Put it in the web

Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 19:44 | Posted in Election, Politics | Leave a comment
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The chair of US Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, urged Canadian liberals to campaign everywhere as he addressed the Liberal party convention in Montreal. He was referring to the democrats’ 50-state strategy where campaign funds were allocated even in states and districts where it was not very likely to get democratic challangers elected:

It is a mark of respect for the voters that we ask every single one for their vote, regardless of the likelihood of getting it.

So far so good. I can accept that all votes are equally important. After all, no party is going to get a vote they do not seek.

However, Mr. Dean makes a serious mistake as he describes the methods of campaigning:

Show up everywhere, work hard everywhere, knock on doors everywhere, make the calls everywhere, shake hands everywhere, do the hard word everywhere and keep doing it every day because that’s what running a permanent campaign is all about.

No, no, no! All of that is old style campaigning. While it may have been succesful for the US democrats, I seriously advice parties and candidates in the coming parliamentary election here in Finland not to follow suite. I would certainly not consider voting for a candidate who would try to invade the privacy of my home by knocking on my door or tried to shake my hand while I am out shopping. Calling my Skype phone or sending me spam mail to solicite my vote would also be a quaranteened turn off.

A true mark of respect for me as a voter, to begin with, would be not to underestimate my intellectual capacity. Therefore, I do not want to read simple slogans or hear 30 second sound bites. Serious problems need to be addressed and argumented seriously. The first step to attract my attention would accordingly be to address the issues adequately and truthfully.

Once a party or a candidate has figured out what they have to say, all they need to do is to post it in the web. That is all. No need to send me an e-mail or chat message about the URL. I’ll find your campaign material in the web if it is interesting enough. On top of that, they would also need to provide a feed back channel and show that they take my response seriously.

The bottom line is that I want my politician to treat me as the citizen with brains that I am, not like a bull in a cattle herd that needs to be chased to the polls. Once the campaigns transform from short and simple aired slogans into seriously argumented two way discussions in the web, the parties will detect that campaigning the new way is considerably cheaper than the old style. Of course, they may not be fit to take the challenge.

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