Give Us Something To Vote For

With just under seven weeks until polling day, councils are cranking up their campaigns to make sure people are eligible to vote on 7th May.

And, quite rightly, they will also be encouraging people to use their vote. But what are the choices available, if indeed there are any choices at all?

How the world communicates and engages has changed beyond recognition in recent years. The online world has seen conversation replace rhetoric, something the world of party politics seems to have missed.

This week’s Budget is a classic example. The exchanges in the House of Commons were both predictable and pitiful, and the follow up was just as bad. 

Media interviews had already been choreographed to tribal steps, with all sides predicting apocalyptic consequences if their opponents ever got the chance to govern.

And the traditional media were no better either. They too are part of the dinosaurs enclosure inside the Westminster bubble.

And if you really wanted to get depressed, all you had to do was follow a Twitter feed as one politician after another used their online loud hailers to proclaim that their side held a monopoly on wisdom. And that their opponents were the devil incarnate.

But guess what? We don’t believe you. We have minds of our own. We don’t need politicians to tell us what we think, we’ll make that judgement ourselves. So here’s three simple tips for anyone wanting a vote in May:

1 Communicate clearly what we will be voting for if we choose you. How will you improve our lives, what positive difference will you make? Just rubbishing your opponents isn’t good enough.

2 Use online media and other channels to converse and engage, not to broadcast. Ask us what we think in addition to giving us your views, that’s how conversation works.

3 Spin is dead. It wasn’t that great when it was popular, now it’s just embarrassing. And it doesn’t work. So stop it.

This election, more than any previously, gives politicians the chance to converse and engage in a more personal way than ever before. 

And yet the knee jerk reaction of shout first and maybe listen later is still prevailing. 

You have seven weeks to outline what positive choices I and others have, and to find out if that’s what I want. All you have to do is listen.

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