Labour Meet-Up

The Scotsman reports that a Labour bid to copy US internet campaign crashes. Howard Dean's campaign has generated widespread grassroots support through the Dean 2004 Meetup and other internet adventures such as "Blog for America" and it seems our own Labour Party supporters here in the UK are keen to employ similar tactics. The Labour Meetup though is not officially sanctioned (which might explain its 18 members) by the party - it was suggested by Paul Miller to a couple of weeks ago and accepted, meetings will be the first wednesday of every month.

Whereas in the states the Presidential election can consume media and public interest for a couple of years, here the election campaign only lasts for a month or so and then is more or less forgotten about until the next time. Perhaps also the contentious nature of the 2000 election has led to greater ill-will than normal against the incumbent and this has contributed to greater grassroots support for Dean (& Clarke who is beginning to do well online also). A further reason why may be less well supported than in the states is that the system here is based on parties more than individual people, we don't elect a prime minister just a governing party. The disanalogy gets even more muddied by support for Dean being "for the nomination" rather than yet being "for the Presidency". The parties that we, here in the UK, will vote for already have clubs up and down the country meeting up, fundraising and campaigning as they have always done.

Online activism definetely has its place and will I am sure play a large part in the UK's electoral process in due course but this is a very different political landscape and some necessary adjustments will become obvious over time.

Posted by Paul at November 4, 2003 01:51 PM |
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