With less than a week to go, some commentators on the UK Election 2010 are asking, “This was meant to be the internet election. So what happened?“
That’s a fair question, considering the measurable impact that the televised debates among the leaders of the Labor Party, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats have had on the polls leading up to the May 6 election.
The only other event that comes close is the gaffe made by Prime Minister Gordon Brown — unaware that his microphone was still on as his motorcade sped away from a stop on the campaign trail. He was overheard telling an aide that a woman he had just sparred with on the campaign trail was “bigoted.” You can hear it near the end of video posted on the YouTube channel of ITN News.
With 173,671 views, the video ranks #1 as most viewed YouTube video today in the United Kingdom. It is also the #2 most discussed YouTube video today in the United Kingdom.
So, is there are relationship between these two American political innovations which have turned British traditions upside-down and inside-out?
Marketers on both sides of the Atlantic know the proverbial rhyme:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Well, here’s my take on how small actions in the UK Election in 2010 have resulted in large consequences.
The early YouTube videos in the campaign for Conservatives featured David Cameron and the early YouTube videos in the campaign for the Liberal Democrats featured Nick Clegg. But Labour’s early YouTube videos featured Tony Blair, a unnamed man on “The Road Ahead,” animated manifesto films, and Eddie Izzard.
In other words, Brown seemed uneasy in front of the YouTube camera. So, it’s not surprising that he’d make a rookie mistake during the campaign like leaving his microphone on. And, it’s not a stretch to think that’s why he looked uncomfortable on camera during the three leaders’ debates.
In other words, a seemingly minor event can lead to significant consequences.
That’s my take. What do you think?