Europe’s voters are invited to step into room-sized cubes in urban centres and record their views. Some recordings will be screened daily outside what has been dubbed the ‘Choice Box’.
In Brussels, the European Parliament has unveiled its communication strategy for the 2009 elections. One of the vice-presidents, Alejo Vidal Quadras, gave the key message: “I am not going to hide it (from) you. We would like to have a very high turnout. That’s what we would like. Because democracy is based on participation, and the more people participate, the wider and better is democracy.” Other election encouragement will be offered in the form of billboards with themes including consumer protection, energy, migration and budget concerns, markets and standardisation, to name just a few. Here’s why: Since EU elections by direct universal suffrage began 30 years ago, turnout has dwindled. In the last one the average didn’t quite make 46 percent. Taking part in the strategy unveiling, the parliament’s Director General of Communication, Francesca Ratti, ran off some of the figures involved. She said this campaign was using around 18 million euros. That is for 375 million potential voters. Ratti says the budget works out to five eurocents each. The Italian government does not like the contents of the campaign. It says it does not appropriately improve perception about being a part of the EU, and that Italy will come up with something that does. Voting is June 4-7.