Allan Gregg from Harris/Decima has some good advice for politicians today.
The Globe and Mail, Telling the naked truth is good politics:
Yet, it’s the truth and authenticity we crave, more than anything. Citizens have become saturated with authenticity in their day-to-day lives. Consider the explosion of technologies and the freedom and control they provide: We’re no longer limited to “banker’s hours,” can access video on demand and get breaking news in real time. TripAdvisor and Chowhound have replaced travel agents and restaurant critics, while Facebook and Twitter have increased the intimacy and immediacy of our connections with one another.
Feeling more knowledgeable, connected and in control of our personal lives has also directly reduced our reliance on authority. As a result, we have little incentive to uncritically swallow the claims of political leaders who don’t seem to understand our concerns, share our experiences or speak in a way we find authentic. Our political leaders have not only failed to adjust to this new reality, they also avoid honestly and directly engaging on our most pressing issues. And that’s what we desperately need.
Two recent CDN municipal examples:
And yet I believe that, in today’s environment, telling the naked truth can be good politics. How else do you explain a socially progressive Muslim being elected the mayor of Cowtown, and a leather-lunged know-nothing capturing the imagination of Canada’s cultural and intellectual epicentre?
It was the unapologetic uniqueness of Naheed Nenshi and Rob Ford that made them seem more authentic and believable. Even more remarkably, in both Calgary and Toronto, the percentage of eligible voters who went to the polls increased by almost two-thirds over the previous municipal election. In fact, low turnout is a rational voter response to choices that matter little. If politicians stand for nothing and avoid the truth, why would you bother voting? When politics is made to matter by politicians who represent an authentic alternative to the other available choices, the evidence suggests that voters engage.