Posted by: John | September 9, 2008

Let’s speak more directly to the electorate

I feel that the position of our party, and Nick Clegg, is very similar to that of Barack Obama.

In the US the Republicans have held the meme for so long that anybody that challenges it audaciously gets called a `socialist` etc. Trying to alter the average voters’ mindset is very difficult as it means `changing the narrative and indeed everything they’ve taught themselves to believe in ie a set of nostrums that the ruling classes want them to have.`

It’s the same here – except we do seem to have a more informed electorate with tougher interviewers and the BBC. Yes, i’ve complained to them on many occasions – however, they do seem to have made SOME efforts lately to give a fair showing to our message. My worry is that Lib Dems have to keep on pushing all the time before we change their ways to allow our fresh voice to be heard as a matter of course.

Again in the US bloggers have made great strides in `changing the landscape` as they have here – there seem to be three types of political blogging:

1) Totally partisan – LDV

2) Partisan – Lib Dem aggregated blogs – these though are then split into those that don’t want to break message but maybe add to it and certainly to put forward fresh ideas – and those that want to be `policy wise critical friends` or a mixture of the two.

The danger between these two are that the former might not be challenging enough while the latter can give ammunition to our opponents on issues that the general electorate aren’t interested in ie policy nuances that opposition supporters can say `there we are, even other Lib Dems think so`.

3) Generalists with a slant – Iain Dale (a huge bias), Guido Fawkes ( a tory that still manages to be a real political thorn in the side of his party’s establishment)

The real point though is to allow ourselves as a Party to be ruthless enough to grab votes. Let’s face it – sometimes we are way too nice to people whom are really quite nasty to us. We should challenge the old nostrums like never before. Let’s put forward our pragmatic policies that shatter the left/right axis and with head held high (like our friend Mr Obama) step forward in an audacious fashion and smash our opponents.

For instance, I note the Obama campaign’s ad about Palin and the `bridge to nowhere`. He could have gone into great detail about what was said and when – instead the ad says `she was for it before she was against it` thereby simplifying a complicated issue and throwing the gauntlet down to McPalin to explain the specifics. It’s basically doing to them as they are doing to him.

Likewise with our tax policy – although it was good to keep Nick on his toes – all will be revealed by Vince at the Conference – the main point being that we are willing to give tax reductions to low and middle income earners that’ll be costed. Most people don’t have the time or energy to see further than that.

Democracy is just war, baby, but not as we know it!


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