2014 – THE SEED IS BORN
When I heard Gimlet’s Startup podcast at the end of 2014, I knew I wanted to make a similar podcast but instead of following someone starting a business, I wanted to follow someone running for an election.
I’ve always been interested in politics and I wanted to know what it’s actually like to run for office: how does someone become a politician?
2015 – WAITING AND CONNECTING
I was living in Cambodia (annoying) but I was on the lookout for someone who was running for an election in Australia (any election - council, state or federal).
My “searching” was pretty pathetic and passive, I basically subscribed to a lot of page alerts that would notify me when new political parties registered. I also spent a lot of time "researching" aka googling people in existing parties.
The idea didn’t progress anywhere in the first half of the year.
In July 2015, I remembered that I had this friend at Uni who was super into politics. I googled him to see what he was up to, hoping that he might be working in politics.
B-I-N-G-O! Turns out he’s working as a political campaigner for an elected member!
I emailed him and he replied with surprising news... He’d be able to help me find someone running for the election in 2016. What?! Cue my elation! Finally, I start believing that this podcast might actually happen.
I move back to Australia in September.
In November, I catch up for coffee with my old friend. Because I want to follow someone new, someone who hasn’t run for an election before, he tells me that I’m going to have to wait until early 2016, when the new candidates are chosen.
I’m happy to postpone thinking about the podcast because I’m busy making my colouring book which I’m going to use to fund this podcast.
December lands and I’m busy promoting my colouring book on Twitter, as such, I start following a lot Australian political accounts.
One of the accounts catches my eye, “Hmmm nice logo” I think, “What is this Flux?” I click on their profile.
Flux is new political party that's trying to get enough members so they can register.
I go to their website and die!
This is exactly the kind of story I’ve been looking for.
I get all woo-woo because it feels like fate, like I manifested this political party out of thin air! Ha!
I’m excited about the possibilities of following these guys because it expands the scope of the podcast, it won't just be a story about a candidate, it will be a story about the start of an entire political party!
I draft an email to send to the founder, Max.
This is the exact email I sent him, I spent ages deliberating over this wording:
I’ve been following Flux and listening to your youtube videos on the neutral voting bloc.
It’s all very interesting.
I’m writing to you because I’m an audio producer and next year I plan to follow someone or a party running for the election. It will be kind of like the Startup podcast (https://gimletmedia.com/episode/1-how-not-to-pitch-a-billionaire/) but with the focus being a political party.
I was really excited when I stumbled upon Flux. I would love to document what your starting and I think it would make for really interesting listening. Would this be something you'd be interested in?
Well, have a think about it.
I’d be more than happy to meet you in person to discuss more.
I organize to meet Max and Nathan (the other founder) for coffee and banana cake (as per the waitress’s suggestion) on the 19th December.
They are positive and enthusiastic about being involved in the podcast.
So into it, they even record themselves talking straight after our meeting, which you can listen to an edited snippet of below.