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.

The Presidential Campaign Part 4: Polls, PACs and the People

In late 2010 I visited Washington to assess the likely impact on American political campaigning of a US Supreme Court decision known as "Citizens United". This decision paved the way for unrestricted fundraising by "independent" activists who set up Political Action Committees (PACs), Super PACs and other vehicles designed to get around US tax laws. Back then, every Democrat and union campaigner I spoke to was filled with dread. There was no way they could compete with the Republicans, [...]

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It's the Jobs, Stupid

Over recent weeks we have witnessed an obsessive focus on cutting public service jobs and services by conservative State governments - particularly in Queensland and NSW.

To long term observers of state and federal politics this is to be expected. It's what Tory governments do - sometimes with a reluctant tone but more often with a "this is the medicine voters have to swallow" manner of an old school doctor.

The cuts in Queensland and NSW though, have been so [...]

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The rise and rise of the Super PAC

By Guest Blogger Chloe Bennett

The upcoming US Presidential election is the first since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling opened the door for unlimited campaign spending by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions.

Super PACs can now raise unlimited funds to spend on political advertising in support of, or in opposition to, a political [...]

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The 2001 Northern Territory Election

For Labor the 2001 Northern Territory election was always going to be an “It’s Time” campaign. The Territory Legislative Assembly was created in 1974, and it achieved self-government in 1978, but in the following 26 years Labor hadn’t come close to winning. In fact, in the first election in 1974 Labor failed to win one seat.

By 2001 though, things were definitely looking better for the Labor Party. While it still only held seven of the 25 seats in the unicameral [...]

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SA 1997 Election: A Great Labor Comeback

The 1997 South Australian election produced one of the most remarkable results in Australian political history.

Labor had been decimated at the 1993 election following the collapse of the State Bank of South Australia. Its numbers crashed from 24 to just 10 in a lower house of 47. They were dubbed the Kombi van Opposition and some commentators predicted that the next Labor Premier was not even in the Parliament.

Mike Rann inherited the Labor Leadership in 1994 [...]

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1999 Victorian State Election

Jeff Kennett's seven year old Liberal Government looked to be in no trouble going into the 1999 Victorian State election.

At the beginning of the campaign opinion polls had the Liberals ahead by 51 to 35%. It also held 58 of the 88 seats in the Victorian Parliament.

Labor had been decimated at the elections in 1992 and despite some massive Budget cuts over several years, Kennett looked set for a comfortable third term as Premier.

Labor's defeat [...]

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Election ads from the vault

With Bob Carr again in the news as the new Senator for NSW and Australia's Foreign Minister I thought it would be interesting to look at some of his 1991 NSW election ads.

In this campaign Carr took Labor from its bad defeat in 1988 to almost winning back government in just three years.

I was his Chief of Staff at the time and the campaign focussed on a strong public impression that the Greiner Liberal Government had been responsible for mismanaging the NSW [...]

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A laptop, broadband access and an interest in political ads bordering on obsession

Thankfully, I’m not alone.

I know there are plenty of people who like trawling over old political advertisements. There are so many great ones from past U.S. presidential, senatorial and other campaigns.  I’ve dropped some in below.

I’ve also thrown in a Canadian ad which features the line “he kicks children in the face”. You have to see it.

Please keep your favourite ads coming in as well.

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More political ads

Thanks to the people who sent in their own favourite political advertisements. I’ve posted a few more ads from the vault including a couple of Obama ads. Keep sending in your favourites and other interesting ads.


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Some of my favourite advertisements

Political advertising comes in all shapes and sizes. Over the last 30 years, I’ve been lucky to work on hundreds of radio, television, print and on-line ads for election and other campaigns across the country. It is always interesting strategic and creative work –  a chance to collaborate with colleagues and clients and apply research, clever ideas and political instinct to come up with advertising that hits the mark. Television advertising is a particularly interesting  work stream [...]

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