Like so many other people belonging to my generation, politics has never gripped me like it should have done. Whether due to lack of political education at primary school or my own personal tastes, it’s not something that I particularly keep up to date with.
However, with all general elections, the public is swept up in crazed frenzy, and politics dominates the front pages. This is no surprise; after all the democratic process of electing a group could have massive consequences on the country, both positive and negative.
This year’s election has been billed the ‘social networking election’, referring to the use of websites like Twitter and Facebook on which political groups can spread their word further.
Although there are a few tweets and status updates every now and then, I wouldn’t really say the internet has had such a big impact on the election, although it is likely to hot up towards the 6th of May.
The main difference I can see with this year’s election is the ‘poster boy’ mentality of each group. By this I mean the way that the leaders are fronting the campaigns more than ever before, and their relationships with each other rising to unprecedented personal levels.
It seems to to me that the respective groups have created a façade in which the public believe they are voting for Gordon Brown or David Cameron or Nick Clegg etc. rather than voting for the political group behind them, the group with the manifesto.
It is reminiscent of American politics, in which people directly vote for leaders, creating a celebrity like image of politicians; Barack Obama being the most obvious one of recent years.
So unless your constituency is ran by one of the party leaders, you’re not actually voting for them individually, and this is something a lot of the public need to know.
So forget the conflict between the leaders, forget the Conservative campaign poster which has a photo of Gordon Brown on, forget the (admittedly funny) internet virals that circulate each day, forget the carefully planned images of each leader, and let’s just focus on the manifestos and ideas of each party.
Reading the Liberal Democrat manifesto which came out today I saw they want to abolish University tuition fees. I certainly now know who my vote is going towards., and it’s not because I like Nick Clegg’s shoes.