Thursday, 23 February 2012

Size Does Matter

As I was making my lunch today, I noticed the label on the margarine container (pictured).  It occured to me to ask - why are the large bold words "Lowers Cholesterol" followed by the small-type word "absorption"?

I'm sure you don't need me to labour the answer.  The message the Unilever marketing department wants me to get from the package is not the literal meaning of the words, even though these are actually the truth.  They want me to get the much more hopeful (but untrue) message in bold type.

Meanwhile, having survived floods, cyclones and the GFC, the Queensland Labor Party is faced with what may be the biggest disaster of them all, a landslide at the March 24 State election.  Forecasts indicate mass unemployment for current Labor members of parliament.

Cue the arrival of some marketing material from my local MP, Simon Finn.  Mr Finn's name and smiling face loom large on the flyer, listening carefully to local constituents, acting on local issues and claiming credit for things like new bus routes (oddly, since these are delivered by the Brisbane City Council), kindergartens and schools. 

Meanwhile, some other things are in very small print.  Like the Labor Party logo, and the photo of Premier Anna Bligh flying her helicopter over a flooded landscape.  Notably, she does not appear in any pictures with Mr Finn.

I think you can see where I'm going with this.  Simon Finn wants me to see the message in the large print and pictures.  He is a great guy who helps local people.  This is quite possibly true - I'm not sure since I've never actually met him.  Nonetheless, he is duty bound to include the full context of this information even if it does appear in small print.  He is a Labor Party member, the party led by Anna Bligh whose approval rating is currently hovering at 41%.

Sadly for Mr Finn, most of his constituents understand the trick.  Flora Pro-Activ will not lower my cholesterol, only its rate of absorption.  Simon Finn is a Labor member of parliament.  However much he cares about his community he will vote with his party at all times.  Even more sadly, given that the alternative is the rather absurd Liberal-National party, he may well be buried in March's landslide.  The size of your caucus definitely does matter.

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