Dissecting Elections

With a state, federal and global election looming (well, at least the US thinks it’s global) I’m enjoying watching the subtleties of each campaign. Having studied media and communication, it’s fascinating to watch the social and psychological games being played out before us (and on us).
In the Australian federal campaign, John Howard has started turning his right shoulder to the TV camera during interviews (to seem cuddlier) and wearing striped ties (to suggest decisive activity). He’s stopped turning his palm upwards (to seem more decisive and forceful). He doesn’t seem comfortable with it, but he’ll get the hang of it after 6 weeks of electioneering.
Mark Latham is going for a more organic approach – which has him constantly checking his language and behaviour – he’s not, deep down, a particularly politically correct guy. And if there was ever a time for political correctness, it’s now, buddy. Interesting to see what happens when he cracks under the pressure of leading a double life in week four.
As for the issues? The Liberal party got all their ‘playing the man, not the ball’ messages out before calling the election, so they don’t have to worry about running a negative campaign. They’re assuming Latham can’t resist pulling out the cheap shots, so are hoping that they can keep a nice, clean, tidy moral high ground while Labour squeezes the juice out of whether Howard lied during the last election campaign.
I really, really hope we start seeing some discussion of competing policies, soon.