What IS a Zeitgeist?
Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian
people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported
The key to the success of any political party, as it is with anyone selling a
similar product to everyone else, is to "differentiate", say the marketing experts. It is
something the Utanian Burovian Movement (UBM) is apparently good at.
Naahi Bennett is a happy man. And he owes it all to President Hope, he says. Secretary
of the fastest growing party in Utania, Bennett has watched the Utanian Burovian Movement
(UBM) grow from a 1% to a 6% party, 10% in Lasanne, and there is no sign the growth is
"We have been very fortunate that the Conservatives have self-destructed in the way
they have. Invading the I'ana archipelago", Bennett says of an action his party has
vehemently opposed, "showed the electorate what the Conservatives were really made of: as much
nationalists as the LNP, prepared to use the military to force their way. And the electorate
has responded by deserting the party for parties true to the conservative cause."
"The key to the success of the Burovian party", says Lloyd Reynolds of Reynolds-Champy,
a leading Luka marketing firm, "is that they have differentiated themselves from the
Conservative party by saying ''hey we're pacifists, not militarists like the Conservatives.
Who would you rather vote for?'' And this has struck a chord with the electorate, particularly
here in Luka and the wealthy farming region around it."
The second key to successful party start-up is to exploit that niche, the difference,
something the UBM have been doing very well the past week. A barrage of advertisements on
television have paraded the slogans "Business not bombs" and "Conservative values without
the militarism" for the Burovians.
And finally, further exposure came as an interview with Bennett and Burovian World Assembly
spokesman Patrick Firlefenthz published in last week's Zeitgeist edition.
"Certainly, exposure is the key to any marketing strategy. And we are certainly exploiting
that exposure while the opportunity lasts, because we know it wont be here for long. The
media can be a fickle lover."
Naahi Bennett is the successful entrepreneurial son of Gyum'th greengrocer of the Ujam
tribe. His family personally experienced the oppressive hand of the Guwimith regime: his
father was constantly harrassed for being a successful businessman. But, for young Naahi, this
only taught him to constantly improve and never surrender. Qualities that served his epitomously
named food processing company, Bennetts, which he sold to the Belson Corporation last year
for a rumoured Û40 million. And now, he leads the Burovian movement.
He gives the impression he is constantly evaluating and analysing everything that is
going on, while never losing a single word of your conversation. He is constantly interrupted
by aides and party staffers seeking his hyper-intelligent mind to evaluate something more.
It is a tribute to his talents, say his aides, that the party is excelling the way it is.
However, not everything has gone the Burovians' way. They have a equal popularity with
the Utani Progressive Party, yet have six fewer seats in the virtual parliament. They are
still without a "sufficiently skilled leader", although Bennett says, with a knowing smile,
that they are "working on the final details of that issue".
And there remains the issue of the Burovian's anti-democratic stance, which has polled
poorly with many voters. The general impression being that should the UBM ever get close to
winning outright, voters would desert the fledgling party in droves. "This is clearly a gross
mis-understanding in voters' minds", Bennett explains. "We will not seize control and dissolve
democracy if we win power - it will ALWAYS be done by referendum. The voters will still have
the final say on this matter whether we win 10% of the vote or 90%."
Professor Kapur is impressed with the Burovians, saying they exemplify a strategic
approach to politics, but he remains personally concerned over their foreign links, and
anti-democratic stance. Others are even less accepting, with Liberal Nationalist Kyle Langley
calling them "foreigners intent on foreign dictatorship in Utania". The Peoples Party are more
cautious, Okarvits saying they "have the right motives, but the conclusion to abandon
democracy is a little extreme."
The Conservatives have been less vocal. President Hope is, according to inside sources,
incensed by the treachery of a conservative party fighting one of its own. Yet, publicly, his
rage remains hidden. If the UBM continues its current growth in popularity, they could win as
many as a dozen seats. Hope may yet have to negotiate a truce with the Burovians if he plans
to hold power. He can't tick them off thoughtlessly.
Still, Bennett is sitting on cloud nine. His party is finally polling seats where they
have concentrated their advertising - Lasanne. They have their first virtual MP, in Waitaki,
but no name for him/her yet. "The first candidature for Waitaki is currently under review" is
all Bennett will say.
Regardless, a knowing, self-satisfied smile of a man winning against the odds says it
Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?
©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)