Plays in Australian Politics: form a queue


And so, with the final week of Parliament before the pre-budget recess, the Labor side of politics is in, to quote a number of media outlets, “feverish”.

Those promoting Simon Crean as a possible leadership candidate are running a Trial Balloon (the presentation of initial ideas, or the tentative floating of a position to test levels of support), perhaps a Ping (sending a pulse to the market to see what the reaction might be). His response is a Deflect (the evasion of a question) or a Red Herring (the luring of another player, in this case the journalist, off-course). 

At the same time he has been running a Lantern (the pre-emptive disclosure of a mistake or a flaw, shining the light on something clearly awry so that you can move on) on the way Labor’s proposed media reforms have been presented to the cabinet, Parliament and the voters. 

”The process could’ve been handled better…you won’t get the right outcomes unless you go through proper process.”

And his possible leadership bid may well by a Draft (the drafting of one Player by another, the real Player as it were), a Play designed to draw the leadership spill into the open, or a Play designed to allow another candidate to make a run (presumably, if this is the Play, Kevin Rudd).

Senator Bob Carr’s declaration of support for Prime Minister Gillard is a Bear Hug pure and simple, the public support of another’s position. His comments about the media feeding on this leadership speculation frenzy is a Call Out, a level of indignation (righteous, perhaps?) about the media’s continuing questions and testing of the Prime Minister’s position. However, in light of observations that Carr has been talking down Gillard for weeks, this may well be Red Herring.

Of course, where these Plays fit in a broader strategy, and where each of these Playcallers fit in that Strategy, remains to be seen.

As for the Prime Minster herself, she is running a Crazy Ivan. Whether she is going out with a bang, or confronting those who doubt her and those who oppose her head on, also remains to be seen.

To see where these various Plays sit on the Standard Table of Influence , go to the Glossary of Plays, where you can also see the degrees of risk and reward for each of them.

Acknowledgements to journalists Tony Wright and Mark Kenny of the Sydney Morning Herald for the article behind this Playcalling analysis: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/feverish-mps-turn-their-eyes-to-crean-20130319-2gdnq.html

About alansmithoz

Head of Strategic Business Communications at Australian social analytics technology company Digivizer, with a background in corporate public relations and marketing. I do what I do because I believe communications can make a difference.
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