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Ecology action around the federal election 9th Oct 2004

nothappyjohn2004leaflet.jpg

In the weeks and months in the lead up to the 9th October 2004 election ecology action applied its limited resources to ousting the Howard Liberal-National Party Coalition Government as a draconian anti environmental govt... notwithstanding some policy figleafs in place for their quite cynical PR machine, paid for it must be said by improperly diverted taxpayer dollars.

This PR game sadly is the stock standard approach of either major party as demonstated at regional government NSW level by the other major Party in Australia and holding power there under Premier Bob Carr of the Australian Labor Party.

There were two main activities in our electioneering work:

1. producing an Oz Forest & Woodland email newsletter with relevant policy information

 

2. Our second action was strong support for an independent but fairly conservative group called 'Not Happy John' led by a former national president of the Liberal Party, Mr John Valder who in the past was an ally of the current Prime Minister, but obviously no longer. The mission of the NHJ people was to unseat PM John Howard, though not the govt itself, and failed that goal. But they did achieve a 4% swing against both Howard in Bennelong, and his crony Ruddock in neighbouring seat of Berowra.

The ongoing web site of the NHJ people can still be found here

Our no woodchips car ranged all across the seat of Bennelong, north to south, east to west, delivering NHJ leaflets, newsletters, stickers and packages of these, for various volunteers, as well as bulk loads from the printers into the electorate.

25/9/04... A description of intimidation, dirty tricks, thuggery against the NHJ campaign in the heart of PM Howard's electorate

We personally delivered around 20,000 leaflets in two leaflet runs over several weeks and up to 8pm election eve.

Dear letter box volunteer, thankyou and VIVA DEMOCRACY!

The run sheet shows your streets by shaded area (dark “green” on original). You need as many leaflets/broadsheets as the “popn” number (top right of run sheet) which is actually post boxes in that area, then add another 10%. Take care to distribute exposing the front page headline to the occupant and passers-by. This is half the impact. Don’t distribute in the rain or impending rain. Each run is about 2 or 3 hours. Please do the run within 3 days of pickup. Any problems call or email your coordinator straight away for advice or choice feedback. Please do keep a record of number of left overs so we can refine the database.

Thankyou for supporting democracy!

Some other tips for easy distribution:

  • make your stockpile in the middle of the area, take a full but comfy bundle (including day pack) and go say east ‘half a bundle out’ and then ‘half bundle back’ to stockpile. Repeat north, south, west like four or more petals of a flower or mandela shape. You will be surprised how this cuts down useless distance and overloading.
  • start at top of a hill not bottom, you may think you are fit but gravity knows better.
  • don’t overload, go for speed and comfort, not weight
  • do carry a little day pack with extra but not too heavy as sore shoulders is depressing.
  • do drink before and during.
  • you do need a hat even if cloudy - really, long session can result in heat stroke
  • on little side trips do take a little more than you think you need to avoid disappointment from running short causing a repeat walk and lost energy.
  • delivery via bicycle house to house doesn’t work really. You have to hoof it.
  • don’t carry excessive volumes in the non stuffing hand - that hand and arm will get too tired, use a day pack for this.
  • put an angled side edge on the pile in carry hand so the top lead edge is easier to separate - seems trivial but after 50 easy versus 50 fiddly you will like it. Swap carry arms.
  • when doing a bank of post boxes you can put pile down on top or close by so u can fold and stuff with both hands free.
  • technically illegal to “drop and walk” at front door or front porch (eg terraces), supposed to put in letterbox. But if weather is calm and good forecast it can speed up delivery 30-50%. If you do drop and run make sure the top page or headline is highly visible to home owner and passers-bys. Very, very important.

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