April 12, 2006

Who's behind the decline of politics? [Consultants.]

An interesting article by Joe Klein of Time Magazine on what he thinks is behind the fall in interest in politics.

It can be summarized as the TV ads that are used to try an maximise the share of an ever decreasing vote that each politician gets. This means slick market research based advertising, with the politicians parroting back what the focus groups tell them to say. Unable to influence their political leaders, as their views might conflict with the findings of the focus groups, the grass roots activists die away.

Yet at the same time they are killing grass roots activism they require ever more money to pay for ever more TV ads to make up for it. A vicious cycle develops with more and more people becoming angry and disillusioned with party politics and so not participating. Yet at the same time the parties require more and more money so that they can buy their TV time, money that cannot be raised thought their now dwindling roots.


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