Almost 30 years after New Zealand’s infamous snap election, a Wellington based distiller is bringing old-fashioned fun and satire back to modern day politics. Ulf Fuehrer, maker of traditional German schnapps Zumwohl, says one of his greatest passions in life, aside from schnapps, is politics. Now he’s found a way to bring the two together.
“Alcohol and elections have always been an interesting mix. The ‘84 snap election was effectively born of a whiskey bottle,” says Fuehrer.
“The image of a visibly tipsy Muldoon announcing the election is the best known and most parodied moment in our political history. Some people still refer to it as the ‘schnapp election’.”
Recognising this year’s election wasn’t attracting a huge amount of public interest; Fuehrer has seized the opportunity by declaring the return of the schnapp election, albeit this time with a modern twist.
Fuehrer is giving away a bottle of Zumwohl every day of the campaign for the cleverest or funniest tweet about the election. After just four days, the response has been stronger than anticipated and entries have been retweeted to more than 75,000 people around the country.
Fuehrer says Twitter suited his schnapp election well because it makes it simple for people to participate, and doesn’t require a lot of time or concentration.
“Twitter is the intellectual equivalent of a shot, so we saw it as a perfect fit for the schnapp election,” says Fuehrer.
He also says the immediacy of social media means people can jump in and comment on events as they occur in real time. So far the busiest periods of the schnapp election have been the leaders debates, which he says provide plenty of material.
“New Zealand used to have a solid tradition of political satire on television, but it’s just not being made anymore. Social Media has stepped in to fill that gap, that’s why we’re running the country’s first schnapp election on Twitter.”
Views from the Schnapp Election:
…on drug laws
@sputnikbrown ACT welfare policy: let them eat hash cake #zumwohl
…on minor parties
@radioovermoscow Pirate Party not running this year – guess they downloaded some Rihanna last week #zumwohl
…on poll results
@RFStew Labour slips in latest poll; National just needs a bit of Greece #zumwohl
…on the leader’s debate
@kaupapa Mass poisoning for anyone playing the “actually” drinking game #zumwohl
Anyone can join in the schnapp election by following @zumwohlparty and using the #zumwohl hashtag.
Snaps to holding an election people will want to vote in!