It was when reading this article “The 21 Principles of Persuasion” http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/03/26/the-21-principles-of-persuasion/i
n Forbes and I got to number 4: “You have to be Interested to Persuade” that my mind wandered to the European Parliament election and the low election participation. As a communicator and hired by the PirateParty, election campaigns and election participation is something close to my heart right now.
It is human nature that when we are interested in something the threshold for acting and learning is lower than if you are not interested. Question is, how you/we interest, engage for want of better word, someone – in this case a reluctant voter in something s/he isn’t interested in? I mean the EU electorate are asked to act once, for approximately 1 hour, every five years. On paper this seems like it could be doable, still the fact is that for a majority of European voters this hour once per five years is insurmountable. I have no obvious solution or explanation to the fact that the EU elections are so unimportant to so many people. Other than that “all politics are local,” which actually is the case with the EP politics since 80% of the national legislation emanates from the European Parliament.
True, participation in elections is a global trend so there is no reason to why the EP elections should be any different. But the diminishing participation is so much higher in “our” elections than in other elections.
Is it a question about branding? National parliaments have automatically a stronger brand, than the European Parliament. Is it a question about distance? It is felt that “Brussels” is too far away for any local activity? The only question I can answer with a resounding yes; is the question if the Members of the European Parliament are unknown to the larger audience.