I’ve been at Sydney University now for over six years, including five years as a full-time student with full voting rights whenever any elections were held. So I’m not exactly new to the phenomenon of the stupid election slogan, but I still can’t help but wince any time I see fresh paint in the graffiti tunnel advertising the newest slew of pseudo-political hopefuls.

Sometimes I wonder why they do it. Friends tell me they’re usually politics students who want to catapult their post-graduate career straight into being a staffer in DFAT, or even being fast-tracked through the totally democratic factions of the Labor Party. I should point out that this last point is more characteristic of Labor than Liberal. Liberal party hopefuls tend not to be electable at uni – unless it’s for the editorial team of Honi Soir – their trajectory normally takes them through the Young Liberals instead. Predictably, I would just ask for the Greens affiliated candidate and be done with it.

Anyway, here’s a sample of this year’s contenders for the election to the board of the USU:

I Dig Doug1

Alex: A Union Revolution

K2 is Good for U3

Bec On Board

There are also a bunch of contenders that consider their mere name adequate to be a slogan in itself. First names4 are spray-painted, chalked, and emblazoned on walls, roads and footpaths, and even the highly visible vertical rise of outdoor staircases all over the uni, hoping to impress themselves on the consiousness of the undecided, or more likely, apathetic voter. I wish I could exemplify their effectiveness in making me want to elect them, except ironically, I can’t remember any of their names.

My favourite from the list above is K is Good for U, as it uses a highly considered pun on “U” – being a homonym for an English pronoun on one hand, and the initial of the point of the election, the Union, on the other – but it also effectively plagiarises pays homage to a breakfast cereal, using the (likely registered trademark) typeface and colour-scheme of Kellog’s Special K5.

So, what is the stupidest election slogan you’ve ever heard?

  1. Better would have been Me Doug. You Dig? []
  2. Stands for Karina and is written like the K in Special K cereal []
  3. U presumably stands for Union []
  4. They only use first names, it seems []
  5. I have no financial interest in using a brand name or product. In fact, Special K has to be one of the most odious cereals I know of []