Tuesday 5 May 2009

Guest post on "Th!nk About It" (2): Where should I be on election day?

This week I am guest blogging on TH!NK ABOUT IT. I will publish the articles here, too, but I would like to kindly ask you to comment on TH!NK09. This is my second article, which you also can find here.

I chose to write a rather heavy post for yesterday, the first day of my guest blogging, as food for thought and discussions for the whole week, but today I'll keep it a bit lighter and much more constructive.

In fact, I would like to use the opportunity of this platform to ask a question that has to do with these elections as well as with you and me:
Where should I be on election day?
For those of you who might doubt: This is not a rhetoric question!

One of the goals of this project, TH!NK09, is to connect people interested in European issues and new communication technologies. Real-life encounters and online communication are supposed to be mutually stimulating, across borders but along a common topic - the European Parliament elections 2009. And despite the critique I expressed yesterday, I still see some positive impulses coming from this platform.

Since this is inspiring and since in general I share the view that blogging and the "offline world" need to be connected, I want to undertake a little more effort in this direction...

To make it short:

At least on the last day of the elections from 4-7 June 2009, I would like to be someplace in the European Union, mainly to meet new people and to get an interesting final perspective on the EP elections, but also to report about my experiences afterwards.

The easiest solution would be to go to Brussels. I could stay for some days, meet some people I know from previous activities or through blogging, talk to representatives from the European parties, discuss with Brussels-based journalists and look at these elections from a central perspective - if not geographically then for sure politically.

The second posibility would be to go to another European capital. I could try to get a glimpse at the last moments of the national campaign, talk to different political activists, make some billboard sightseeing and capture some reactions to the final results. In this way I would get the most typical view on these European elections - from a national perspective - in my case just a different one.

Or, I could go somewhere outside the centres of the European Union and its member states. I could go to a little town in the "periphery", talk to people living there about their feelings towards these elections and about the role the EU plays for them. I would visit the local election commission, eat some simple food and drink a glass of local alcoholic beverage while discussing about what really matters there.

TThese are all clichés of the European Union and the reporting about these elections. There are hundreds of nuances between these three examples, but in the end, they constitute the basic choices I have.

Still, you may be much more creative than these examples!

So here is the deal:

You propose me where I should go for the election day(s).

Propose me to come to your town, make a good point for a European capital or tell me about a remote place from where you would like to hear a story about the EP elections.

What is important is that there is a good reason to go there; it should make sense for you, for me, or for the electoral process that I am at this place during the elections.

The only condition from my side would be that I can reach the place via train within 24 hours from Berlin (plus a boat if that's the only way) and that I can find a relatively cheap place to sleep.

You can make proposals in the comments and discuss them. You can ask other bloggers to join if they like. You can even collectively agree on a place or make a vote. I don't care. I won't interfere in these discussions until the end of the week, except for questions that need an answer from my side.

And at the end of the week, on Sunday evening, I will chose the most interesting, the most convincing option or proposal and then start making preparations for the trip.