A parliament can be considered a non-partisan spokesperson for democracy. But should it, as an institution communicate? And if yes, where do you draw the line? Where does a non-partisan stand point become partisan? Should it communicate on any other business than the issues that are being treated?
I’m most interested in communication in relation to the upcoming elections to the European Parliament (EP), May 2014.
Simply put if the EP can communicate for the elections it can only be in the lines of ”Vote!” A party can communicate along the lines of ”You should vote on us because…”
The only voting communication the EP can do is to communicate with the aim of raising participation in elections, because voting is still almost the only way for citizens to influence in democratic societies. Another way is to get directly involved, but face it, it is a minority that join parties and various movements. And unless you become a member of an elected body, you still only influence the society with your votes. Past years has seen a healthy resurgence of movements. Notably the Occupy this or that, and the Los Indignados but fact is despite a lot of attention and media coverage the actual changes these movements have achieved are minimal. So it still mean that, whether we like it or not, voting is the only way the majority can make their (our) voice heard in a democratic society and the only way there is to have a direct societal impact.
But could it be that the only communication the EP should do around elections is to provide a well-functioning infrastructure for the votes? And for the rest of the mandate period “just” provide simple to access information about issues and “What’s on in the European Parliament?”