Friday, April 23, 2010

The Liberal Democrat Surge: Why Treating People Like Adults Can Have Immediate Benefits

Three weeks before the British General Election, the polls put the LibDems on 20%, where they had been for the last fifteen or twenty years, more or less. As had been the case since the Second World War, Conservatives and Labour shared the other 70% of the vote.

Until last Thursday, and the TV Election Debates.

For the past week, something extraordinary has happened: the polls put each of the three parties on roughly equal footing, plus or minus four or five points.

The question is this: how could one simple TV debate provoke such a dramatic response?

My answer: because it treated people to the novelty of being able to make an educated choice about politics. Before these debates, the Labservative see-saw had dominance over the media outlets, with the LibDems pushed out of the limelight. But now that people can genuinely listen to the three main party's leaders and get a real sense of their ideas, people can have a real choice.

The LibDem surge then isn't that surprising. All it shows is that the two-party system that dominated British politics is paper thin.
If these kind of TV debates had been introduced twenty years ago, who knows what would have happened? Maybe three-party politics and the possibility of coalition governments would have been a reality much sooner.
People get the system they deserve. Once the media treated the British public as intelligent people, they start thinking like them.
Now, there's a pleasant surprise...

No comments:

Post a Comment