What a difference democracy makes…

8 Nov

Barak Obama has been re-elected.
At Navajo we are pleased. We have a natural affinity with Obama, and his slightly liberal position on most things, in the context of being American and all that.
But what I really like in the American election is the high intensity of the engagement between candidates and the electorate. People travel for hours to listen to speeches, they join pressure groups, they engage on social media and blog sites, they gather for the results and whoop and holler.
The news media in the UK like this, They talk about it, and to people in the US about it. The turnout in the election this month was slightly short of the record of 2008, but that is seen largely as a result of Hurricans Sandy on the East Coast states.
But the same media in the UK also take a unified position that the amount spent on the campaigns is somehow wrong. They seem to think that the money goes up in smoke, rather than being spent and entering the economy (a common mistake when discussing marketing spend).
So could there be a correlation between the amount invested in the campaigns and the engagement across age, gender, social and geographic boundaries. Maybe, just maybe, the use of advertising and digital communications, with messages often about specificc policies and actions, gives the American people a much better understanding of the issues that they are being asked to adjudicate upon. Perhaps by spending time and money talking to the voter, and using the channels that they will see, the US system is better than ours.
At our last election one of the biggest talking points was falling participation. Perhaps there should be a look at the barriers to advertising that exist in the current system.



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