This post uses publicly available data and does not divulge private MERA25 political strategy details. The purpose of this post is informational: to provide additional perspective on the 2023 Bremen state election, and to provide insights to future MERA25 campaigns in a way that cannot be used against us or by our competition.
If you’ve missed a previous part, you can find part 1 here, and part 2 here.
Anyone following MERA25’s Bremen state election campaign knows our campaign strategy involved conducting symbolic and provocative performative actions in heavily trafficked public spaces. (Summary available here, and activist account available here). But how effective were these actions? Anything you think we could’ve done better?
Well the short answer is: the actions were a great idea, and worked beautifully. They were ambitious, and produced appealing content for social media. We invested almost all of our resources into four districts: Neustadt, Östliche Vorstadt, Mitte, and Findorff, and produced an average of 1005 votes in these districts, which left 17 districts we didn’t touch. In these untouched districts we got an average of 185 votes per district despite investing nothing, the only explanation for which is Bremenites got MERA25 recommended to them by Wahl-O-Mat, looked us up, and saw our fantastic social media coverage of our ambitious and radical actions, which confirmed for them MERA25 was the party they’d vote for.
What we can see above is that our actions didn’t have any noticeable effect on the voting behavior of districts they were held in compared to districts no actions were held in, and that our actions were extremely concentrated, they all took place in the district of Mitte, and across only two sub districts. This was intentional- we chose locations for their symbolism, prioritizing this even above maximizing visibility. This makes perfect sense for actions, as we must keep in mind the actions are intended to produce content for social media. The more provocative the action and clear the symbolism, the greater our chances of retaining locals who have found our posts on their own initiative. Our visibility initiatives in key districts (putting up posters, stickers, leafleting, and assembling) can be thought of the bob on the baited line we’ve cast: the bob draws the fish in (locals googling MERA25 or searching for us on social media after being exposed to our visibility initiatives), and we need to make our bait as appetizing as possible so they’ll bite (vote for us). Provocative and symbolic actions that resonate with locals make the best bait, we want them to believe we understand their issues, that we speak their language, that we’re serious (radical), and that they can hope for things to get better if they vote for us.
We can see our visibility initiatives work, because over half of our votes (50.8%) came from the four districts we focused on. What can we do better you ask? Our fishing technique works, now we just need to optimize the appeal of the bait.
Interesting. How would you propose we do that?
Well that’s really a job for intel and somewhat a matter of search engine optimizing. Let’s think of it like this: what do we want to be the first thing a local sees when they look up MERA25 after seeing our bob that will most effectively increase the chance of converting them to voting for us? When we think about it like that, it becomes clear that us being in touch with local issues and having an easily digestible and popular position will yield the best results. This is where I believe we could’ve done better: we chose to focus a LOT on climate change (5/7 actions), which is an unpopular and controversial topic that is also already covered by more established parties. If the majority of people don’t care about climate topics, they won’t take the bait if that’s what they see 5/7 times when searching MERA25. The people that do won’t necessarily be converted, because if they’re serious about climate change, why would they vote for us instead of Die Linke: a party currently much better positioned to successfully advance climate bills.
Here’s where intel can make the difference: identify local issues that aren’t being covered by established parties, and take the popular position. I received feedback from a reader of this blog that MERA25 didn’t seem to have a public stance on the Brötchentaste issue (introducing a button on parking meters that would enable drivers to get a free ticket for very short errands, like buying bread). Reserving our radical and provocative action for big issues suggests we don’t see the local issues as important, which is not good for our campaign. Let’s kick our intel up a notch, and identify the local issues that’ll make people feel heard, like we care, and will convert them to MERA25 voters. Let’s optimize our posts so that our radical action on local issues is the first thing locals see when they look us up. Hook, line, and sinker.
Great idea, and thanks to that reader for that excellent suggestion. This seems like a good place to call it for this part, can we expect a part 4?
Thank you, and yes, thank you to that reader for such great feedback. If any readers feel I leave something out or have other feedback, I am always interested to hear it, and please offer it, as it may help MERA25! There is a part 4 planned, but at the time of writing I am waiting for some more data to become available, so am unsure of when it will be released. Hopefully by this weekend. I’ll likely be returning to normal posts in the meantime. If you’re interested in strategy, socialism, or chess, feel free to have a look through the archives, or use the search bar to see if I’ve published anything on a topic that interests you most. More soon, and take care!