Saturday, 8 November 2008

"Labour should run a positive campaign"

Young Fabian Mark Rusling hot off the plane from campaigning for Obama in Ohio, says there's "absolutely no reason why Labour can't run a positive campaign" and win, in a discussion on what Labour can learn from the US election.

It's not about money, it's about people, argued Rusling, chair of the Young Fabians, it's about getting people out and involved. He pointed out that campaigners knocked on 10% of the doors in Ohio on the Monday before the election.

People were flying in from all over the US to help campaign in Ohio, and helping with phone campaigning in the key state even though they didn't live there, he said.

He said the Labour Party had got to reach out to other parts of progressive society such as socialist societies and trade unions.


deedo said...

The panelists didn't mention one very important group: students.

Obama and his campaign team mobilised its student support effectively and efficently. Labour and centre left parties across Europe need to tap into and organise their student bases.

Students are willing and able to put in hard graft on behalf of a political cause. We need to channel their energies efficently, during election campaigns.

This can be done in many ways. We have entered the 'technological age' and with that we have seen the emergace of social networking sites, such as Facebook, as well as other exciting platforms for communication such as Youtube. Students are best placed to use this software, because they have the best knowledge of it. Again, it is a case of 'tapping' into this knowledge. As Mark said, every CLP should have its own website and I believe student can play a huge role in making this happen.

Setting up Facebook groups and posting videos on Youtube will not win a party an election. I appreciate that. But it will certainly help raise the profile of centre left parties if these sites are used correctly.

If Labour is to win the next election, it needs to use its resources wisely. Students could become a key asset in the build up to the next general election.

Ray said...

Excellent point Deedo. I do think Labour has under-estimated how to involve students, and how to motivate people to get involved. The question should be asked - what was it that made young people want to get out on the campaigning trail and can that apply here?