So, another General Election has been and gone and another victory for old media. It was a fascinating tussle, the leadership debates sparked interest in a sector of the electorate who had previously been disenfranchised; the young and tech savvy. What made it explosive was that most of these young folks, with fresh eyes, were impressed by Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems.
These new voters hang out online and spend a lot of time on social media sites. Here they rub shoulders with a more established Liberal crowd and the result was a remarkable spike in the popularity of the Lib Dems. The flames were stoked on sites like Twitter where meme’s like #nickcleggsfault willfully flew in the face of the traditional media’s usual attempts to disuade voters from straying from the big two parties.
The opinion polls continued to show strong support for Lib Dem until the last few days when the old media really trained their guns on them. The old argument that a Lib Dem vote is a wasted vote was rolled out again in support of aggresive attacks from Labour and The Tories on Lib Dem policies. The result was that the substantial proportion of the electorate who never took the time to actually study the issues at stake (for whatever reason, I’m not judging), found themselves absorbing the “wisdom” that a tactical vote might be the better option.
But wait. There was no clear winner! Does that mean that maybe the playing field is changing?
In my personal opinion, things can’t carry on the way they currently do. The media superpowers with their vested interests simply won’t be able to control the minds of the electorate in the age of social media. Opinions are becoming more fluid. People begin to see arguments from different angles simply by being exposed to more people and opinions. Movements for change will happen quicker and I reckon that by the time the next election rolls around the picture will be very different.