brainwashed by the right wing media that they (the general public) are convinced we are some fringe group of tree hugging dope smoking hippies, getting in the way of progress and profit and creating unemployment, trying to ruin the economy and the country at every opportunity.
9. If even a small proportion of the greens-media releases found there way into the media, the public impression of us would have to be positive. Unfortunately that is not the case so we have to circumvent the media and get our message to the people directly.
What do others think?