Monday, September 09, 2013

Party Games Aftermath 2: Interactions

My initial aim for the Party Games series was to be more in depth than I ended up being. One cause of this was simply underestimating the amount of time it would take. The other major factor was that my initial plan was to send each party an email with questions after reading up on them and incorporating their responses into the write ups. On this I was wildly optimistice. I contacted 41 of the 54 parties by email (after a certain point I gave up on this and just focussed on the write ups) and only received a few responses.

The first to get back to me was the Katter Australia Party, who thanked me for my interest and said if I wanted to know more I should have a look at their website. They apparently missed the part where I said "I've read your policies on your website and have some questions based on that", but it was a response. I did send an email back saying I'd already read the website and wanted to know more, but didn't hear anything back after that. A similar response was received from the Palmer United Party. The Non Custodial Parents Party sent back a brief note with a chunk of text copied from their site, and then when I followed up got told that they were too busy due to the election to be able to answer my questions and that I should have contacted them before the election was announced. The Australians First Nations Party also felt they were too busy to respond as they were focusing on their campaign in the Northern Territory, but did offer to respond after the election. The only party that did respond to my questions was the One Nation Party.

On twitter people were more responsive. When I asked a Senator Online candidate how they planned to engage the elderly and other groups not as active online they said that old people can get online at their local library. I'm not sure this eases my concern that the smart-phone using, politically active demographic they're targeting won't be representative of Australia as a whole. The LDP invited me to join their forums to learn more about their policies, which was a trip down the rabbit hole. The DLP candidate said they weren't a catholic party, and failed to explain how a bank that offers returns less than the rate for government bonds is going to raise funds to lend out. The Future Party QLD candidate was able to pick I was a culture fan from the blog title, and said they were for giving rights to artificial intelligences.

Two parties replied to my posts on the blog, the Australian Secular Party, and Senator Online.

On election day I didn't quiz any of the people handing out flyers like I did at the last state election, but was kind of annoyed at the number of people who tried handing me a flyer while I was getting about on crutches. Particularly bad was an LNP volunteer who after watching me slowly make my way down some stairs and commenting that they don't make it easy to get around then asked if I wanted a flyer. After voting I had the traditional sausage sizzle, and on the way out met up with a friend who was volunteering to help out the Greens candidate.

I've now culled back my twitter feed, and stopped it sending notifications for every tweet from a political party, so my phone is now no longer buzzing hyperactively, and the battery is lasting more than half a day (and that was only becuase I had to turn it off during work).

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