05 November 2008

From Minnesota to Markinch

Well, as we saw last night, Barack Obama is the next President of the United States. And what was his secret? He appealed to people's better nature, he had a positive vision, the idea of the city on the hill, or as he put it, "Change We Can Believe In". The Obama/Biden campaign's message was "Yes, We Can", and those were the three little words that a nation was waiting to hear.

By contrast, What did the McCain/Palin campaign offer? Scare stories. Obama the Socialist. Obama the Tax-Raiser. Obama the Muslim (the fact they use that as a smear says more about thier own narrow-minded bigotry than it does about Barack Obama). Obama the Terrorist Sympathiser. Obama, the Destroyer of Israel. Obama, the ally of Chavez and Castro. And so on. Baiscally, their argument was "Vote for us, because we're not him!"

Well, that failed. And it shouldn't come as a surprise. I've been saying for ages, that negative campaigning is flawed, that it's better to put your case across than thrash your opponent's.

And indeed, that was the point that shone through from the elections in Scotland last year: the SNP highlighted the ideas and policies they had, and people rallied to them. Labour tired to give people the heebiejeebies about independence. Labour lost.

They didn't learn that lesson though. In Glasgow East, the SNP fought a positive campaign highlighting the impact that electing an SNP MP could have. Labour just slagged off Alex Salmond and accused John Mason of supporting independence (well, duh!). Then they tried waving the Tory Stick around. Labour lost.

And they still haven't learned: worldwide, belts are being tightened and life is tougher than it was a few months ago. The SNP Government produced a six-point plan to deal with that and campaigned in Glenrothes on issues like energy bills. Labour have let Jim Murphy off the leash, and his message sounds disturbingly like some sort of Unionist protection racket. You can almost hear him saying, "Nice little bank you've got here... be a shame if anything were to happen to it!"

So on both sides of the Atlantic, the idea is the same: appeals for support, offering an idea of positive change that makes you want to follow the candidate, always win the day. Scares and smears no longer work: whether the election is for the Presidency of the United States, the Scottish Parliament, or a Westminster By-Election.

And that's the choice for voters in Glenrothes tomorrow: they can stick with Labour's status quo of spite, or turn to the SNP's ambitious agenda for the future.


Anonymous said...
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Will said...

Not sure if the URLs supplied were genuine in terms of the poster supporting the sentiments expressed in the website's name, or a pisstake in terms of the poster thinking the people who set up those sites are idiots.

Either way, I don't see the funny side and the use of racist language - especially the N word - is not acceptable here.