Fine Gael have officially begun their campaign for the general election in June by launching a newly formatted website, with a Barack Obama-style message from the party’s leader Enda Kenny.
The party is calling its newly formatted website the biggest consultation exercise in to date with the Irish electorate. Fine Gael have taken down their former website, which contain hundreds of pages, and replaced it with a video message from Enda Kenny and an invitation for voters to share their views.
Fine Gael have called it “a genuine attempt to start to change the way politics in Ireland works.”
By using interact technology like that employed by former British prime minister Tony Blair and Barak Obama during their campaigns Fine Gael hope to incorporate the voters views in their party policies.
Phil Hogan, Fine Gael’s environment spokesperson said “Fine Gael wants to start this election period in the right way. That means listening to rather than talking to the public…It can no longer be about old-style party politics. It is about pulling together as a country to get the best ideas and people involved in solving our country’s problems.”
In the website’s video message Mr Kenny says “One of the great failings of politicians is they talk too much and do not listen enough.
“What I am going to do now is to stand down the Fine Gael website for a number of weeks and I am going to replace it with a facility that will allow people to send in their complaints, ideas and proposals about what we should do.”
To the right of the video is a ticker which allows you to read the opinion from voters around the country.
The website transformation has been in construction for several weeks after campaign strategists carried out focus-group research sessions with the public. They found that there is a feeling of disconnect between the citizens and political parties. They also found a strong desire among the voters for political reform.
Visit the site at finegael2011.com.