If you hadn’t already belted yourself in for a long ride, it is now officially game on for the 2016 Federal Election.
Officially speaking the campaigns proper are triggered by the issue of a writ this Monday (16 May), but as we all know the season on electioneering has been well and truly open for most of the year – and particularly since the handing down of the Federal Budget on 3 May.
The seven weeks between 16 May and Election day on Saturday 2 July are going to make for an unusually long ride.
As enraptured political junkies have noted the last time there was such a long campaigning period was way back in 1969, when a Coalition of the Liberal Party and Country Party under Prime Minister John Gorton held out the Australian Labor Party (it was Gough Whitlam’s first campaign).
Even if the fundamentals of election campaigns have remained essentially the same, the respective eras of 1969 and 2016 are worlds apart in so many respects.
Arguably the idea of a 24 hour news cycle as we understand it today wasn’t really in effect In 1969.
So many innovations were yet to take place 47 years ago, from the technology of colour television (arrived in Australia 1975) to the first launches of web editions of newspapers (1995 for the Sydney Morning Herald).
On the other hand, many surviving mainstays of Australia’s media scene were well bedded into place. ABC’s Four Corners had been up and running for eight years, and the Australian Financial Review had been a daily publication for six years.
Looking to what lies ahead for 2016 and the next seven weeks, now is a valuable time for all organisations with an ear to what politicians take to the polls to:
1. survey all possible opportunities to engage constructively on election-time policy debates; and
2. sift through the political noise on issues that are going to fall into your areas of sectoral interest and impact on the people your organisations serve.
Written by Medianet’s Marketing team