It's time to discuss slogans

Author
Associate Professor Sally Young

Research Director, Election Watch
Melbourne School of Government
University of Melbourne

 

TEST YOURSELF: which Opposition Leader contested a federal election declaring "It's time for a change"? Sorry folks, not Gough Whitlam. It was Robert Menzies.

That's right, the father of the modern Liberal Party employed the slogan as he attempted to unseat Labor's Ben Chifley in 1949.

 

And who can forget decades later when the Liberal's Andrew Peacock proclaimed: "The Answer is Liberal". Prime Minister Bob Hawke quickly responded: "If the answer is Liberal it must have been a bloody stupid question"

 

Of course, the more memorable the slogan the more successful. But as the below table — produced by Associate Professor Sally Young — shows, campaign slogans aren't always very original.

 

The same words and concepts are frequently recycled.

 

 

 

2013

  • ‘A New Way'
  • ‘Choose real change'
  • 'A stronger Australia, a better future'

2010

  • ‘Together: Let’s move Australia forward’
  • ‘Stand up for real action’
  • 'Our action contract’
  • ‘We can’t afford more Labor’
  • ‘Stop the boats’
  • ‘End the waste, pay back the debt, stop the big new taxes, stop the boats’

2007

  • ‘Kevin 07’
  • ‘New leadership’
  • ‘Go for growth’‘Don’t risk Labor’

2004

  • ‘Opportunity for all Australians’
  • ‘Mark Latham and Labor. Taking the pressure off families’
  • ‘Ease the squeeze’
  • ‘Protecting, securing, building Australia’s Future’
  • ‘The Howard Government delivers’
  • 'If you can't run a council, how can you run the country’
  • ‘Don’t take the risk’ &‘Latham will squeeze the fees’

2001

  • ‘A secure future for all Australians’
  • ‘That’s what I stand for.’
  • ‘Keep Australia in safe hands’
  • ‘Heading in the right direction’

1998

  • ‘A safe and secure future for all Australians’
  • ‘Australia deserves better’
  • ‘Keep Australia in safe hands’
  • ‘For a stronger Australia’
  • ‘Don’t go back to Labor. Australia can’t afford it’

1996

  • ‘Leadership’
  • ‘For all of us’
  • ‘Tell Labor it’s not good enough’

1993

  • ‘Australia deserves better’
  • ‘We can do it… together’
  • ‘Labor’s got to go’

1990

  • ‘Bob Hawke for Australia’s future’
  • ‘The answer is Liberal’

1987

  • ‘Let’s stick together. Let’s see it through’
  • ‘Get in front again’ & ‘Incentivation’     

1984

  • ‘Put Australia first’
  • ‘Stand up for your family. Vote Liberal’

1983

  • ‘Bob Hawke. Bringing Australia together’
  • ‘We’re not waiting for the world’

1980

  • ‘Raise the standard’
  • ‘Lead on, Liberal’

1977

  • ‘Get Australia working’
  • ‘Uranium. Play it safe’
  • ‘Liberal. Doing the job’

1975

  • ‘Shame Fraser, shame’
  • ‘Advance Australia fair’
  • ‘Turn on the lights’

1974

  • ‘Go ahead’ or‘Give Australia the go ahead…’
  • ‘Whitlam: He’s so much better’
  • ‘Think again’

1972

  • ‘It’s time’
  • ‘Not yet’
  • ‘Right today. Right for your future’

1969

  • ‘Labor. Where the action is’
  • 'Join the swing to Labor’
  • ‘Progressive responsible government’

1966

  • ‘Vote ALP and end conscription’
  • ‘What price freedom?’
  • ‘Keep Australia secure and prosperous – play it safe’ &‘Let’s get on with the job’

1963

  • ‘Time for action’
  • ‘Secure your tomorrow today’

1961

  • ‘Labor puts people first’
  • ‘Build for tomorrow’

1958

 

  • ‘Australia unlimited’
  • 'Keep Australia on the march’

1955

 

 

1954

 

 

1951

  • ‘What Labor promises, Labor will do’

 

1949

 

  • ‘It’s time for a change’