How to build a political party

I’ve just been sent this impressive set of documents (see below). It has been sent out by the Colin Craig’s Conservative Party to their full list of contacts, and presumably their membership as well. I’d be interested to know how many actual financial members they have, but they do claim to have sent this to a list of 3,000 supporters. That is a very decent start.

There are three documents – a welcome letter from Colin Craig. It’s full of fluff, but it does the job. The a page with their four goals for 2012, and the final page lists particular ways you can help achieve their four goals. The back of the final page has a freepost to return the document, presumably with some payment.

Their four goals are worth looking at –

1. Increase Membership

This has to be the main goal of any new political party, particular in the year following an election. I’d be interested to know what sort of response rate they get out of their 3,000 supporters, but it isn’t hard to imagine that this letter will push them past the 500 they need.

2. Form Electorate Committees

Also an important task for a new political party. In Wellington Central we never saw the Conservative Party candidate, and the contact that we were given for their local party lived in Ohariu. They, like all other political parties, need more feet on the ground.

3. Publish and Distribute a Booklet/Magazine

You may remember that during the campaign the Conservative Party published a large glossy booklet filled with stock photos. They’re planning on doing it again. I’m not 100% convinced it’s the best spend of their money, but I’m not in a hurry to give them better advice either.

4. Build a Financial Support Base

Well, Colin’s pockets obviously aren’t limitless. Makes sense that they tap their supporters. If they do it properly, it should be easy enough for them to sustain the party organisation until the next campaign, at which point they will be needing Colin to open his wallet again.

The third page is probably the best – it gives the members and supporters a list of nine simple ways they can help achieve the four goals. It’s not rocket science, but they’ve hit the nail on the head.

The Conservative Party obviously have some decent operators on board – while it may not be perfect, this is far from amature hour. Without a seat in Parliament, it’s going to be hard for them to get any airtime in the next few years, but they obviously are already looking to the long-term success of the party.

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2 thoughts on “How to build a political party”

  1. I heard from a reliable source that they only chose “Conservative Party” because it polled well, and not out of any strong commitment to a form of conservatism…

  2. I’d find that hard to believe as the word Conservative would instantly put some people off. Looking at their material, they are socially conservative and fiscally conservative, which is a novel change from the borrow and spend of other parties or the slash and burn of Act.

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