Bruce Hawker is a leading campaign manager with 30 years experience advising leaders in business and politics. As MD of Campaigns & Communications, Bruce manages crises and plans and executes communications campaigns.
Men and Women of Australia: The Decline of Great Speech Making
The first time I voted in an election was 1974. Gough Whitlam was about to be re-elected just 18 months after his historic 1972 victory. Like most of my friends, I was keen to see Labor returned and was caught up in a suitably watered down Australian version of a personality cult as we pulled behind the Whitlam Government. When I heard that he was going to address a midweek evening rally on Brisbane's north side, I had no hesitation in heading off to see the helmsman speak.
To Win, Labor Must Make Good Use of Its Best Weapon: Tony Abbott
This op-ed originally appeared in today's Daily Telegraph.
Australia's longest ever election campaign has kicked off and frankly, day two could not have been worse for Julia Gillard. The arrest of Central Coast MP, Craig Thomson, has only gone to reinforce Labor's bad image in NSW where the ICAC inquiry into Eddie Obeid and his family dominates daily news bulletins. The added problem for federal Labor is that the election will be won and lost in NSW - particularly [...]
Gillard Announces Election Date for 14 September. Much Ado About Nothing?
Julia Gillard's early announcement of the election date - 14 September - is unprecedented in Australia. Because of this fact it has excited huge media interest. It certainly took me by surprise because the biggest tactical advantage incumbents have in elections is in not disclosing the date until the last minute. Now the Opposition can plan every aspect of its campaign right down to the political advertising placements in 7 months time. Usually oppositions are forced to plan for various [...]
As soon as I heard that British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had made a speech proposing a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, I was reminded of John Howard’s 2001 campaign against Labor where he adopted a hard line on refugees at a time when his Government was floundering in the polls. Howard’s attack started with his decision to turn back the “Tampa”, a ship which had rescued refugees from waters to our north. Howard’s actions were in direct response to [...]
We the People: the Citizen President's Inauguration Speech
President Barack Obama's second inauguration speech left me in no doubt of his commitment to egalitarianism. His references to immigrants, women, gays and collective responsibility to achieve access for all to health care and education spelled out a vision he will strive to realise in the coming four years. It’s a vision he will struggle to achieve in the face of ongoing trenchant opposition from the ideologues who still hold sway in the Republican Party.
As I struggle to shed more than a few unwanted kilos over the holidays, I have nothing but admiration for Joe Hockey's weight loss achievement. It is a remarkable transformation. He is a changed man having lost some 20 kilos.
While I have no doubt that his primary motivation here has been health related, it’s fair to say that Hockey's new appearance has had a very valuable by-product - he looks much more like a leader. That surely cannot have been lost on his colleagues in [...]
Any serious plan by the city based Liberals in Queensland to abolish compulsory voting will not pass muster with the rural based Nationals who make up the other half of the LNP.
It could be argued that non-compulsory voting may give some very slight advantage to the conservatives in Brisbane electorates, although I doubt many people would enthusiastically go out to re-elect Newman with his slash and burn policies. The real killer though will be opposition from their rural [...]
Hockey Starts to Distance the Opposition from the National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a great Labor initiative - it's up there with Medicare. It was also encouraging to see it being supported by the Opposition. That was until last night when Joe Hockey admitted in an interview on Sky that a Coalition Government would only implement the NDIS if it came with a "strong surplus".
In one sentence Hockey confirmed what I had been thinking for some time - that the Opposition was giving itself some wriggle room. With [...]