Parliament to use YouTube and cell phones for ads

Written by Brett Thomas

September 1, 2006 | 14:41

Tags: #mp #youtube

Companies: #parliament

Politicians have always been an interesting lot - they so often try to "reach out" to the youth, usually with rather entertaining results. For instance, in America, they even partnered with MTV for a 'Rock the Vote' campaign. Who can forget that fateful point where then-President Clinton stated that he didn't inhale? Ahh, good times.

Well, apparently American politicians aren't the only ones who concoct these schemes, as Parliament is now looking into its own version. Partnered with the Hansard Society, MPs have devised the 'Citizen Calling' project (, which is targeted at youth-centric media. In another important expenditure of your taxes, you may now text your MPs directly at the number 07786 201247, where your message will be displayed on a website. John Denham MP has also recorded a message of his own and posted it on YouTube to encourage participation.

The current topic is on the criminal justice system, and the data will be analyzed in coming weeks to obtain a better understanding of what the younger voters see as issues. This topic will start accepting responses next week during its "evidence giving" session, and run for four weeks. Assuming that the response is halfway useful, a new topic will then be chosen and the project will continue. Further discussion has been started for sending interested youth updates, pictures and video right to their mobiles.

As we mentioned previously, this is far from the first time that politicians have tried to use youth-centric media to solicit vote...err, opinions. Just recently the UK Cabinet Office posted its own YouTube video, which had to be pulled down due to copyright infringement. Whoops!

Have you got a thought on this latest project? Do you think they're going about this the right way? Let us know your thoughts in our forums.
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