Conservative Party Campaign Launch

Leighton Baker, via The Press

The Conservative party continue to be keen to be seen as technologically savvy.  They are having their 2017 election campaign launch on the Internet.

We’ve had Brexit. We’ve had Trump. We’ve had French rejection of the establishment. It’s time for change!

Join us for our Online Town Hall Meeting This Saturday evening starting at 7pm.

You can join us on your PC or your Mac. It seems mobile devices don’t work too well. We will be using GotoWebinar as our host and you will need to join the webinar a few minutes early as you need to activate Citrix Online Launcher to join.

Brief Welcome and Introduction
20 minute message from Leighton Baker, Party Leader

It’s a frugal campaign launch agenda.  You can watch Mr Baker live as he gives a 20 minute speech.  And then it will be followed by a “digital Town Hall” question and answer session.

The message says

We will be using GotoWebinar as our host and you will need to join the webinar a few minutes early as you need to activate Citrix Online Launcher to join.

Just exactly how many potential Conservative party voters would not be intimidated by that requirement?  How many would understand it?  Why are phones, iPads, tablets and Smart TVs not going to work well?

In the end, we have to ask questions:  Is this smart?   Without Colin Craig’s funds, the party needs to use technology to cheaply spread its message.  The other question would be:  if they held a real party launch, how many people would turn up?  And finally, how many party launches are announced 4 days in advance?

In terms of a genuine political movement, the interactions with the public are via its web site, email, a Reddit “AMA” and now a Webinar.   On that basis, Whaleoil could launch a 2017 Election campaign this Saturday also.  So at a minimum, it does not create substance you might expect from a party that you expect to achieve something.

On the other hand, let’s give it a chance.  This is probably one of the most Green party launches New Zealand will see this year, with nobody having to hop on a plane or a long ride to go sit in a hotel conference room with a few signs and balloons just so that media can take photos and give the public a sense something real happened.

Political parties increasingly provide online events such as these as an alternative to going to sit in a cold hall.  It could reach voters otherwise unable to attend.   It also follows the ‘direct to voter’ model by taking the media out of the loop.

But the down-side remains that these events are generally poorly attended.  It is certainly brave to put such a technological barrier in front of potential participants that could not be expected to be more technically capable than your average person.

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