The Null Device

Reality politics

The convergence of politics and entertainment continues apace; not long after a celebrity with no political experience became governor of California, a British TV production company is planning a reality-TV show to create an "independent" political candidate:
'Government by focus group is something we all disdain as short-sighted and superficial - but what if the focus group were millions of people, actively deliberating together as we exercise our power?' he says.
'We know that the public loves the idea of voting for "independents", but the system makes it hard for independents to get themselves noticed. So it is almost a public duty for someone to create a platform to help independents get an equal chance.'

"Independents" chosen for their looks and/or style, with superficially agreeable or fashionably "right-on" opinions; if this takes off, conventional politicians could find it hard to compete, and parliaments may end up full of ultra-appealing Natasha Stott-Despojas, manufactured by televisual focus-group. Multiple terms will be a rarity, as yesterday's political idols will, by their very nature, become unfashionable and be displaced by a new crop, distinguishable mostly by how their hairdos are spiked up. But that'll be OK, as parliaments by then will have signed over most of their sovereignty to international free-trade treaties and will be reduced to an advisory body of select "beautiful people" and/or another entertainment option.

There are 2 comments on "Reality politics":

Posted by: gjw Mon Jan 5 12:09:28 2004

Although I hold high hopes that the public will find a show about selecting a political candidate simply too boring to watch, unfortunately if the show is a success, the candidate probably will be also.

Posted by: Alex http:// Mon Jan 5 12:28:32 2004

This concept dovetails nicely with the theories espoused by Melbourne's own 'proffr' that focus on voting politicians 'out of office', if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Voting people into the big house won't be half as fun as voting them out again ...