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Why does the Devil have all the best tunes?

Posted by Thersites on  UTC 2019-06-24 13:26

The culture of the educated elite is fundamentally left-wing. The bright young and middle-aged things from that elite have taken their talents and their culture into the media. The resulting left-leaning bias in the media should therefore surprise no one.

But there is a further problem for the right-wing that goes beyond the loss of younger voters and the dead hand of media bias: it is the lack of bright, young, innovative people in their own ranks. The bright young things generally go elsewhere for their politics, attracted by the bright young things already there.

The largest right-wing party in Switzerland is the Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP). It still has substantial support, particularly outside the cities, but it is fading. Whatever your position on the political issues of the day, in terms of presenting and articulating its message the party is simply no match for the agile, innovative parties of the red-green alliance (which now includes even formerly centrist parties such as the FDP). The SVP has simply aged and run out of ideas.

Its communications are dark and angry. We saw this in their useless publicity against the 2017 energy referendum. This time round they have invented a 'climate devil', which will certainly persuade the waverers and the red-greens to vote for them:

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On its national and cantonal websites the party comes over as largely preoccupied with itself. On the national level they are currently looking for a full-time member of staff for 'Communication', which seems to involve nothing more innovative than scribbling stuff in German and French on behalf of the party elders. Only young things need apply who are fluent in two languages and able to cope with hectic drudgery. Bright ideas are seemingly not required.

The website of our local branch is a disgrace, a sign that no one understands or cares about this important tool of presentation and marketing. Under the heading 'News' its latest item is mockingly six months old, everything else comes from 2018 or before. Most of the content concerns long gone referenda and elections.

Even the well-disposed visitor gets the impression that the party must be as dated or as apathetic as its website. There is no engagement at all with visitors, who must search long and hard to find even an old-fashioned contact email address. The website is a tired, knee-jerk offering – obviously by tired, knee-jerk people who simply don't get it.

You don't need to read German in order to compare the national websites of the 'right-wing' SVP (angry, technical problems, defensive), the 'left-wing' SP (busy, issue driven) and the 'red-green' Greens (cheerful, modern, issue driven). Just look at them and get the mood they project.

There are clearly no educated bright young things in the local SVP (and, it seems, none in the cantonal or national party). No young person would put up with this dreary marketing. It is also a vicious circle: with this kind of website the party will never attract the innovative young and their absence will just make the party older and staler every year. Circling the media drain, in fact.

There is a reason the Devil has all the best tunes – because he has the best people to write and sing them.