Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Chasing Dreams or How to win an Election: the Lib Dem Model (2/3)

So debate analysis and biases aside, why have Cameron and Clegg done so good, while Labour is going down in the polls?

To try and answer this I've done a bit of brainstorming with a few people on how they could sum up each party's campaign/policies, especially throughout the debates, in one word or phrase. More specifically, it was a test of what would a viewer remember from these televised debates and from the campaigns in general, what came first to mind. And here's a compiled list:

Conservative: Change/Big Society;

Liberal Democrats: Change/Fairness/Break with the old parties/Doing things differently;

Labour: Fairness/Bigot.

The first obvious conclusion is something that was pointed out from the moment we started mocking the Lib Dem logo: Nick Clegg has managed to adopt both the slogan of the Tories and that of Labour in his discourse. Change that work for you. Building a fairer Britain. was deemed to be too long, to obviously cheeky in its attempt to copy the other two parties and, quite importantly, looking like the Somerfield logo. But, applied to Nick Clegg's speeches it proves to be a huge success, coupled of course with the whole novelty of the LibDems as a true contender on the British political scene. One point to the Lib Dems. Not only that, but the whole speech on making a break with the old politics and doing things differently, together with the rather redundant repetition of the word fairness, gave a feeling of hope and aspiration to his speeches: there was an ideal we could aspire to and the Lib Dems would make it possible. One may remember his closing remarks after the second debate:

What I have tried to do tonight is to show if we do things differently, we can be a force for good in the world. We can lead, we can shape the world around us, not complain about the world around us. [...] something really exciting is beginning to happen. People are beginning to believe, beginning to hope that we can do something different this time. Of course there are people who will try to block change, of course there are people who are spreading fear to stop the change you want. I think they're wrong. I think if we do things differently, if we stand up for the value's that have made our country great, then we can be proud again, proud of greater fairness here at home, and proud also, of standing up for the things we believe in, in the world. We don't simply need to choose from the old choices of the past, we don't need to repeat the mistakes of the past. Don't let anyone tell you this time it can't be different. It can. (Second Debate Transcript)

It was inspiring, he was talking about ideals and the future, it resembled Barrack Obama talking about Change a year and a half ago (I do find it remarkable that it was Gordon Brown and David Cameron who were trained by people who worked in the US election, when it's Nick Clegg who resembles Obama both in attitude and in speeches the most). Truth be told, if I had a ballot paper in my hand at that moment, he would have had my vote. Another point going to the Lib Dems. Moreover, lately, his main theme has gotten even more surreal with his argument that 'the sky's the limit' on the number of votes the Lib Dems can get in these elections. Not really Mr Clegg. 650 is the limit. But there electorate needn't know….

(This was Part 2 of 3 on the debates and 'How to win/lose' an election. Part 1 is here.)


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