Eastern Avenue saw an insipid first day of in person campaigning in this year’s uninspiring USU campaign. With candidates taking hours, and in some cases days, to launch their online campaigns, we were disappointed (but not surprised) to see a similar lack of energy on the ground.
When Honi paid a visit to Eastern Avenue, Moderate Liberal Nicholas Dower was the only campaign visible. The Redfern Run, which in years gone by was buzzing with campaigners, had no corflutes to be seen.
Nicholas Dower’s campaign looks pretty polished, with engaging purple printed corflutes promising midnight coffees and $10 cocktails. However, Dower’s managers should probably have checked the USyd Alcohol Policy on that latter promise; USyd has strict regulation of alcohol discounts and “happy hour” marketing.
All the same, it’s still early in the campaign, with a full week before voting opens next Monday. Campaigns still have time to come out swinging — it’ll be interesting to see if they can motivate attendance to the USU’s Election Soapbox on Wednesday, which has traditionally been an opportunity to show off campaign muscle. (Side note: if you have a question for one of the candidates, you can submit it here).
On the online side of things, Onor Nottle is leading the race in page likes (254), with Naz Sharifi, Nicholas Dower and Madhullikaa Singh in relatively close pursuit. This is a drop in campaign engagement — for context, in 2020, Nottle’s present page likes would have put her in sixth place. In fairness, that campaign was constrained to social media and this one is overshadowed by distinctly-more-important staff strikes, but nevertheless can only hope the so-far lukewarm campaign starts heating up soon!