September 24, 2021

The Editor speaks: Our election is quiet – compare to the French one – but is balloting really secret anymore

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The French election is an example of how divided opinions run completely out of control.

There they are down to just two candidates whilst here we have 61!

The last debate between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron was a classic. A classic where Pen and Macron traded insults for more than two hours, arguing over terrorism, the economy, and Europe.

Now we hear Macron’s campaign information has been hacked and distributed. Even fake news!

Our debates are a very quiet affair and can be so quiet I have nodded off and almost gone to sleep. Even McKeeva has been more sedate although he was spurred into action over the anonymity of the persons making claims against him. In the ‘good old days’ name of the writer was withheld by the media houses but there was a record of who it was. If the claims made were outright libelous the identity of that person could be given to the police.

Social media has made things so much different and the Internet media houses do not know the identity of the majority of the writers. Whilst we have Fake News we have more Fake Email addresses.

At one of the rally’s in France Pen was pouted with eggs. I did not hear if any of the eggs were rotten.

Here we have the vandalism of a campaign sign for independent West Bay South candidate Tara Rivers. And most of the election candidates have joined together and condemned this. The vandalism was the sign being defaced by brown spray paint.

I picked up my Election Card today (Sat 5) and will be lining up with many others to place my X against a name that will be secret.

Actually not. With the One Man One Vote it is not so easy to keep the name of the person I am going to vote for secret. There is just one person.

Many of us don’t bother to keep the person we are voting for secret at all. We openly publicise it. We delight in revealing our political votes and views to all and sundry. We attach bumper stickers to our cars, visually proclaiming to one and all our party preference, our candidate choices, and our policy positions on every imaginable issue; we use bumper stickers before elections to tell everyone on the road with us how we are going to vote. We pound yard signs into the lawn in front of our homes, associating our political views with our place of residence and our neighborhood: yard signs are literally much closer to home, and far more revelatory than a bumper sticker on an anonymous car speeding by! We call the radio stations and more than often instead of asking questions we debate our own personal view.

Our postings on Facebook and other social media have delivered (if the user does not actively prevent it) a new treasure trove of political information, giving operatives the opportunity to deploy complex social network algorithms to send tailored political advertising to individual users. Social media commentators credit Facebook with employing some of the “best data scientists in the world” . Not surprisingly, social media postings have become the “third force” in political mass persuasion, alongside real news and paid advertisements.

And now some of our would be politicians are copying Donald Trump with Tweets.

So if you wish to keep your voting intentions secret it can be done – but it requires restraint and care

Of course the person could be putting out fake news.

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