Manipulation old and new

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 18.00.38There doesn’t appear to have been much interest locally in last week’s county council election.

The only candidate who put a leaflet through my door was the conservative candidate Clair Bell.  She too was the only candidate to have any presence online. The others – from the Lib Dems, Labour, Ukip and the Greens – were very much paper candidates. Their behaviour suggests that they didn’t really believe they had a chance from the outset.

No surprise then that only 35% of us turned out to vote and that Clair Bell was elected with a thumping majority.

But in what sense is democracy being served by this sham? And can we really be surprised that everyone, young and old, is losing interest.

Please can we have an opposition in some form! And let’s make every vote count through proportional representation.

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In the Guardian at the weekend there was a great article about the new manipulators – computer companies who mine data to target small groups of voters that have the ability to swing elections.

While it’s unlikely that they turned their attention to Ashford Rural East in last week’s County Council election… It’s thought that such companies have been influential both in the EU referendum and Trump’s election to the White House.

Perhaps this is another argument for proportional representation – because small groups of voters wouldn’t be so influential in any result.

Every vote would indeed count. So candidates might exist more than just on paper. Computer companies would be less powerful. And we the electorate might even go out and vote.

 

About jasperbouverie

I am Jasper Bouverie. I have two blogs: jasperbouverie.com which is about promoting sustainability in the village of Wye in Kent (and beyond); and FunderFilms.com which I will fill with short films dedicated to promoting social and environmental awareness and change. Find me on Twitter: funderfilms and finelinej
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