US Elections – New Every 4 Years

hill-and-donThey completely dissolve and re-form their Presidential campaigns every four years in the US, while in Australia the campaign machinery and personnel continue from one election cycle to another* – this is one of the big differences between Australian and US Election Campaigns.

This system in the US arises in large part because the Presidential campaign is so much a construct of the candidate, rather than the Party – based around the style and wishes of each individual candidate.

The downside of this system is the need to rebuild completely, and the capacity of a campaign to have to relearn hard lessons learned by previous campaigns.  I’ve seen that happen – one candidate’s campaign, four years after some inspired organising, had quite forgotten how to manage a particular and important aspect of campaigning.

Another downside is that campaigns have to re-learn the local terrain and quirks, and consultants have to be re-inducted all over again.

And it also builds a resentment amongst locals, that the Presidential campaign has come in over the top of them, and taken over their turf, again, without seeming interested in local knowledge, or employing locals.

There are two big upsides, though:

  1. a complete rebuild every four years clears away the bad habits of the past, makes it easier to innovate, and reduces the desire to prosecute the battles of the last political war, and
  2. Presidential candidates get an opportunity to build the campaign which best reflects their values, strategies and interests – and consistency between campaign and candidate brand is very important!

So, the feel is very different from Australia, and it’s the same with both major Parties.

Better or worse than Australia?  Maybe, on this issue, it’s simply different.


(Half of the Ethical Consulting Services team – that would be Mike – will be embedded within the US Presidential campaign, from mid-October: this year, US election day is 8 November.)


* With, in Australia, some uptake of new technology and some staff turnover, of course.




About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services:; Ethical strategies and programs which get you where you need to go ... * Exceptional government & stakeholder relations, * Thriving governance systems, * Specialised project facilitation, * Inbound investment assistance, * Successful marketing, communications and PR campaigns ... and customised training in each of these areas.

Posted on October 12, 2016, in campaigning, Change, Culture, Culture change, Democracy, Election, Political tactics, Politics, Values and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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