Webometric Thoughts

May 1, 2008

Local Election Day! A tale of two cities

Filed under: N95,Twitter,democracy,elections,qik — admin @ 8:10 am

Democracy has always struck me as a rather stupid idea; I no more want the general public making decisions about the most appropriate economic strategy, or the merits of joining the Euro, than I would want them performing open-heart surgery. Nonetheless, democracy is what we have, and luckily the more objectionable views of the puppet-majority manage to get watered-down by the representational aspect of our democratic system (God help us if technology ever gives us direct democracy). However, in spite of my dislike of democracy, I love the election coverage. The day after general elections are always a write-off, whilst even the local elections are liable to get me watching until 3 or 4 in the morning. Whilst the BBC provides great coverage, the web provides us with the opportunity for enhanced electoral coverage at the local level.

Coverage of the local elections tends to report the overall results of the council, rather than the results of individual wards; the simplicity of video streaming means that the web can provide that coverage. Being able to view the local council results would hopefully encourage people to think about local policies and engage with the councillors on issues that matter; too often local issues are over shadowed by national issues and protest votes. I was pleased to note yesterday that Birmingham council will be streaming the results live, although as always Wolverhampton is the poor relation: “Results will be posted on this website on 2 May”. Not even a live posting as the results come in! As on-the-cheap streaming could be accomplished through qik and an N95, or results published as they happen via something as simple as Twitter, you really have to despair at Wolverhampton’s lack of effort.

Just remember, voting for the BNP is not a “protest vote”, it is vote for fear, ignorance and fascism, not the sort of things that make Britain Great.

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