"Men, money, and motors": the motor car as an emerging technology in Australian Federal Election Campaigns, 1903–31

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The appearance of the car in early twentieth-century Australia significantly re-shaped election campaigns. Political parties used cars to bring voters to polling places, and some voters took advantage of elections by making their voting contingent on these free rides. Politicians and other campaigners took exception to the cost of supplying cars and to the attitudes evident in demands for rides. Some saw compulsory voting as a way of forcing voters to provide for their own transportation. Introduced mostly in the 1920s, compulsory voting’s impact was initially muted. But over time it did change how cars were used in Australian politics. One hundred years on compulsory voting remains in force in Australia, and cars are still seldom used on election day. This serves as an enduring example of how new technologies could have a disruptive impact on campaigning prior to the advent of radio and television.

LanguageEnglish
Pages232-250
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Transport History
Volume40
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

election campaign
election
voting
automobile
money
Railroad cars
television
politician
new technology
radio
Television
twentieth century
politics
Car
Emerging Technologies
Motor Car
Election Campaigns
costs
Voting
cost

Keywords

  • Australian politics
  • automobile
  • compulsory voting
  • electioneering

Cite this

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"Men, money, and motors" : the motor car as an emerging technology in Australian Federal Election Campaigns, 1903–31. / Monnox, Chris.

In: Journal of Transport History, Vol. 40, No. 2, 01.08.2019, p. 232-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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