Sunday, 3 April 2011

'Make it 50'? #Yes2AV fail...

In response to this impressive #GreenWordsWorkshop piece by my colleague Matt Wootton: http://www.greenwordsworkshop.org/node/26 ...
The deepest problem with 'Make it 50', I think, is this: We can't. Or at least, it doesn't feel as if we can; or we are very unlikely to.
A slogan needs to involve the listener, to make them think that there is a way that they can really be part of what is being called for. So, for instance, a slogan like "AV: The system to stop extremists" gives one the feeling that one can be part of the stopping of extremists by voting for AV. And one can, in the sense that if the AV referendum is passed then it will be easier to stop the BNP at the ballot box. But 'Make it 50' HIGHLIGHTS as central the actual numerical mechanism by means of which AV works. Not only is this cryptic and vague, it is techy/nerdy, and it focuses the listener's attention directly on the need to get to 50%. Which will for many hearers immediately lead on to the thought, "But my vote never makes the difference between whether someone gets to 50% or not" - especially in a nationwide referendum! So the slogan hardly inspires participation in the referendum, and, by focussing attention on what it takes for a candidate to win, rather than on WHY one should be voting for that candidate (or for that option in the referendum), it fails the most elementary tests imposed by Lakoff or Westen. It doesn't inspire, it doesn't have a values-component. It summons up futility, disempowerment, and perhaps even hopelessness - presumably, the diammetric opposite of what was intended by it.
What a missed opportunity.
For a better way forward, check out our #Yes2AV postcards at http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org/ . If you like, do share!

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: 'Make it 50'? #Yes2AV fail... 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. 'Make it 50'? #Yes2AV fail... 27. 28.

29.
In response to this impressive #GreenWordsWorkshop piece by my colleague Matt Wootton: http://www.greenwordsworkshop.org/node/26 ...
The deepest problem with 'Make it 50', I think, is this: We can't. Or at least, it doesn't feel as if we can; or we are very unlikely to.
A slogan needs to involve the listener, to make them think that there is a way that they can really be part of what is being called for. So, for instance, a slogan like "AV: The system to stop extremists" gives one the feeling that one can be part of the stopping of extremists by voting for AV. And one can, in the sense that if the AV referendum is passed then it will be easier to stop the BNP at the ballot box. But 'Make it 50' HIGHLIGHTS as central the actual numerical mechanism by means of which AV works. Not only is this cryptic and vague, it is techy/nerdy, and it focuses the listener's attention directly on the need to get to 50%. Which will for many hearers immediately lead on to the thought, "But my vote never makes the difference between whether someone gets to 50% or not" - especially in a nationwide referendum! So the slogan hardly inspires participation in the referendum, and, by focussing attention on what it takes for a candidate to win, rather than on WHY one should be voting for that candidate (or for that option in the referendum), it fails the most elementary tests imposed by Lakoff or Westen. It doesn't inspire, it doesn't have a values-component. It summons up futility, disempowerment, and perhaps even hopelessness - presumably, the diammetric opposite of what was intended by it.
What a missed opportunity.
For a better way forward, check out our #Yes2AV postcards at http://www.yes.greenwordsworkshop.org/ . If you like, do share!
30. 31. 32.