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Brent Hodgson joins SpinProof
Generated by reNotes: Indie campaigns can make a real difference in primary votes, and the campaigns are just paused until the next election, according to Brent Hodgson, marketing consultant and data nerd. He applied his marketing skills to a political campaign for the first time 12 months ago and became involved with the group Voices of Kooyong. Hodgson believes that independent campaigns are the more viable way to actually make change.
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Show notes (unedited)
Marketing consultant and data nerd Brent Hodgson discusses how he applies his skills to campaigns, with a focus on the recent successful campaign in Kooyong. He describes how he looks for the pressure points and amplifiers in a system to make the biggest difference.
Brent Hodgson applied his marketing skills to a political campaign for the first time 12 months ago. He became involved with the group Voices of Kooyong, which eventually merged with another group, Cuyana Independence. Brent believes that the independent campaign is the more viable way to actually make change.
Brent describes how they began working on the campaign to elect Monique Ryan, under the guidance of Dr. Anne Kaplan. They discuss how door-knocking was a key part of the strategy, and how the campaign was successful in taking a 9% swing off the incumbent's margin. The author also highlights how the campaign before an independent candidate is successful can be unrecognized, but is nonetheless consequential.
Brent discusses how independents can make a real difference in primary votes, and how the campaigns are just paused until the next election. Denise and Brent go on to talk about how important it is for succession planning to happen in electorates, and how Tony Abbott's preselection was decided by just 88 votes against an empty seat. The author argues that there is a huge opportunity for independents to take a bigger role in Parliament, and that more people are leaning into their democracy.
The Chinese community played an important role in swinging the election in North Sydney and Bennelong. The candidates focused on engaging with this community and found that they were concerned with the Morrison government's mishandling of the relationship with China.
The campaign strategy for the young campaign was to focus on door knocking as the best return on investment activity. This was due to the number of conversations that could be had with potential voters. The campaign also utilized collateral in different languages to reach out to communities where English might not be the primary language spoken.
Ryan's campaign focused on winning votes and making sure the volunteers were happy. The media attention was intense, and Brent had to be careful about what he said towards the end.
Brent talked about how the media covered the campaign, and how it was helpful in some ways and unintentionally helpful in others. They credit Campbell Cooney for their media strategy. They say that the media pressure didn't affect the volunteers too much, but that it was disheartening at times. They talk about how they focused on the idea of the last 500 votes to keep people motivated.
Denise suggested that when the media and political parties attacked the independence movement, it only seemed to make the movement stronger. Brent Hodgson wonders if there was anything that could have been done to combat the community-backed candidate.
Brent describes the surprise at the good results the campaign was seeing on election night, and how they had not expected such strong swings in some of the booths. As he was busy upstairs with the numbers, he only got to experience the party downstairs for a little bit.
Brent describes how they were driving around checking on election booths, and how they received a surprising text message about one of the booths. They called the person who sent the message and found out that the booth had a much higher swing than expected. Brent says that when they got back to HQ and saw substantial swings in other booths they weren't expecting that this was the first moment they realized that they might actually win the election.
Brent suggests that the Labor Party will be better than the Liberal Party at handling independents, and that the Liberal Party has not learned from the last election.
Brent and Denise discuss how a lot of blame is being placed on Twitter for the current state of the Liberal Party in Australia. However, some people are beginning to realize that the party itself is to blame for its own demise. There is a possibility that we will see many by-elections in the coming year, as more and more members of the party realize that they are not in a position to win any elections. They discusses how the Labor Party has been doing since the change in government, and how it compares to the Liberal National Party. It seems that people are relieved to have a competent government in office again.
It is best to say that the upcoming parliamentary years will be wonderful and that different parties and independents will play a bigger role in politics. Brent Hodgson believes that this is one of the last governments that will be a majority government and that other governments moving forward will be coalitions of different parties and independents, groups that share the same values or same vision. He also believes that if Labor don't meet the needs of their communities, their constituents will see community groups popping up in those seats as well.
Denise and Brent discussed the possibility of independent candidates running in the upcoming Victoria state election, in light of the fact that the two major parties are not offering much in terms of good policy. It is noted that these independent candidates would need to form structures quickly and effectively in order to have a chance at winning any seats.
Despite this Brent believes there is an opportunity for community-backed independent candidates to do well in the upcoming state election in Victoria, Australia.
He discusses with Denise the possibility of independents doing well in upcoming state elections, and the importance of finding candidates that the community can get behind. It also stresses the importance of motivation and experience for campaigners.
Brent discusses the importance of campaign finance reform and donation caps in level the playing field for independent candidates. He also talks about the role of social media in his campaign, and how it has helped connect him with potential voters.
Twitter has been described as a wonderful tool for connecting with people and building community. It is also seen as a valuable platform for independent political campaigns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on political engagement, with more people staying at home and looking for ways to participate in their democracy. This has led to increased activity on Twitter, which has been beneficial for the independence movement. However, there are drawbacks to this increased activity, as people are not able to meet in person as effectively.
It seems that the upcoming elections are going to be very interesting, with COVID management being a major issue. It is curious how the media and some politicians are trying to downplay the importance of the pandemic. Meanwhile, in the US, their democracy is under real threat. It is good to see that better decisions are being made for us in Australia.
Brent Hodgson talks about the importance of finding time for yourself in order to maintain a long-term commitment to democracy. He also encourages others to practice self-care and to find joy in their lives.
Disclaimer: Content created by reNotes from the podcast transcript is an example only. reKnow does not own the original podcast and all content on this page, including content derived from the podcast, are the property of the podcast owner. Being featured as an example does not imply the podcast owner is a reNotes user.
In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of independent candidates running for office in state and federal elections. This is due to a number of factors, including the increasing dissatisfaction with the two major parties, and the growing belief that independents can actually make a difference in government.
Independent candidates are seen as a breath of fresh air in the current political climate, and they offer voters an alternative to the major parties. They are often seen as being more in touch with the needs of their constituents, and more responsive to the issues that matter to them.
However, running a successful campaign as an independent candidate is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and financial resources. In order to be successful, independent candidates need to have a clear vision for their campaign, and a strong team of supporters behind them.
There are a number of challenges that independent candidates face when running for office. Firstly, they often lack the financial resources of the major parties. They also often have less name recognition than the major party candidates, and less media coverage.
Despite these challenges, there are a number of reasons why you should consider voting for an independent candidate in the upcoming state election. Independent candidates are more in touch with the needs of their constituents, and they offer a real alternative to the major parties. If you are fed up with the major parties, and you want to see change in government, then voting for an independent candidate is the best way to make your voice heard.
Social Posts (unedited)
This great episode of SpinProof features Brent Hodgson, a marketing consultant who applied his skills to a political campaign for the first time in Kooyong.
Original transcript used by reNotes
Good afternoon. Welcome to the spin proof podcast. My name is Denise Shrivell. Looking forward to a wonderful chat with Brent Hodgson, who you would know from Twitter but also through his involvement, particularly with the Kooyong campaign, where they just had a lot of success. We'll look forward to hearing about that shortly. First of all, also, I would like to acknowledge the camera rego land I'm speaking with you from. I will also as always remind you that we are completely live. So things go on around us, don't they brunch? They certainly do. They with a squeaky toy right next to me, we love we love a squeaky toy right next year, I've got dash right next to me a little bit of a powered port dash. It's quite old now. So we can't even hear me when I call his name. But he's right next to me where he belongs. So you might do something also. But yes, as people know who listen to this podcast, our life goes on around us as it should. So I will welcome our guest today. Brent Hodgson, wonderful to have you on the Twitter audience. Of course, we'll be no stranger to you.
And welcome to also
thank you so much, I really appreciate you for having me on here. It's it's a it's a lot of fun. I love love doing this sort of stuff.
Where do you begin with a story, I've had a lot of weird and wonderful things happen in my life. But in a general sense, my background is that I'm a marketing guy and bit of a data nerd behind the scenes as well. And the thing that really lights me up about data and marketing is I'm obsessed about the little bits of the system, that make a big difference. So when we're talking about the little bits of a system that make a big difference, we're talking about the things that put pressure down or put pressure up, you know that the pressure points are the bottlenecks that the amplifiers in the system. Because if we look at an entire system, and we you know, look at the impact that it's making, if we look at, you know, go through your workplace and have a think about the people that are in the workplace, there are people that are making a bigger difference to the way that the workplace functions than others. And there's bits of marketing campaigns that carry more weight than others. And that's the thing that really lights me up about the idea of marketing. And the reason why I am a sort of data guy in it, always looking for those things that make the big difference.
Very good. And of course, you applied that difference very carefully, and you use your marketing skills for good. Some people might argue that marketing skills can be used for not so not so great things.
But you have recently applied it to the very successful campaign in Kooyong. And we of course, want to ask you about your experience there. That of course, we recently saw the election through your efforts. And you know, as we also know, Brent, it does take a village, you know, a huge team effort 1000s of people from the t shirt wearer to the door knocker to the phone banker to the data and marketing guy as you were it just taken and of course the candidate we shouldn't forget the candidates.
It takes a massive effort. So you've recently as as I said, You've recently applied your marketing skills for good in that campaign. And we
would love you to tell us about that journey, what how you came to it. And how it went.
I was actually just going through it. A couple of days ago, I went through my archives and my files and had a look exactly when it actually began. And that was about 12 months ago that it actually began, I started keeping an eye on this group called Voices of Kooyong and voices of Kooyong. They were the in some respects the successor to the Oliver Yates campaign that happened.
You know, back in 2018 was a really interesting independent campaign that happened back here.
And basically what happened was this guy that, frankly, I hadn't heard of before a former Liberal that had, you know, a passion for climate, had a background in finance, ran against the incumbent Josh Frydenberg. And he took about 9% off Josh Frydenberg suote And he ran a really interesting campaign. He had this headquarters that were on glenferrie Road, just up the road from where moms were, and slowly but surely with their T or T shirts. They started
He gets seen all over the place. They were in the news. And you know, the council was causing them grief and all of this sort of stuff. Anyway, voices of Kooyong eventually merged with this group called Cuyana. Independence, or worked with this group started co founded or it's really hard to say exactly what the words would be here. And Kooyong independence
And to sort of change from within the big issue, though, is that the people that you would want to get into the Liberal Party to renew the Liberal Party, unfortunately, those people just don't want to be part of it. It's it's, it's an abomination to their values these days. And the people that do want to be part of the Liberal Party are increasingly conservative. So there was a point where I went, you know, what, I reckon that the independent campaign is probably the more viable way to actually make change.
That's the little bit of the system that I can be part of that makes the biggest difference. And I stepped away from the Liberal Party and joined the the the independent campaign, just before Monique was actually
selected, I was actually on a camping trip at the time. And yeah, I was.
I had sheets and sheets and sheets of data.
They hadn't announced the candidate,
data guy on your camping trip with the data. You are a data guy, but
I'm such a nerd. I was literally on a inflatable mattress, getting frustrated that the only device that I brought away with me was an iPhone,
trying to find all of this information about
voting habits and patterns and ABS statistics and all of this sort of stuff. Anyway, one thing led to another and, you know, I had a coffee with the wonderful Dr. Anne Kaplan, who is the was the campaign director for Monique Ryan. And, you know, started working with the strategy around how do we actually reach out to some of these people, and which areas should we focus on first, and, you know, how difficult is going to be to actually swing some of these loads. And, you know, that's kind of where I began. Where I ended up, though, was, you know, doing deputy volunteer coordination under Rob Baillieu, getting people door knocking, and actually implementing some of the system that,
you know, was designed to make a difference. And door knocking for us was one of the key parts of that strategy. That's really interesting, isn't it? Can I just pick up on a couple of things before we deep dive into that a bit more. But I think I've said before, no one recognizes the campaign before the independence get up. And it's so consequential. So you know, you mentioned Oliver Yates. And I think, from memory, there was a green that also ran, Julian Burnside, Charlene Bernstein also ran in 2019. So yeah, it was quite a contested seat even then. But yeah, taking a 9% swing off, certainly makes it a little bit easier for the following campaign. But it also I think, puts in into the communities mind that, hey, you know, we can actually do this. So before Zaarly, there was James Matheson. I know, the Labour member in North Sydney took a sizable chunk off Trent's margin.
Before, of course, clearly successful campaign, just those few just those few weeks ago, I think that the campaign before the independent is successful, should be recognized more myself, because I do think that that
shrinks the margin, but it also puts in, as I said, puts in people's mindsets. I'm also really interested in that,
in that notion that you mentioned of you were a member of the liberal party, and you thought that you might be able to change it from within. And indeed, I see people quite often on Twitter, commenting that, you know, I'm gonna join up to a party. And quite often they do walk away from that process with their tail between their legs, thinking, No, you know, we're not going to get the change that we need in the timeframe that we need it. And therefore, the independence movement is really attractive to them because it's smaller, it's nimble, you can actually you know,
You can actually have an effect on what's going on.
Yeah, I think we're winger exemplifies both of those two points that you've raised. The first being
the, you know, the the effect of the James Madison's that run before you. And there's a whole bunch of places like in Bradfield and Hughes and Hume and Flinders and so forth, whether the independents actually put a real dent into the major party's primary votes. Wonan was another one that was there was incredible to watch.
I don't think these campaigns are over, I think that they're just paused until the next election. All of those seats that I've mentioned, they're now winnable by the next independent that comes along, whether it's the same person running again, or someone else that represents the community's values. So I think it's really important to document all of that sort of stuff and to have the logical succession between James Matheson and Zali Steggall or Oliver Yates and Monique Ryan happen in your actual electorate.
As for the
change from within one of those stories that actually motivated me to rejoin the Liberal Party was the story of Tony Abbott's pre selection ahead of coming up against Alec stickle, there was a pre selection vote between Tony Tony Abbott and an empty chair. And the empty chair lost the pre selection vote. By 88 votes, there was 88 votes that could have decided whether or not
Tony Abbott ran again, or if someone potentially more moderate, could have moved into that particular seat.
And it's pretty easy to go through your Facebook and think I know 88 People, I reckon I can find eighty eight people that might be interested in actually seeing Tony Abbott no longer running for Warringah.
But the actual process of getting those people involved in a party campaign versus something that they can actually
have a say in and
be involved in at the grassroots level, and kind of choose their own adventure, I suppose.
It's a, it's a totally different proposition when you're actually constrained by a party function.
People just don't want to be part of that these days. And I think that opens up this huge opportunity for independence more broadly, to take a bigger role in in Parliament effectively.
What I've been calling is I know people in our in my area of North Sydney, it's like they've caught the democracy bug.
So it really is once they could, you know, once they've participated in a process like this, it is really exciting. Whether you know, the candidate won or got close to winning, or, you know, as an example, in Bennelong, which is a seat not far from me, they didn't actually put up a candidate. But people are still very excited by coming together and talking about the issues that matter to them. So in that case, more people leaning into their democracy, no matter what the outcome is, is always a really good is always a positive I think, and hopefully, this what happened in the recent election will only increase that throughout the country. And indeed, as we'll talk about, talk about
a little bit later at other levels of government as well.
Yeah, you mentioned Bennelong there and I'm curious about something and never actually made the time to ask maybe Matt, now's a good moment. The role of the Chinese community in North Sydney and Bennelong when it came to swinging this election, I know in Kooyong it was instrumental for us. And we had a specific Chinese engagement strategy that was rolled out in some of the more high density Chinese areas, like the ball and high school zone, for example.
Is that was that something that was front of mind for you guys, during your your campaign up there in North Sydney?
Well, certainly around me, I live in Chatswood in North Sydney, and there's certainly a very large Chinese population here. And yes, that was certainly a really important group from an outreach point of view. And I have to say that we've generally found, and again, in the some conversations that I was having early on with the community is that they did not like watch did not like the position of the Chinese got off sorry, of the of the Morrison government, and it was issues and I'm sure that you found similar. It was issues around rhetoric. It was issues around also mismanagement of the relationship. So I wasn't necessarily agreeing with what the Chinese government were doing, but it was more around mishandling over the relationship.
Yeah, absolutely. We also found people were
speaking to the idea of, of, of, you know, not, how do I say this, you know, not demonizing a particular group of people, that's, that should be self evident that you just don't do this,
I was just thinking that it should be so self evident.
Yeah, it's like, these are the kinds of messages that obviously, were really important to that section of the community, when we were reaching out to them. And in, when we look at the data, typically what happens is,
people that are first generation Chinese moved from voting liberal to labor. In Kooyong at least, they moved from voting liberal to voting independent directly, for the first time in ever. So it was a really big step for them to move over to an independent campaign, particularly coming from places where they might not have had that kind of exposure or experience with independence or democracy more widely.
That's exactly right. It was a really interesting. Well, you know, any community like that within your broader electorate? It's always interesting, because there's always differences, and there's always nuances to understand. But yes, certainly, in the same way that you did recognize that is a very important group that we should absolutely include, in any conversation in any plans that that that we had through for the broader electorate. I'm curious. Also, you mentioned the importance of your ground game. So door knocking phone banking, t shirt, wearing democracy walks, I mean, the list just goes on core flutes at the front of houses. Just such a multi layered campaign for politics quite similar in some ways, to commercial campaigns that you and I have perhaps been involved with, I have to say the differences that I found between a political campaign and a commercial campaign, a political campaign, the landscape changes every day.
Commercial campaigns, you know, you pretty well set your plan, you implement your plan, yes, you optimize as you go. But certainly in politics, your your there's a responsive layout, that you also really need to implement that if that is challenging. It also makes it much more exciting, but quite interested in that ground game that you mentioned, Brent. And do you know how important that was to the campaign.
I should also, while I'm, while we're sort of in the middle of these two topics, give a lot of credit to Mark Xingzhi Han, Mark Han was really instrumental in the ground game when it came to the Chinese community. And of all the people inside the young campaign, I think the door knock, you know, more than double the amount of the next person's doors. He was out every day, knocking on doors in some of these Chinese community areas. And he was also responsible for, you know, putting together the strategy for reaching out to people, when we knocked on a door that we might not actually be able to speak the language of the residents there. So we had collateral that was actually in these languages that we could hand over that provided the messaging that we needed to provide to people that we couldn't make it all we might not necessarily be able to speak to using English language, verbal sort of communications, that was really, really important for that sort of outreach in that particular community. As for the other communities, some of it was a little bit data driven. We've got a lot of public transport down in the southern half of the electorate here.
The number of conversations that you'd have on a street if you were handing out flyers in A Main Street, versus the number of conversations that you could have on a phone call, or you know, in an hour worth of phone calling, or an hour worth of door knocking. And we found that door knocking was actually the best return on investment activity that we had in our sort of arsenal. So that's why we've invested a huge amount of time and effort into that particular strategy there. We didn't do something that I've seen a lot in New South Wales, which is the taking posters and waving them in main streets in key junctions on, I don't know, on military road or something like that.
We only did that once. And that was specifically in regards to a story around some, we had a building owner that said, yeah, you can paint a mural on our building. And then that was the only time that we did that. And that was kind of more of feeding back into the community rather than it because people were a bit disheartened that there was an accusation that Monique's campaign was somehow graffiti in buildings without permission. And he was this moment in time, where we got a couple of 100 people, you know, on a street corner in the middle of the rain, pouring down everyone getting so it was freezing. And everyone had the biggest smiles that you could possibly imagine. And a lot of the campaign strategy itself wasn't so much focused on how do I say this will, there was a lot that was focused on winning votes. But there was also a lot that was focused on making sure that the values of the campaign internally, and the the mission of the people that were actually implementing the campaign, and the, the vibe, I suppose, within the volunteer base, that all of that was, was, you know, doing well. And by feeding into the campaign volunteers, we got more buy in from the volunteers, they did more. And as a result, they were able to win more votes. So a lot of the strategy actually was around feeding into the campaign volunteers themselves rather than feeding into the, you know, the vote winning aspects of it, and one fed into the other, if that makes sense. Absolutely.
It's really important to make it a positive experience for everyone involved. You mentioned, you know, the mural, as an example, and I was curious, which I certainly saw about because, of course, the media was all over it. And I was, I was curious about your comments on the media's treatment, have you Brent, of course, being in such a in a seat where you're going up against such a high profile sitting member and Josh Frydenberg, the media attention was certainly on you, but perhaps more than other seats. How did you find the media attention throughout the campaign?
Me personally, I didn't have a huge amount of media attention until right at the very end. And at the very end, I needed to be very careful about what I was saying. Because I was getting quoted all of a sudden. Prior to that, I could, you know, cause a little bit of ruckus, and it didn't cause any problems. Towards the end, you start saying and now we go after it's the state of actions and all that they go, Oh, my God, they're going after the state elections. And suddenly, they're quoting you in the media. So I had to be a little bit more careful towards the end. But in terms of the campaign itself, a lot of the early narrative was that we were trying to bring down a Popular sitting member. I don't think that a lot of that narrative worked. And I don't think it was necessarily true either. I don't think he was a particularly popular sitting member. I think that there were people that loved him a lot. But I don't think that there were enough. How do I say this, I don't think he was overwhelmingly popular to begin with. Likewise, there were a lot of attacks that were put into the media or around, you know, money grown as a labor stooge sort of stuff. And none of that really landed. In fact, every time one of those pieces was published in the papers, it led to a huge increase in the number of donors, number of volunteers, to the point where the joke was inside the campaign, that Josh Frydenberg was our number one volunteer. Anytime that there was an attack there, it helped us a lot. So I'm not sure about the media where I would categorize them. I think that there was a lot that was really helpful that they did throughout the campaign. And a lot that was unintentionally helpful. And the lot that was really cleverly run in terms of Campbell Cooney is media strategy. For the campaign, I think he's an absolute genius, that guy, he's just a brilliant media adviser. And if he wasn't doing his Juris Doctor, uh, you know, I'd say everyone go higher. So, yeah, he's just an incredible, incredibly intelligent guy. And the way that the media ran, I suppose is a credit to him. I'm not sure about the pressure of the media itself. There's a, it kind of didn't affect the volunteers too much. But for the fact that every now and again, there was a little story that was a little bit disheartening. When those stories started to come out, I got a call from Cathy McGowan. And Cathy McGowan said, You need to keep an eye on you guys and make sure they don't ride ride the roller coaster. And you know, when the polling is up, you don't want them to get arrogant. And when the polling is down, you don't want them to get disheartened. So we're sitting around with Rob Baillieu. And we were chatting about this. And, you know, how are we going to make this work? We were chatting about how we needed to keep people focused on the idea of the last 500 votes, and went home and had a bit of a think about it. The old Buddhist proverb of chop wood, carry water, Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water after enlightenment, chop wood carry water
rang true for me. So I put that up on Twitter. And all of a sudden, that became sort of a little, a little bit of a, how do I say this a little bit of an inoculation against some of the later media attacks that would come during the campaign, that it didn't matter if you were on the front page of the Herald Sun, or if you were, whatever. The what we needed to do was just to focus on doing the work, the good work that we were doing in the campaign, and that would speak for itself.
I think it's very curious, and indeed saw a lot of commentary about this. I mean, you're on Twitter, because we all know that Twitter is where it all happens.
That every time the media attacked, or the Liberal Party or the National Party had a go at the independence, they just seem to get stronger. So it really it really backfired. Surely it gives it gave the politicians and the media, some cause for concern. And also some thought that maybe they should try a different tact in how they were speaking about the independence and what was going on in the ground, but they didn't seem to. But yes, it was certainly I thought it was such a curious thing that every time the media or the incumbent politicians had a go, then the the independence just seemed to get stronger. Just so curious that it says to me that, you know, the community, this was such a community effort, the committee, you know, it was you come after my candidate, or so on, then you've come out of the community?
Yeah, yeah. I keep thinking about what they could have done better. And how they could have combated this. And there's a little bit of it, that I think that they really couldn't have combated, a community backed candidate in this way. That, let's say that they were they said, You know what, you're right. I've been arrogant and not listening to the community. And I'm hosting a town hall to hear the voices that I haven't heard.
Would that have necessarily worked? Would that have cut through in the way that it needed to? Or is the fundamental flaw in the Deathstar here that
If they're trying to sell a set of policies that might not necessarily represent the community's values, a set of off the off the shelf options. And here's the community independent saying, You know what, no, no, no, I'll make you a bespoke solution, I'll make you a solution that actually represents your value. So I'll actually involve you in the process. I keep wondering whether or not it was possible for some of these guys to do better. And I'm not sure if it was.
Yes, something something, there is much to conduct after what we've been through in the last year or so. But I would like to focus your attention on what would would have been a wonderful night and Kooyong and that was election night. And I've asked a lot of people in the last few weeks on the podcast, what they were doing on election night, and you know how it unfolded for you. So we'd love to get your election night story brunch.
I was an area leader for for about a fifth of the the electorate, so I had eight booths that I was looking after. And those booths needed to be packed up and all that sort of stuff. So I actually arrived to the campaign party a little bit late. Once I arrived there, I was upstairs, in the little HQ room, sitting next to the wonderful Steve Adler and the wonderful Jed Clark, who were running the numbers for the campaign. And we were watching these numbers come in. And throughout the whole campaign, we convinced ourselves that the election night was going to be tight. And that we probably needed to have three weeks worth of scrutiny as to scrutiny of the count. And then some of these results started coming in. And we saw some results from Baldwin and from Bellevue, and from Canterbury and we went, Oh my God, these seats don't vote against the Liberal Party. We were expecting little swings in those seats, but that we would need to make up for a deficit in in the votes there in friendlier areas like Hawthorne, and you know, around Camberwell junction and places where the populations were younger, the apartments were, you know, more abundant, all of this sort of stuff. And it was really surprising to see some of these swings in some of the northeastern sort of booths, particularly amongst the Chinese community that we've already mentioned here. The when the when the when those results started to come in. It was really surprising. We weren't expecting it to be quite that good. We're expecting it to be a little bit closer, and people would just beside themselves in terms of the numbers that they were hearing. We had doctor Anne Kaplan who was the campaign director coming over and asking us you know how things doing Bellevue, Bellevue eight percent swing. She'd go over and turn the TV down and go Wait, I got an announcement an announcement an announcement. Bellevue an 8% swing, and people would cheer and I lost my voice and all of that sort of stuff. So it was a wonderfully exciting little place to see the numbers coming in live. As for the the actual party, I didn't actually get to experience much of the party downstairs. Unfortunately, I was too busy upstairs with the numbers. So I only made it downstairs for a little bit. And, you know, had a little bit of a whip downstairs and watched Monique do her speech and then was booted out at midnight when the
everyone seemed to get booted out and what was the general time bread that you started to feel as it all confidence? In the early in the night? Yeah,
the there was early sets release. So if they're like, hey, there's a there's a swivel wheel. I was in the car or I had to wear a one car family. So I had to rent a car for election day. Just to be able to make it between all the booths. And I had Mark Han who I mentioned before he was the Chinese engagement coordinator. He was in the car he was exhausted the poor guy. And we went around and we found a big pile of rubbish and this silly story. We went oh my god. It's got one of the will Edison signs in it. Oh my god. It's got some Josh Frydenberg signs in it. And they're just throwing them out. So we souvenirs to Josh Frydenberg and will Anderson we actually have chatted with some of the liberal volunteers and said, Hey, do you mind if we do this? Yeah, no, it's good. So driving around checking on all these booths. So, has we're in there, I'm getting little text messages from people. And one of them comes in. And it's I forget exactly what the booth was. But it was a booth that we weren't expecting to win. And it had a 6% swing on it over and above what we were expecting. I said, No, no, no, that's not right. And actually called them put them on speakerphone. And Mark and I were in the, in the car at the same time. Listening to this person say, no, no, the swing was right. It was over and above what we were expecting. And you know, it's coming in and it's valid, and it's there. Hang on, you show that it's not a miscount or only only a partial count? No, no, it's a full booth count. So that was like, Holy shit. Holy shit. This is on this is on. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Maybe it's just one booth. And it was after I dropped mark off and came back to the party that the other booths started to shuffle in. And it wasn't just one booth. It was in a lot of booths. And it wasn't in all booths. There were a couple of booths where the swing was only quite small. But it was in booths that we weren't expecting the swing to be so substantial. So it was in the car as we were cleaning up I suppose. And souvenir in a couple of signs that that was the first moment that it seemed like it was likely winnable, or that we weren't going to win. Prior to that. There was a little bit of me that just didn't want to buy too much into the idea that we would win yet. Because I'd seen how devastated people had been after the Oliver Yates campaign. There were people who had been involved in the AIDS campaign last time around and just couldn't bring themselves to be involved in Monique's campaign this time, because of how hard the loss was then everything kind of fell apart in the last couple of weeks for for, you know, that particular campaign. And yeah, it looked like they would get a little bit closer than they did. And, unfortunately, yeah, they just didn't quite get the results that they were looking for.
It says to me, it says to me true that 2022 There was a lot in the timing. Where was the nine year old government? You know, we've had a good look at Morrison, the pandemic and certainly frightened Berg's, you know, his announcements or sorry, his comments about Victoria and, and Melburnians. He's on stage during the pandemic, it just seemed to me that all of those stars aligned or so. So there was again, so much going on. That led to what we saw happen on May the 21st. Yeah. That just incredible. Anyway, congratulations to you. Congratulations to the to everyone in Kooyong and very much looking forward to seeing Dr. Monique Ryan, in our Parliament's in in a few short weeks. Yes, of course. Just saying what the independence get up to it's really going to be fascinating. What watching wanted to move on now and get your view on the political landscape that we have ended up with after May the 21st. So, of course, we have a labour majority 77 seats in the lower house. We have quite a progressive, not a rubber stamp Senate, but certainly what I see as a country, constructive Senate, I think the final Senate count we saw come through this week, but wanted to get your view on the political landscape that we're now given in the in the next part in this current parliament for the next three years.
Yeah, it's an interesting one.
It really is interesting, I
think. I'm hopeful that how do I say this? I'm hopeful that it will be a constructive Labour Government in terms of the way that they deal with independence. I think that there's enough political nows there, for the Labour Party to recognize that the independents duly valuable, they're valuable because they're moving on some of the relics of the Liberal Party in a way that the Labour Party couldn't. And they're also valuable as a potential ally down the track. I'm hopeful that Labour Party recognizes this I don't know that the Liberal Party doesn't recognize this that that independence could be an ally down the track. The it'll be interesting to see what happens over the next three years. But I don't have any particular predictions about the way that the government's necessarily going to work. I suspect that it's just going to work a little bit better than it has over the last three years. As for the Liberal Party in the coalition, I'm, how do I say this? It's a, I don't think that the lessons have been learned from the election yet. And I'm curious to see what happens after the Victorian election. And after the New South Wales election that comes a couple of months later, to see whether or not that is the trigger for lessons being learned. Because right now, I still see coalition that wants to sell a conservative ideology, and a voting public that doesn't want to buy it. And it's a hard sell when you've got something that you're trying to sell. And it's not what the customer wants, versus the independents that literally, let me give you exactly what you want. It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next three years. But yeah, I'm, I'm, I've got open eyes at the moment, I'm not sure that we can necessarily predict what will happen.
It is really curious. I think that you're so right in saying that, it seems to me that the Liberal National Party have not heard the community voice that was quite loud, for those that would, for those that that weren't listening, and indeed wanted to listen, in the last election. They just haven't heard it. I mean, straightaway, it's more that you didn't hear what we were saying. And you know, it's Twitter's Fox and you know, there's so many pieces of blame. This doesn't seem to be a lot of self reflection. I remember watching him
comment that, you know, the Liberal Party has always represented Australian values, just the Australian people forgotten that.
Very curious, very curious again, it's that whole and you know, that that whole narrative, that you know, it's everyone else's fault, but us they didn't understand us. It's very curious to me.
I think that its marketing people, you and I would recognize that if the customer doesn't understand you. That's your fault.
That is exactly right. Certainly some commentary that we're seeing, you know, the death rolls of the Liberal National Party, I do think that there is perhaps a reckoning to come. I'm also thinking that we'll probably see quite a few by elections in the coming year or so as all of a sudden the reality of what it's like being an opposition sink seem to some who have been used to being on the government benches,
because we haven't seen a cook by election yet.
Think about that. He's been very quiet.
Yeah. Yeah, you know, I would have imagined that he would have moved on. Like Turnbull not like Abbott. You know, how Abbott's stayed around? And, you know, undermined Turnbull. While Turnbull was in, I don't see Morrison undermining datum per se. I don't see him getting the leadership, but he can. But yeah, I just can't see why Morrison is still in Parliament.
I wonder, I mean, what's the timing of you stepping down? You're right. Turnbull did it immediately. But he always said that he would never, you know, that would that would be what would happen. Morrison didn't make that proclamation. But yes, it will be very curious. I wonder if the reality of the situation that all of the Marine, not just Scott Morrison, will all of a sudden become come crashing home once they actually get to Canberra when the parliamentary sitting weeks begin? So yes, it's going to be really curious. Look, I'm tipping and I've said this on Twitter and so on that I think we'll see a by election, Bradfield.
Oh, yes. With Paul Fletcher with Paul Fletcher.
I just again, can't imagine that someone will someone like a politician like that will be prepared to sit on the crossbenchers for six to nine years.
Yeah, yeah. I imagined that. Sorry, on the opposition benches across. Yeah. I imagined that that's a potential independent game that at that point, you know, certainly the veil will begin roads made at the last election, that if there is a by election, I suspect that there might be certainly now that the there's a recognition that if you elect a liberal member, they're not going to be in government anyway. So why not elect an independent at that point?
That's exactly right. Um, I'm not sure if you watch 730 report last night with where the sales interviewed Anthony Albanese, but certainly, you know, just even from the tweets, what a difference. I think a few people also commented that Anthony Albanese or prime minister, Anthony Albanese, I know that's a good point for some people on Twitter. He really he was very good in responding to the questions. And really, I think already it looks to me like he's really grown into the wrong. Perhaps not such a wonderful campaigner, though of course, you know, we certainly they certainly got the result they wanted. But last night, I thought he actually interviewed with lease sales very, very well. And I have to say, Brent, what a relief it was
to Barrett over the Goldstein campaign, shortly after her candidate Zoe Daniel one. I said, What How does it feel, and she reflected on, you know, Zoe winning herself, but then on the change of government more broadly. And she raised something that I've heard several times in different ways, since that it feels like a weight has been taken off my chest. And people have reflected on that, you know, in different words, but essentially said that same thing that they've said, while the prime minister, and Albanese has been in Indonesia, that it's such a relief to have a prime minister overseas and not be embarrassed. And it's I'm not sure if the Labor Party necessarily won the election, if that makes sense. I'm not sure that they ran us an amazing campaign and and, you know, convinced voters per se to back them in a in a way that is there. They certainly have a mandate, but that it's I don't think that they necessarily asshats had to actually frame it said, I think that the Liberal Party lost the election more than the Labor Party won the election. I think that the result was every bit as much about a bad labor Liberal Party than a good lib Labor Party. Try saying that 10 times faster.
I get your point.
Since then, I think that either way the Labor Party has been streets ahead in terms of governance and so forth, than what we've experienced over the past three years by the Liberal Party.
It's made me sick, just watching the Labor Party in government over the last what fortnight I think we're at week five, we're about to hit week five, it's made me realize how bad the Liberal National Party was in government. You know, not to say that labor is perfect, because if you're looking for perfection in politics, and you're really in the wrong game, as I said multiple times, but it really you just feel like you've gotten adults in the room again, you feel like there's competence. It's got, I've found myself started to watch us politics a little bit more, because really well, you know, certainly with the hearings that have been going on also, but the news cycle doesn't seem as busy. It seems like we're back to you know, quite conventional, almost at times boring government, which is exactly what it should be. It is the best, it is absolutely the best to say to say the least. But yes, congressional again, just wonderful, and looking forward to seeing what the independents actually do. Looking forward to seeing what all of them do, to be honest, you know, from the from the minor parties in the Senate, we just need good evidence based policies prosecuted with compassion.
I'd really like to see over the coming few elections that the crossbench plays a bigger part in in politics. I think that this is potentially one of the last governments that will be a majority government in our lifetime. And that other governments moving forward will be a coalition of different parties, different independents, different groups that share the same values or same vision for the upcoming parliamentary years. And in the same way that the Liberal Party has very rarely governed in a majority in its own right. I think that it's it's likely that this is one of the last times that the Labour Party will govern in a majority in its own right, and will need to seek the backing of independent screens, potentially even the Liberal Party itself, if they can get over that. That historic hatred of each other, I suppose.
And the electorate gosh, that sounds very democratic their branch, and that's more representative Parliament's I think that sounds absolutely wonderful. And indeed, when we see those more representative Parliament's that are away from a two party system or a major party system. We see that working very Well, overseas. I agree maybe that is the next step. Certainly there are enough seats federally with very small margins that that we might see community independence rising up next time. You've already highlighted Bradfield. I know Nicolette Buehler updates already been endorsed by the voices of Bradfield to go again in 2025. Could be earlier if Paul Fletcher goes to a by election. But yes, I agree. And look, the truth too, is if Labour don't meet the needs of their communities, and their constituents will, will see community groups popping up in those seats as well. Yeah, I think that the whole country actually feels quite revitalized. What did you begin Cathy McGowan? Oh, my goodness, yeah, all the people. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
Independence, don't represent the local values, then they lose the community mandate as well. That's exactly right. He knows that it is the powerful piece in the puzzle here. And that the community can actually make that difference if the independent isn't necessarily representing them in their values.
And that's the core question, isn't it? Are you representing the needs, the views and the interests of your community? If the answer to that question is yes, then, you know, carry on. If it's no, then I would expect to see people now coming together and talking about what matters to them. And indeed, starting to organize. So very excited. Speaking of you're now shifting your focus to the Victorian Parliament Victorian State election, which of course, is happening in November.
I'm having a play that,
have you played, I'm having a hi there as well. It's quite a different mindset, in some ways, similar similar principles, of course, but there are some different things to get your head around. How is that going for you? As I said, You're in November, the New South Wales election in March. But how are you going with that bridge,
we don't have the same time frames that you guys have, obviously. So we need to get our act together a little bit earlier. And that means that we need to do things move rapidly and effectively. There's, for any media that's listening in and wanting the scoop here. There's no candidate that's been selected yet. There's no committee that's been put together yet. There's a lot of conversations that are happening behind the scenes. But in terms of, you know, the voices of blood, those groups haven't officially formed. There's people that are speaking behind the scenes about what it might look like, what the issues are, whether or not it's viable in certain seats and other seats. But it's certainly an exciting proposition here in Victoria, that I was at at the last pizza night for Monique Ryan's campaign volunteers. And this is kind of like the farewell dinner for us. It's the last time that we actually get together in the in this way, in a social way. As part of this, this campaign that's been just so incredible for uniting the community here. And I was chatting with Jed Clark, and he said, I said something that stuck with me, here in Victoria, we've got a opposition that does nothing, and a government that does whatever it wants. So there's not much of a choice here, right now, it's very likely that the incumbent Labour Government will get reelected. The there's too few seats on the liberal side to actually, you know, go from that point to actually governing in this cycle. And even if they do make some progress, it's not like they're doing anything in terms of good policy. They're still living in 2019 2020. And talking about lock downs, and so forth. And it's like, Hang on, wait, what the hell's happening here? You guys are running an election in 2022. election campaign in 2022. And talking about 2020 issues. So it's just a really odd scenario here, where we don't really have much of a choice right now, between the two parties that are effectively contested. Well, the two major parties that are effectively contesting the, the election. And it's this is leaving a huge, you know, gap between the two in terms of what people actually want, and how do we represent the local values? I think that there's still the same sort of values there in terms of climate integrity, health care, aged care and so forth. That were raised at the federal level, education, you know, positive politics, all of those sorts of things. In the way that they actually how do I say that man First at the state level is going to be interesting. I personally love to see independent candidates in Well, first of all my electorate here of Hawthorn, which is currently labour held. It and you know, let me just underscore that that this is not specifically targeting liberal people. This is, you know, representing communities that's communities rising rather than people being targeted. So I'd like to see someone in in my particular my seat of Hawthorne, which was an unexpected win for Labour last time, I'd love to see them in queue as well, which is another big part of the queue young electorate. Potentially boxhill, which is another big part of the Cuyana electorates. We'd love to see them in Malden, which is part of Higgins, Brighton, Sandringham, and Corfield which are part of Goldstone. There's a lot of there's three seats down in Flinders that I'd love to see great independent candidates come up in, there's the voices of Kc group that's got a couple of seats that they could go for voice of the vendor that's got a couple of seats that they could go for one nickels, you know, once you start looking at where there are existing groups of community independent groups, effectively, you start to get a fairly big list of seats that could potentially be represented by independents. And these people, these groups already have a level of infrastructure and knowledge campaign experience to actually make these campaigns successful. Interestingly, they go about 8020, Liberal Party Labour Party seats. So you know, they wouldn't necessarily target the Liberal Party.
But it seems like the places where community independent groups rise up, or places where they feel most disrupt presented by the Liberal Party, if that makes sense. So if these groups were to, to form sufficiently, they potentially move the liberal party to the crossbench, there would be more independence in state parliament, if they all got up, then there would be liberal party members. Interesting thing to think about, and what that actually means for democracy more broadly. You know, would they necessarily form into some sort of independent coalition? Would they just represent individual seats values independently? There's this conversation that you and I had a little while ago, which was about independent doesn't necessarily mean isolated. And that's a potential question that independents elected from here on in might need to ask themselves, what does it actually look like to be an independent and represent your community values? Are there alliances and shared values in other communities that you could potentially, you know, work towards the same sort of values together? So yeah, it's a really interesting, upcoming state election, that's coming up. Obviously, being a local member of the Hawthorne community, this is the only community that I can actually be part of in terms of a community backed, independent, happy to share my insight, and so forth in other communities. And I've certainly run a lot of numbers in a lot of different electorates. And the opposite opportunity out there, I think is huge. Most electorates here in Victoria, are held by a 5% margin or less. So or most of the ones that are viable in terms of the community backed independence groups, at least. So there's this huge opportunity where, you know, most of the independence at the federal election last time around got more than a 5% swing. I think that it's feasible that we could see a large number of independence at the next state election. But it really depends on whether or not those communities are going to get together and actually put someone up. Because as you and I know, these things don't happen top down, it'd be so much easier for you and I Denise if there was like a teal party convener, and that said, these are the seven seats or 10 seats or 21 seats that we're actually targeting, and we were opportunistic like that, but it's quite the opposite. It's actually quite hard to get a community backed, independent. Started. There's a lot of pre work that happens, I suppose
a lot of pre work it really is it becomes your own mind and time consuming to say the least. Well, I also do think that you're right. And again, you know, as we said earlier, Monday, after the election, I started to get phone calls and contacts saying what's next? So that was very interesting, exciting. That's like a break might be what's next? Yes, exactly. But you're quite right. It's the processes and the platforms that are partly in place or that people have had experience in building. But it's also recognizing that, hey, we're all campaigners now, you know, we learn something every day. But we also in some ways, have a lot more knowledge about how to do this. And that doesn't go away.
Just from 80% of people that were involved in my next campaign had never even handed out how to vote cards before, never been involved in politics before. Now we have 2000 experienced volunteers, just in the seats of Hawthorne, boxhill, Ash, wood and Q alone. And this is comparable, if not larger than what the major parties have in those seats, combined. So yeah, now, potentially the largest force of experienced campaigners in Australia right now, certainly, in some of these seats, are the actual independents themselves into is
experienced and motivated. I will say that motivation is really important. I also just wanted to pick up something I heard very, very early on when we sort of started this process in North Sydney way before we started searching for a candidate and indeed found Kailee. People were saying to me, just give me a choice. Yes, give me a choice of someone to vote for. And that always stayed with me. And I think that that's something really important now to carry through into the state. And indeed, the local council elections, if we did get to that stage as well, is really finding someone that the community feels like they can get behind. But then of course, yes, giving them the structures, the processes and the ground game that they need. So yeah, really interesting. It's I mean, it's never a dull moment, I have to say, but it is also really time consuming. You know, it is a lot of work by an awful lot of people to get all of this happening. So well done to you for for jumping into the State beat state, the state fire, baptism of fire, particularly, as you've said, you've only got November. Also, the whole news this week, Brent, what anything particular been on your radar this week, you probably don't have too much time to monitor the news as much as you'd like. But any particular news item been on your radar this week?
Honestly, the thing that's been most on my radar right now has been V AC compliance. So it's Victorian Electoral Commission compliance documents. I've been reading them and passing out the most boring, wonderful, boring, terrible, wonderful things that you could read. So we're looking at donation laws and all of that sort of stuff to see exactly what it looks like to potentially run campaigns here.
Now. It's funny that you say that because someone in our little group is also been reading the New South Wales AC compliance. And when you and I had a chat the other day when we were getting ready for the podcast, and of course, in Victoria, you still had preferential voting? Yes. In New South Wales, it's not compulsory preferential voting. So that makes things much more challenging for us in New South Wales in some ways, certainly that education process about preferences, and so on. I think it's really important for up for us from the get go. Do you have spending caps in Victoria state,
we put donation caps, so slightly different. We've got some donation caps where there's a maximum that you can donate, we'd have about $4,000 per donation cycle. And this law, as it's written kind of favors, the type of movement that we have here. So during the Monique Ryan campaign, we had 1000s of donors, I forget exactly how many, but I think the average donation was a couple of 100 bucks. It's like to 250 bucks, I'm gonna say just picking a figure randomly. That's ballpark, right? You look at that figure and you go, Well, shit, that's amazing. The the idea of a $4,000 donation cap really favors us over major parties, for example, that might have fewer donors, but higher individual donation values. Yes, if that makes sense. So I think that when you have potentially running 20 Something candidates and there's the appetite, you know, to actually run good candidates in good seats. That I think that this could actually really favor the independents For the upcoming Victorian election.
Interesting. Well, I wish you all the best of luck with that. I just wanted to ask you what I meant to ask you this before you've been on. I remember set, I don't know how long you've been involved in the Twitter community, but just wanted to give a share a sense of what the what what Twitter's meant meant to you.
Twitter. For me, I joined in 2007, I think back in my.com, startup days, as I was founding a startup once upon a time that did fairly well and you know, helped me to get to where I am now. The I put Twitter aside for a long time, I kind of didn't get it. And I had this public persona that I was putting out about, you know, being professional, and all of that sort of stuff. And it didn't work on Twitter. So put it aside not working for me, that's cool, whatever. I picked Twitter up again, during COVID as a source of information about, you know, infection rates, and so forth, and started sort of using that as a way of being social at a time when I really couldn't leave the house much at all. And I dropped the professional persona entirely. And much to the chagrin of some of my mentors that would suggest that that's the kind of thing that you need to put out. And all of a sudden, Twitter started to take off for me just by being authentic and talking about the things that I was passionate about. There was this thing that Josh Frydenberg said a little while ago that Twitter is just full of bots and trucks. He really didn't get Twitter ahead of the election. For us in the campaign, at least it was probably the number one source of volunteers for the campaign. The going beyond this. And looking at Twitter personally, Twitter personally has been wonderful for connecting with just amazing people, you and I would never have met had not had we not connected on Twitter. I never would have been part of the Monique own campaign had I not been on Twitter. I think Twitter has this incredible ability to make people excessive. Paul, you know that the types of famous people that you might only read about in newspapers, you can actually have a conversation with them on Twitter. You can engage with people in your local community, you can do things like go knock on their neighbor's doors into your T shirts, in ways that you might not be able to in the same way on Facebook and other platforms like that. I think that it's incredibly people, but really underutilized. And really, people don't get it and people don't get the value of it. And I have that one of the lessons from the independent campaigns that politicians take from this is the value that Twitter has as a force of being able to unite people together. And to electrify communities effectively.
I think that's really well said it's just it's just brought so much to me personally. But of course those also in my political moves, I suppose or activism. And I agree with you, I always say to you know, the campaign's that I'm involved in, which hasn't been a lot of campaigns that have certainly not been a lot, but I always say Twitter, the Twitter community will be your early adopters. So they will be the people that subscribed to a newsletter first, come and volunteer first come to come to an event first, because the political, the Twitter audience are politically engaged, they understand what it means to lean into your politics and to engage in your democracy a lot more. And if anything, we've seen the community grow. And I think it's interesting that you said you really picked up on Twitter a lot more. Julian COVID. I think we're seeing a lot of people. Yeah, I thought I thought we saw the Twitter community really grow over COVID For people who were checking all the COVID numbers and you know, and so on, but they've also stayed, which has been wonderful. So yes, I found it's such a wonderful engaging community.
For the independence movement had worked had had COVID not actually happened.
What an interesting question. I know certainly, you know, the earlier part of the campaign we ran for Carly was all during lockdown, our lockdown as long as they were in Victoria. Not using Zoom. We all got very used to that and that's been such a beneficial tool for the independence movement. So that was useful. Probably a lot more people staying at home looking for things to do. That was probably useful. But there were certainly drawbacks as well. We weren't able to do those face to face meetings as effectively. Yeah. So I don't know, it's kind of a curious one, isn't it? A curious question? I think that'd be look, certainly the Morison government obviously failed in their in their management of COVID. And the vaccine rollout, which did not put them in a good position for the for the last election, whether that was, you know, that was what, actually turn the numbers? You know, there were so many other things as well. So yeah, I think it's an interesting question to ponder. We've been going for an hour 11. So we should probably let you know, it goes quickly, doesn't it? Thank you to everyone listening, you live to sue, Jenny, Brendan, and so on. Thank you for tweeting along with us. Wonderful, really appreciate it. Brent, please come back and join us on another podcast. It's been so wonderful that I think we could talk for much, much longer. And of course, we'd love to check in with your Victorian campaign. But I'll ask you for final observation.
Goodness, think that the thing that I'm watching at the moment is I'm watching the values that people are sharing around the state election, in particular in Victoria, and whether or not either side of politics is necessarily representing the community. And one of the things I'm particularly looking at is the role that COVID is playing in the community more broadly, I'm, it's been a little bit of a backburner issue during the federal election. But I just wonder if it's going to be on the front burner ahead of the state election. And it's such a divisive issue that I'm curious to see where it actually goes and what people actually want to see done. About COVID. It's gonna be an interesting one to watch.
I think so we're certainly seeing when we're asking the community, what are the issues that matter to you, then certainly COVID management is coming up a bit. Perhaps that is considered to be more of a state issue? I don't know. So, yeah, it's kind of curious. I mean, it certainly hasn't gone away, that's for sure. As some, you know, doctors, some TV doctors were were predicting, there doesn't seem to be a put on. I'm also read starting to hear people telling me that they've cut it twice. Yeah, so certainly not going away. And even though the media and some politicians seem to want to be wishing it away, anyway, we will see and how it impacts these upcoming elections. Very interesting. I just wanted to give a call out to Anthony clan, and his continued excellent coverage of what's gone on with the Victorian guide dogs, which, of course, is something that touched in touch you in Kooyong, Brent, but he dropped another story about that yesterday, and oh my God, I need to read this, you do need to read it because it's just completely shameful. These people honestly.
It's there's the old structures of patronage are falling down in Korean. And the idea that the only way to get access to power is $1,000, a plate dinner, it's really fascinating to see close hand exactly how the community is changing.
exciting, exciting, and we'll never change that, to that, I hope. Certainly, as younger people engage more in politics, and people in general, engage more. You know, we need to be in the room a lot more when decisions are being made about us. And it feels like at last, that's going to happen again, I don't think we were in the room. For a lot of you know, I don't think we're in the room a lot over the last nine plus years. So yes, thank goodness, Tim Tim Dunn model, so shout out to him and some excellent articles that he's been writing through his substack. And again, just wanted to mention, the US committee hearings, the January 6 committee hearings and what's been going on over there. What is going on in the US is terrifying. Their democracy is under under real threat. And that, of course will impact us in some way. And again, I will say how completely relieved I am that we had a change of government. I would be looking at these committee hearings in the last week or so, in a very different way if we had have had a continuation of the Morison government but it does feel like we're going to be somewhat immune and will not immune but we'll have good decisions made for us. Which I didn't of course didn't feel that way for such a long time. So, now 15, we've been going Thank you, Brent, I'll let you get back to your busy day. I used to working in your day job as well as doing your Yes. Oh, goodness. Okay, so you've got a very busy life.
Yeah, work hard, work intensely and find gaps in the middle to get stuff done.
I hope I think one of the lessons that I've learned in the last two plus years is you do have to have time for yourself, to find some joy in your life and to find some balance in your life. Because, you know, this democracy caper is it's a long term game. constant vigilance and constant engagement is required. And therefore you also have to have a strong level of self care. So I do hope brand without you know, without lecturing you live on our I do hope that you practice that bridge.
always improving editor.
Good. I'm glad to hear that. I'm glad to hear that I think that that's actually a tip for all of us who are who engage in Australian politics or any level of politics is you know, find some joy, find some balance, because when needed, and we need you here for the long term. And to be here for the long term. We have to look after ourselves.
Absolutely. So, Denise, really appreciate
it. We'll come back again. We'd love to have you.
Thank you. I'd really enjoyed that.
I keep on keep please keep doing what you're doing. And we look forward to some more reports on what's going on with the Victorian State election. And we also look forward to keeping keeping an eye on the wonderful Dr. Minute, Ryan.
Yes, yes. And also Sunday, though, the wonder dog that I'll post regular pictures of as well.
Very good. We look forward to that. So again, thank you, Brent Hodgson, for joining us today on spin proof. Thank you again to everyone who's listened in live and those who have listening to replay I'll be back next Friday. I haven't got my guests worked out yet, but I will let you know during the week. But as we say at the end of every spin proof podcast everyone please hang in there. Thanks, everyone. See you next Friday.
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