“It seems clear that the 'professional' tag refers not to the political skills and popularity of the leaders, or to the relative efficacy of the parties’ policies or ideologies, but to the capabilities of the rival parties’ organisations, particularly in the context of elections. ‘Professional’ describes, with positive and negative connotations, both the Liberal Party and the ALP, in government and in opposition. But what is a professional party organisation? And who within in might be characterised as a professional? How and why has that organisation, or the individuals within it, become professional? And what impact does this professionalisation process have on the parties’ campaign activities, their structures and their overall role in the political system?”
This is an excerpt from ‘Parties and Campaigns’, chapter 10 of Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations, edited by Narelle Miragliotta, Anika Gauja and Rodney Smith. To be published by Monash University Press later in 2015 ...
"The Professionals" tells the story of how Australian election campaigns and political parties have changed, from the pre-television era through to the social media/ micro-targeted campaigns of today. Who drives this change? The campaign professionals in the party head offices.
The book, awarded the Henry Mayer Book Prize for Australian Politics 2015, was based on my PhD research and is available from Black Inc. For more details:
Electoral Regulation Research Network / Democratic Audit Of Australia Joint Working Paper Series.
This working paper distils two presentations, one at the second Australia-New Zealand workshop on Campaign Management and Political Marketing, at the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney on 18 July 2014, and the other to a seminar of the Electoral Regulation and Research Network, University of Melbourne.