In about one month (5 June) we’re going to have elections in Portugal. The 5 major political parties are already starting their campaigns which involves the traditional travelling around Portugal, speeches, travelling around Portugal, more speeches and hopefully live debates between candidates. So this is the pretty standard offline political party presence, plus all the media coverage.
For me, and I believe for the majority of the Portuguese people, I won’t see at least one full live speech from one of the candidates. I will watch the news and pay attention to what others (critics, experts) are saying but I want at least one way of contacting directly with each one of the parties so I can get information about their proposals for the new mandate. I immediately thought “I’ll go to their websites. They must have what I’m looking for.”
So I went to all major parties websites:
Parties nr. 2 and 3 have made specific websites for the elections. The others have just created new areas in their existing websites.
As I visited these websites I had three main questions in mind:
- What are this party proposals for the new mandate
- What’s your plan of action against our nation main problems
- How do you intend to deal with the presence of the International Monetary Fund
As I visited website by website I was disappointed with what I saw when I first entered, which is News, answers to fights between parties and, in the corner, deep in the page, a link to the electoral compromise.
When I visited the electoral compromise, well, another disappointment… They presented me with a huge page or a PDF document (about 40 pages) to read! I still don’t know if my questions are answered in these pages because I haven’t read them yet…
Regarding the presence on social networks only found parties 1, 2 and 4 Facebook pages and they seem like a news feed…
I think political parties need to step up their game in the online field. The web and social networks are an excellent place for a more direct communication with the voters, with no intermediaries. Making videos or writing posts about one specific subject, or about one problem and what they think it will help solve it would be a step in getting people more involved and helping them decide their votes.
We don’t need more lines like:
“Portugal is this situation because José Socrates is a lousy Prime Minister! Portugal needs a strong and honest hand, and we are that hand!”
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