Meet the Panelists (02:02)
Mary Ann Sieghart frames the debate on whether activism or political party membership is more effective and introduces human rights activist Peter Tatchell, political writer Dan Hodges, and Demos Center for Analysis of Social Media research director Carl Miller.
Peter Tatchell: the Pitch (05:25)
Tatchell believes both social activism and political parties play a role in reform. Protest groups do not often offer concrete solutions. He discusses how England's LGBTI community overcame police discrimination through a direct action campaign, including practical new policies that the Metropolitan Police adopted.
Dan Hodges: the Pitch (04:47)
Hodges describes a meeting with a Labor Party Shadow Cabinet member, in which the member predicted a "golden age" of activism. He argues that this movement has not come to pass, and cites three failed internet campaigns.
Carl Miller: the Pitch (07:15)
Miller argues that the decline of mass political parties has resulted in a political legitimacy crisis; citizens do not feel represented in Parliament. The digital world is moving into the vacuum left by mainstream politics, and will launch a golden age of activism.
Theme One: How Effective is Digital Activism? (07:12)
The Conservative Party used social media in 2015 while the Labor Party focused on street activism. Miller says the Tories used big data to profile and target voters. Hodges argues that Labor did have a superior digital campaign strategy, but lost anyway. Tatchell argues that party policies influenced election outcomes.
Theme Two: Should We Have Faith in Political Parties? (04:00)
Miller says that political disenfranchisement is driven by lack of choice. He cites Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement as an example of citizens without political connections organizing their own parties and increasing political diversity.
Theme Three: How Can We Make Politics Relevant Again? (09:39)
Sieghart says small parties can win seats in proportional representation (PR) systems. Hodges applauds party diversity, but prefers Britain's electoral system for stability. Tatchell argues that PR is true democracy. Miller believes increasing voter engagement is more important than electoral reform. Hodges argues that Nigel Farage would be elected under a PR system.
Credits: Changing the World: Is Activism a Failed Srategy? (00:07)
Credits: Changing the World: Is Activism a Failed Srategy?
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