Clive Palmer has further endeared himself to the Australian people by showing no remorse for sending a bulk text message to 5.6 million of us late last week to spruik the benefits of his indefatigable United Australia Party. Here at The Watsonia Bugle we received this one at midday on Friday:
Considering that the texts were supposedly geotargeted to their recipients, it seems quite odd that Palmer chose to promote a train service for people living 300 kilometres from Melbourne and sent that message to a phone living about 20 kilometres from Melbourne. Unless, of course, he had been analysing the average travel time for commuters on the Hurstbridge Line and wanted to rub it in our faces.
You’d also think that if you’re going to the trouble of texting roughly a quarter of Australia’s population you might work on the wording of your message to explain yourself a bit clearer — unless he’s still on one of those early-2000s phone plans where you get charged extra for exceeding a certain character limit. And, while we’re at it, is it really wise to hinge your whole campaign on one of the most tired political plays in the nation?
Regardless of political tactics, we were a little shocked when Palmer not only dismissed criticism of his communication strategy, but also insisted that more texts would be sent as the campaign trail heats up. In fact, Palmer said, “We’ll be running text messages as we get closer to the election because it’s a way of stimulating debate in our democracy”. Interestingly, he didn’t comment on whether it was a “good” or “bad” way of stimulating that debate.