Elections and volunteering

The pamphets and leaflets have started to appear, handed out or mailboxed by volunteers. Some people have even taken leave from their full-time employment to do volunteer electioneering for their party. I don’t belong to any political party, although it’s no secret that my sympathies are largely Green, but I’m tempted to get actively involved this year anyway.

a graphic for GetUp!'s GetTogether local action coordination meetings showing a diverse group of people around a table with computer screens on it and a graphic of a map of Australia in the background

GetTogethers are happening around the country this Thursday July 22nd

At least electioneering of some sort will get me out and about, and most parties will accept volunteers from people who aren’t actually members if I wanted to choose that route, but what I’m particularly interested in is GetUp!’s call for volunteer activists to be part of GetTogethers aiming to coordinate local action within their electorates, focussing on 3 main issues for the 2010 Federal election:

  • turning around rising carbon pollution;
  • fixing our broken mental health system;
  • demanding a more compassionate approach to asylum seekers

That’s certainly 3 points that progressives can get behind, and I’m willing to look further into what they plan to do to keep those issues front and centre this election. It’s also important to me that, as one who regularly complains about the primacy of personality over policy in election campaigns, GetUp! aims to look beyond the personality posturing and keep the policy promises closely scrutinised.

Of course, I may end up going to my local GetTogether and finding that I can’t stand the personalities of the people there :)

Addendum: I meant to add this blockquote from the e-newsletter I just received, about how even those in safe rather than marginal seats can still make a crucial difference by campaigning for progressives in the Senate.

Whether we live in the safest electorate or the tightest marginal seat, every one of us can make a difference in the next 5 weeks. It begins by taking part in your local ‘Election Action GetTogether’.

Here are 3 reasons why you can make a difference if you turn up and decide to stay involved:
1 – we will help you contact local papers, radio and television to generate media attention for your actions;
2 – even if your local electorate isn’t likely to change this year, every Senate race in the country is up for grabs so your area could impact the crucial Senate balance of power; and most importantly
3 – if they’re going to represent us, every politician needs to know that we’re here to hold them accountable.



Categories: environment, parties and factions, social justice

Tags: , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. I won’t be convinced until I see GetUp!’s attack ad on Tony Abbott. I’m pretty sure that they will have one, but I was wondering last night if the $100 000 they needed to get the Julia ad on TV came from Liberal party supporters. I’m not suggesting that GetUp! are biased, but that that ad takes aim at Julia and anyone could have given them $100 000 to put the ad to air and it plays nicely into the hands of the Liberal party.

  2. Fair enough, although an ad attacking the Opposition before the election was called would have been wasted dollars IMO.
    They’re also a little dependent on what independent filmmakers offer up to them as cheap and cheerful but professional-ish, too. I’m almost certain that they didn’t so much commission that ad as accept an offer from somebody who already had a concept in mind, and who thought that getting GetUp! to get behind it would get it more attention than them doing it on their own – something that ended up as a co-production rather than being commissioned directly.

  3. an ad attacking the Opposition before the election was called would have been wasted dollars

    Absolutely. My concern is though that if they don’t do a TA one, it looks like they are supporting him (IMO), which I don’t think is their intention.

  4. After their epic fail with the “no Internet Filter” campaign, where they collected some serious money and produced an ineffective advertisment, I lost confidence in GetUp.
    The “filter” is now difficult to find on their site and I am finding it difficult to become interested in their local meetings.

  5. The most effective volunteering action you can do is to hand out “how to vote” cards for your preferred party or candidate on election day.
    Having even just one person on a booth directly affects the result on that booth positively and markedly.
    It really is the pointy end of the election. Please consider it if you can.

  6. Sam, good point. One of the reasons I’m interested by what GetUp! is doing is because it gives a framework for deciding which one of one’s local candidates is worth volunteering some time for on polling day.
    In the end, two things meant that I didn’t go to my local meeting: the two nearest ones were fully booked when I checked them out online, and three out of four family members (me for one) had a bout of gastric irritation last night.

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