Monday, 26 April 2010

The ground war and the air war

This interesting post by blogmenai deserves a wider audience, not least because it chimes with a growing feeling that local campaigns will determine the election result as much as the much-hyped TV broadcasts.
Blogmenai quotes an Irish politician, Tommy McEllistrim, who was unfancied in a by-election but who stormed through against all expectations.
McEllistrim said this after the count:
"In modern elections there's an air war and a ground war. We lost the air war hands down, but we won the ground war hands down. That's why we won the election."

The air war, of course, is the media-based battles that the broadcasters and journos have obsessed about. The ground war is that oddly traditional battle that involved knocking doors, hitting high streets, getting your message across consistently over months and years rather than the three-week election frenzy. Even hustings meetings are well attended because people want to know whether the person they vote for can be trusted not to repeat the mistakes of previous MPs on sleaze, lobbying and expenses.
I suspect those grassroots campaigns are passing under the radar of the official media, which is Twittering itself to death about those broadcasts. Time will tell!

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