80% of eligible adults registered to vote.
Of these, 64% voted
Of these, 52% voted for Barack Obama
Which means that 26.6% of US adults voted for him.
Lest us Britons be smug, at the last election
61.4% of electors voted
of whom 40.7% voted for Tony Blair
which means that 26% of UK electors voted for him.
and in 2007, exactly 0.0% of us voted for Gordon Brown.
All of which makes (incredible to say) Hazel Blears' comments about engagement in the political process very timely. Unfortunately, this bit is the only section of the talk that anyone is blogging about, wonder why....
This brings me to the role of political bloggers. Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a ‘Samizdat’ style. The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes. Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour Government. Perhaps if there was a Tory Government, all the leading blogs would be left-of-centre?
There are some informative and entertaining political blogs, including those written by elected councillors. But mostly, political blogs are written by people with a disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy.
Unless and until political blogging ‘adds value’ to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair.
Christian blogs take note. It is easier to attack than defend, and there are several popular Christian blogs which are more Rottweiler than sheepdog.