An Australian friend was kind enough to send me a link to an excellent new progressive blog from over the ditch, Chifley’s Hill. I’ve skim read the articles that are there, and there is lots of great material to sink your teeth into.
One article in particular grabbed, my attention, “Community Campaigning is a model for the future“. This is a position I’ve also been advocating, and I’m surprised that there isn’t more mention of it in New Zealand Labour’s Organisational Review – I intend to make a submission to that effect.
Take a read of the full article, but here is the main point…
The recommendations of the National Review, the centrepiece of this period of collective introspection, appeared to disappear into the ether on the floor of National Conference. Regardless, it’s worth thinking about some of the practical things that party units and rank-and-file members can do to help improve our party.
One thing we as progressive party members should at least consider is community campaigning and providing our membership with the tools to push Labor causes in their own neighbourhoods, networks and workplaces.
The primary benefit of community campaigning is the most mundane, and one of the most persuasive. Community campaigning works. Recent political history demonstrates that those political organizations that are able to mobilize their membership and supporters to engage with the community in a direct and practical way are some of the most electorally successful. This is true of the unions campaign in 2007, the Obama campaign in 2008 and the Tea Party’s 2010 push in the US midterm elections.
The success is more than anecdotal. Marketing experts have known for years that a recommendation from a friend or acquaintance is a powerful factor that can have an impact on an individual’s choices that rivals the traditional media.