Is the UK ready for Politics 2.0?

Mark Hanson has an interesting article on The Guardian’s commentisfree… asking if Britain is ready for politics 2.0. It’s well worth a read if you’re interested in PR and social media, even if you’re not particularly political.

I’m not sure if I agree with all of Mark’s analysis, but the gist of it is probably true. I’m not sure that “The main stumbling block is the leap of faith that involves giving more power to the people”, as it’s much more complex than that. In a democratic system people already have the power. What we don’t want to do is let the most vocal, active and engaged people to unduly influence policy.

In order to give power to the people you have to be able to engage with them.

It’s hard work to find out and think about lots of issues in sufficient detail in order to be able to make an informed decision. Lots of people don’t want to be that involved, so what happens is a much smaller group of people dominate the discussion. These people are informed, but usually come at it from a specific and extreme view point, which doesn’t always reflect the views of the majority who aren’t as vocal.

I’m very enthusiastic about embracing politics 2.0, but think the biggest barrier is being able to encourage sufficient people to engage and participate. If people/voters are willing to engage, then politicians will change and respond to that.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.