Now that all the frenzy has started to dissipate (I hope), it’s time to look back and consider the role of the Internet and social media, if there ever was one in reality. PublicTechnology.net were pretty quick off the mark saying that it hadn’t happened as expected largely because the electorate weren’t ready for it.
Personally I enjoyed a few moments on YouTube where idle cynics had made light of different politicians capacity to speak the truth by dubbing words and songs onto their videos. I’m sure many more people did this and suspect that it still had an influence. Perhaps where the difference with the US is, is that we don’t have the ability to actually broadcast this type of stuff on the TV, perhaps the result might have been different if we did?
Jon Snow in the Times seems to agree with me about the media driving the politicians and not the other way around, if we are to try and compare with the USA. One newly elected MP, Elizabeth Truss, writing in the Guardian doesn’t fully agree and can see an opening for the Internet in politics.
Perhaps this is where the difference with the US comes in. The national media were driving it as a race for the presidency, which the local media followed to some extent. However in the UK we are supposed to be electing a local representative, who may then have an influence in creating a Prime Minister.
Who knows? With the large batch of new MP’s perhaps there will be some big changes in elections and channel usage? I even heard calls for e-voting as a result of the problems at some polling stations. I just pray they come up with something more fool-proof than the postal voting system, which can be a nightmare to manage!
Now, if we all had biometric ID cards…