Leadership and efficiency: hallmarks of MLPs final lap campaign
Week five of the electoral campaign sees the Labour
Party aiming for government. Kurt Sansone analyses the workings of the
The last lap of the electoral campaign has seen the Labour
Party pander to voters on two distinct levels: mass meetings and public
events for the party grass roots and colourful leaflets in every home
for the undecided or middle-of-the-road voters.
The daily televised press conferences on Super One have been replaced
with other controlled events to try and ward off any final
week mishaps with journalists even though Alfred Sant faired well in
the tête-à-tête he had with Lou Bondi last Monday
on Super One TV.
The programme showed that Sant was not afraid to face Bondis questions
even if the Labour leader remained evasive on a number of issues raised.
The beginning of the week was characterised by the signing of the pact,
a televised ceremony held in full glory at the Phoenicia. Sant and his
deputies signed a notarial deed pledging to not contest the election
in five years time if the MLP government does not live up to its
Although the pact is not legally binding on either of the political
leaders it was a good publicity stunt, which might have rung a bell
with middle-of-the-road voters. It gave the Labour leadership a sense
of credibility and sense of responsibility even if a similar stunt was
pulled off before the 1996 election.
The event also gave the MLP campaign the necessary charge to face the
last four days of campaigning after a slowdown experienced last week.
The leaflet campaign in households has also intensified. Colourful and
to the point, the leaflets address various issues in a superficial way,
which however leaves an impact on the reader. The positive
leaflets try to impart a sense of leadership and efficiency that will
characterise a prospective Labour government. On the other hand, the
negative leaflets target the alleged corruption and tiredness
that hounds the present administration.
The billboards have also been utilised in an unorthodox way. Instead
of portraying the same message on all billboards, in the final week
of the campaign Labour has opted to splash the various initiatives it
intends adopting once in government on the different billboards. The
different messages are blend but the fact that each billboard has a
different message gives the impression that the MLP has a lot to do.
In the final lap of the campaign most of the negative billboards hitting
out at the Prime Minister have been replaced with positive messages
about Labours initiatives. The billboard campaign contrasts heavily
with the one adopted by the PN, which seems to have stalled on the same
message for over a week.