Monday, January 05, 2004

Manufactured politics

As if manufactured music wasn't bad enough, British TV producers are reportedly planning a political version of Pop Idol, designed to give us manufactured politicians. They even have the gall to try and sell it as direct democracy:

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?

I think that really depends on how superficially the program frames the issues. And given that this is RealityTV - a format notorious for concentrating on pointless arguments, tits and arse, and evicting anyone ugly or "boring" - I expect they'll be going for the most superficial, sensational treatment they possibly can. Anything to get those ratings up.

Sorry, but I think this is a bad idea. If you're trying to restore people's faith in politics, then making things even more superficial and manufactured is not the way to go about it. Though I suppose it might lead to prettier, better dressed MPs.