Friday, February 23, 2007

Voters, Consumers, Or??

Been organising a conference/workshop on top of the usual so blogging has not been a priority over the last weeks. Conference over and things may be different!!

Said conference asked whether voters are thinking as consumers or being treated as consumers by the political parties and government. Discussions approached the question from several directions and, as is normal for academics, we still dont have a definitive answer!

But perhaps that is not just because academics have their own views and these will always counter the view of the last contributor, that is largely not the case. Perhaps though it is one of those questions that can be answered in a variety of ways depending on the perspective.

So here is one thought, we are voters and consumers and citizens, but only any one of them at our choosing. And actually there is huge overlap between our thoughts, attitudes and behaviours when wearing each of the hats because underneath each 'label' we are individuals. Some may consume politics for entertainment, others view government outputs using their knowledge from the consumer part of their life experiences, some do buy consumables as a global citizen etc, etc. Labels are great,but the boxes we construct for individuals may not actually fit them well; hence we struggle in understanding what it is that motivates voting.

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