One Hutt Valley distiller is bringing old-fashioned satire back to modern day politics almost 30 years after New Zealand’s infamous snap election.
Ulf Fuehrer, maker of traditional German schnapps Zumwohl, says one of his greatest passions in life (apart from schnapps, of course) is politics – and he's finally found a way to bring the two together.
He's giving away a bottle of Zumwohl every day of the campaign for the cleverest or funniest tweet about the election. One week in, entries have already been retweeted to more than 100,000 people around the country.
“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’.”
Fuehrer says Twitter was an ideal medium as 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."
He 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."
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
@elainesmithelai There's been more abuse of polls in this election than the average Friday night at Showgirls #zumwohl
…on the leaders' debate
@kaupapa Mass poisoning for anyone playing the “actually” drinking game #zumwohl