April 17, 2007 | Graham

It’s not just about you

Something’s been niggling me about the Rudd campaign, and now, thanks to the British Tories I know what it is. Rudd has just been fingered by Irwin Stelzner in this article in the Telegraph (thanks to Crikey for the tip), along with British Tory Leader David Cameron, as one of the new brigade in the Anglo-Sphere taking up the torch of JFK.
They may have some things in common, but Cameron has an approach which is quite different to Rudd’s. Take a look at this Party Election Broadcast, and compare it to the advertising we’ve seen so far from Rudd. In the Rudd ads he stands on his own, telling you about himself. In Cameron’s what you notice is the interaction between Cameron and other people.
This approach isn’t restricted to Rudd’s television ads. There’s a narcissistic scent about the sort of media he’s doing. It’s more reality TV, than politics, and the thing about reality TV is that it is narcisstic. You don’t go on Big Brother or Australian Idol, or Survivor because you want to do something for someone else. You do it for yourself.
But the reason that people vote for you is not because of who you are, but what you can do for them. Will Labor fine-tune its presentation, or will this be the blemish that pulls Rudd back to the field?

Posted by Graham at 9:26 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. since you never know what a would-be leader actually can do, or wants to do, there is a case for voting for someone on the appearance of his character.
    parliamentary societies are primitive, essentially unchanged from the feudal society whose political forms still shape the character of the nation. over-intellectualizing about their activities is a waste of time, unless you are gainfully employed to put a gloss of democracy on the struggle for power within the political caste.

    Comment by al loomis — April 18, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  2. It’s a clever campaign. They are trying to make a celebrity out of him. In this day and age that is smartest way to go.

    Comment by Vivy — April 18, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  3. People want to feel some sort of affinity with their PM. Rudd appeared to be of another class, but the self-representation he has been doing has people are feeling like he is a nerdy version of themselves.
    We’ve had 10 years of a PM voted in because he was ‘a strong leader’, and an individualist. Is Rudd consciously trying to occupy the same ground? I suspect so.

    Comment by lynn white — April 18, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

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