There is a lot of debate as to whether social media will play a truly significant role in the coming election or not. The nay-sayers point to the fact that we have no Obama-like figure around which support can coalesce and the short nature (less than four weeks) of the official general election campaign.
A key aspect of the social web is that it allows like-minded people, even those that are not politically active in the traditional sense, to build campaigns around a particular interest or objective. One such campaign is that gathering traction on the social web is a campaign to promote Liberal deputy leader Vince Cable as the post election Chancellor of the Exchequer. The campaign has a wiki, website, invincecable.org.uk, a slogan “In Vince Cable we Trust” and the inevitable hashtag #invincecable.
With the Liberal vote hovering around 19% this campaign surely has no chance having any impact. The Liberals just can’t win. Like many things it isn’t that simple. The latest polls point at a hung parliament. To avoid a second plebiscite a coalition government may be on the horizon. Any coalition would include Liberal Democrats. Whilst not exactly Obama-like Vince Cable is one of the few political figures in the UK that excites interest across the party lines.
The economic crisis will inevitably deepen as public spending falls after the poll. There is growing consensus that the economic challenges we face require a depth of economic understanding that Osborne, Darling (or Balls) just don’t have.
If the people say loud enough that they want Cable in Number 11 they might just get him.