Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Warm bodies

I thoroughly recommend this Economist piece on the election. I particularly like the line about “warm bodies” needing to be selected ever four years to fill the Senedd.

In discussions about low voter turnout, one often hears that the media needs to “do its bit” and that getting more people to vote is a “challenge for all of us”. Declining turnout is a phenomenon across the democratised world, exacerbated at Assembly election time by the fact that so few people wanted devolution in the first place.

Frankly, if anyone thinks newspapers can propel more people to the polling stations by reviving the tradition of verbatim accounts of proceedings, they're having a laugh.

All things considered, the space and time given to Assembly politics by Wales's media is pretty fair. Wales's election has barely registered in the national press, while Scotland's is generating a lot of coverage and discussion. That's not because the media are unwilling to do their bit in Wales. It's because the media go where the stories are and there is a better story going on in Scotland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are entirely right. The media issue is a smoke screen.The simple fact is that for most Welsh voters the assembly doesn't register on the radar. It isn't helped by the poor quality of the average AM in all parties and their failure to create any impression with the electorate in the past 8 years. There are simply no outstanding politicians in Welsh politics at the moment.All the political parties are struggling with a system which tends to develop a consensus of inertia.