SNP beat Labour in Glasgow East – so what?

Well, the implications for the SNP and for the Labour party are obviously quite  important, but for the general public – so what?

With voter turnout being just 42.25%, down on the 48% figure at the last election, with 26,219 votes cast in total, it seems like the winner is once again the couch/tv/gardening/kids….

So I ask for the nth time, just how do we get people to vote? Is it about having time and energy as we see in some of the interesting motivations to participate work done by Michelle Harrisson of IIPS/Henley centre. See ParticipationNation article.

I think there’s something to be said about changing the framing of the task – it shouldn’t be about ‘getting’ people to vote, ie. badgering, cajoling, appealing to guilt, but rather taking a lesson from the charitable sector – should be about inspiring and moving people to make their vote count – to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

We need some inspiration in British politics, cause at the moment I’m not alone in being far more interested in voting Obama at the next election…

When I worked in the now largely defunct  Youth Outreach division of the Electoral commission we tried to stimulate interest directly with good initiatives such as the Democracy Cookbook – alongside targeted campaigns. It seems clear to me that this democratic advertising simply isn’t enough – and here’s yet more evidence to back that up.

It might be a bad day for Labour, but its a worse day for democracy.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Loves! Labour’s Lost! - Scottish Roundup

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