Queensland Labor's "Don't risk it" strategy?

My local state member Gary Fenlon (ALP) has a message for me - "Keep Greenslopes in safe hands".

The message presumably hopes to leverage the uncertainty that tough times bring, is consistent with the fact that Labor is regarded by voters as the best party to handle most issues, and exploits voter concerns that the Liberal National Party is an unknown, new force put together from two adversarial parties that has no strongly defined policies.

Parties exercise tight control over candidates these days, so I am assuming that someone at ALP HQ is reading the same sort of research that we are, and shaping his message accordingly.

I'm not sure what research the Liberal National Party is reading. A billboard at the Normanby Fiveways features two local candidates and Lawrence Springborg.

"We can deliver the Queensland we all want" the billboard proclaims.

While our research shows dissatisfaction with Anna Bligh it doesn't show any higher satisfaction levels with the Liberal National Party. And while it shows voters unsure of what the LNP stands for, it is not likely that they will find an assertion that the party "can deliver" credible, devaluing your whole message.

In these times of uncertainty, a "Queensland we all want" is also likely to be deemed a mirage. One that's "not too bad" is more likely to be seen as achieveable.

When you pitch a message that people don't believe you evoke what is called "cognitive dissonance". Disbelief at one statement is transferred to all other statements, even if they are true.

(For a brilliant example of how cognitive dissonance can be used, check out the British Conservative Party's exploitation of Gordon Brown's claim that Britain has "saved the world" to undermine his credibility on everything.)

We are not yet in an election, so there is time for the pitches to change. If they don't the new Liberal National Party is definitely heading for a debut loss.

Share this article on your favourite social bookmarking sites:
Reddit! Del.icio.us! Google! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Twitter!


0 #1 CommentDave 2009-02-14 12:57
Just found out this week that there's a daylight saving party running for South East Queensland. Their slogan is "It's About Time!"
0 #2 CommentJeffrey Richard Clegg 2009-02-24 05:32
The election has been announced . I ask the people of the South East to think hard about returning this Labor Government .Remember the state that our hospitals ,policing and just about any other state run department that you can think of are in .You may not like the LNP but lets face it , they could not be any worse.The rest of the state cannot get rid of them , we need the South East to vote them out .All our futures depend on you.