Tuesday, 17 March 2009

European Parliament elections 2009 (67): Discussions about the EP's awareness and civic education campaign

Since I don't have much time to blog, let me just mention that Public Affairs 2.0 has - rather positively - discussed the start of the awareness and civic education campaign of the European Parliament ahead of the 2009 EP elections (see, for example, the toolkit) in an article titled
"Did the EP go web crazy?"
To make it short: The answer to their own question is yes.

But apart from supporting to read the article, I just want to discuss the following line:
[T]he EP is paying €18 million for this campaign, which the EP’s Communication staff says is a bargain at €0.05 per eligible voter.
I object those calculations because it would mean that all eligible voters would and could be reached. And if you calculated the price for every actual vote that is triggered by such a campaign - which means: How many people who would not have voted without a campaign have been voting because of the campaign - then the cost per vote would be much higher.

So the figures presented are nothing but PR trying to imply that voter education and awareness raising is cheap - which it isn't!

That doesn't mean I am against the campaign - I am very much in favour - but I just don't like those kind of PR calculations.

(More details on the campaign and backgrounds you can also find on EurActiv.)

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Under the category "European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

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3 comments:

Eurocentric said...

Well hopefully it will have some effect.

Grahnlaw said...

In about two sentences Gordon Brown did more to turn the campaign into irrelevance than 18 million euros and enthusiastic field work can repair.

Of course we should vote, but where is our choice?

Anonymous said...

The financial disclosure was a very interesting comment from the Secretariat-General, and I have to note that it was made pre-emptively. The Director General for Communication mentioned the cost and did the cost-per voter breakdown during her remarks. Later during the Q&A not a single reporter challenged her.

The cynic would wonder if the EP was higher profile or had more powers, would more people vote without the need for an institutional get-out-the-vote campaign.

18 million euro is not an insignificant sum, not matter how you break it down.

Michael (PA Goes Digital)