Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm more interested in that, and I thought it would be interesting to the reader here - because I don't even know if you have anything comparable in Europe.

The UK has canvassing - in fact it's often done by candidates rather than their representatives, because most constituencies are US county sized rather than US state sized.

There's no GOTV effort. There's no tradition of town halls.

Public speeches and rallies have all-but died a death too. Sometimes there's A Speech from A Location, but it's impossible to imagine a potential prime minister being interesting enough to fill a stadium. (Unless perhaps they were fascists and trying to go Nuremberg.)

There's a lot of TV punditry and idle chatter, and TV interviews are the main shop window.

Most party offices have only a handful of people working in them, even at election time. Not that this matters, because although there are nominal candidate selection committees, outsiders are regularly parachuted in from head office.

None of this encourages direct participation. But I realised recently that this was a proverbial feature and not considered a bug. In both of the main parties, opportunities for getting involved have been deliberately narrowed and centralised over the last couple of decades. It's hard not to feel the Lib Dem leadership would like to go the same way.

The only thing resembling populist politics is coming from the far right here.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 31st, 2008 at 05:50:36 PM EST
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