Posts tagged ‘ALDE’

How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb?

British statesman William Gladstone - a liberal who would know the answerImage via Wikipedia

We’ve been trying to find out the answer to this question all day in the hope that the punchline might make us smile again after yesterday’s dramatic change of weather.

We saw the ad for the latest online campaign from the Parliament’s Liberal group tucked away on page 39 of this week’s European Voice over coffee this morning.

Alas, the ad is not that clear (or we are just stupid? btw – any comments in support or our intelligence or the ad’s misleading nature are welcome) as we’ve been typing into the address bar “” all bloody day only to find that the address is

Annoyingly despite now having the correct address, we still don’t know the punchline as the site is not officially launched until 21 May.

Any suggestions of amusing punchlines to brighten a dull weekend are gratefully received.

May 16, 2008 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

Clegg and Huhne still friends, at least on Facebook

After a bout of political car crash TV on yesterday’s The Politics Show (BBC), a quick and dirty scan through the listings on Facebook reveals that former UK MEPs Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg are still friends.  The Guardian speculates wildly today that whoever loses the UK Liberal leadership election campaign is not likely to find themselves on the Lib Dem front bench… If you like road kill, you can watch it again here.

Elsewhere in the world of Facebook, our weekend reading (sad, we know) of the European Voice spots a small article on the prevalence of MEPs on the social networking platform. Something regular visitors will know we have been keen on for a while. They highlight three MEPs with Facebook profiles, with due respect to political balance of course.

  • UK PES member Claude Moraes (London) has a current tally of 386 friends.
  • UK ALDE member Sajjad Karim (North-West England) has a current tally of 114, which includes former Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell MP, further evidence perhaps that Facebook is reaching out to older generations. He also is friends with Graham Watson MEP, which prompts the age old question of what to do when your boss asks you to become his friend?
  • However, Swedish EPP member Christopher Fjellner wins in both quantity and quality of friends. His current tally of 628 friends is higher than the other two and it also appears to be stock full of an amazingly high percentage of attractive young professionals.

Finally, the European Voice suggests that one can contact both the Commission and Parliament Presidents by giving them a quick “poke” via Facebook, while underlining that their current profiles appear to be spoofs. Note to EV journalist – before “poking” a politician to see if they have received your latest request for an interview you may want to check this group out. In future, may we suggest using the Xme application to make sure that what you want to say is what is understood.

November 19, 2007 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

EU Top of the Pops

A week or so ago we did a round up of the institutions, parties and MEPs we had found surfing the EUtube. We also mentioned a site we had come across called TubeMogul, which allows you to compile and contrast traffic to videos on YouTube and 8 other video sharing platforms. Well a week on we thought we’d share some of the graphs that the tool can create for you. It’s free of charge at present, after a simple registration process. You have to wait a day for your data but then you are off.

We have sought to keep it simple, so we’ve contrasted the traffic for the main three political European groups (sorry UKIP) since the last entry on the subject. Despite the prevalence of Socialist MEP bloggers it seems their group is a little bit behind in the video stakes.

You can also look at the cumulative numbers, which in the case above would show the ALDE with a commanding lead. Interestingly, once you have inputted the channels you can then drill down to see the breakout of traffic over time for individual videos on the channel. As we have done here for EUTube, which is the only one of the featured YouTube channels getting serious visitor figures.

Note that on Thursday last week the UEFA/Commission video on featuring armchair football, which incidentally is worth watching, managed to overcome our favourite “Come Together” Commission offering. A case of a vid going viral for a day – or simply lots of people at UEFA having a look? Finally, here is one for the MEPs, where iJules leads the field this week.

September 24, 2007 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Big Friday: surfing the eutube

It has been a while since we looked at the YouTube activities of our elected and non-elected officials here in Brussels. As its Friday, we thought we do a round robin of the EU actors we have come across with audiovisual content on YouTube. If you know of more, please do let us know.

EU Institutions

  • European Commission – sweaty from the sex sells success, they still lead the way in populating the web with EU content (nearly a million channel views and over 4,000 subscribers).
  • European Parliament – one video and about as many regular visitors as this blog.
  • Council – does anyone else see the irony in “Council Live“? In any case we couldn’t find the Council on YouTube but the Portuguese Presidency does have a library of press conferences available to download.

European Parliament Political Groups

  • UKIP – A small national party rather than a European parliamentary group, we grant you. Despite holding none too popular views in Brussels some of their videos make us chuckle.

Members of the European Parliament

There is of course the question of how successful these efforts are in reaching out to potential voters, or even supporters, both on their own and relative to each other.

Happily, we have started to come across tools that will help us map the progress made such as TubeMogul. Once you register, for free, not only can you upload your video to multiple platforms at the click of a button but you can also compile and contrast visitor data over time for your video and that of others.

A visit to the US based Viral Video charts, who offer a tracking and analysis service for a fee to professionals as well as a chart of political videos, reminds us however that the online world can hinder as well as help our politicians.

Our top three European political video bloopers in reverse order:

3. Commission President Barroso comparing Europe to an empire

2. French President Sarkozy appearing to have had a little too much to drink (BTW – he had not)

1. Belgian politician and potential Prime Minister Yves Leterme singing the Marseillaise instead of the Belgian national anthem (BTW – clearly he was joking)

September 14, 2007 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

How will MEPs use the internet in 2009?

It is of course with interest that we follow developments in the current US Presidential election primaries. We love gun toting YouTube questioners and rejoice at the plethora of blogs, websites and social media that our US friends use to build their databases, motivate supporters and of course harvest small individual donations for campaign coffers. The question we keep asking ourselves is will our MEPs follow suit and adopt some of these tactics in 2009? Signs are looking good, even at this early stage.

It is a matter of some rejoicing (and pride) that one of our FH colleagues and potential UK ALDE (Lib Dem) candidate, Rebecca Taylor, has taken up the digital political challenge and this week launched her own website in her bid for selection on the party’s list for 2009 in the UK’s Yorkshire region. A sentiment shared, amongst others, by Socialist MEP blogger Mary Honeyball who recently praised the internet as a potential campaign tool and calls on the age of the internet election to “roll on”. Some of us who in past lives have leafleted in god-forsaken parts of middle England on rainy summer days would tend to agree.

Interestingly, the use of social media sites such as Facebook is gathering pace here too. The PES are preparing well in advance and have set up an open Facebook group to disseminate campaign material to supporters and exchange best practice. However, unlike Hillary, Obama et al we are yet to find an MEP with an open Facebook profile set up to gather supporters and motivate them to action online. Perhaps it is just a matter of time.

We’d agree with those who argue that the likes of Facebook and MySpace are only one tool in internet election campaigns, where a focus on fund raising and building a great supporters database still plays a key role. However, where European elections are not exactly top of the media agenda and even the most election-hardened local constituency party can be difficult to motivate, we have to believe that such tools could be a cheap and effective method for gathering supporters together, keeping them up to speed on the campaign diary and motivating them to act online and offline.

September 5, 2007 at 7:21 pm

iJules, YouVoter?

Members of the European Parliamentarians (MEPs) have a tough time of it when it comes to reaching out to voters. The ability of a voter to remember the name of their representative in a national legislature is low but digging out the name of one of the many MEPs that represent us is even harder. The national media don’t normally “get” Brussels, nor the importance of the European Parliament in this legislative juggernaut of a process. As such, local and regional press, which are admittedly widely read in many Member States, usually get the brunt of their attention.

However, MEPs are plucky creatures (you have to be to shuttle back and forth from Strasbourg and Brussels) and it seems at least some of them are turning to the latest in digital to reach out to their voters and bypass traditional media.


June 29, 2007 at 5:57 pm 1 comment

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A blog on politics, policy, public affairs and communications in Brussels and the European Union. The blog is written by the team at Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of the company or its clients. You will find the contact details of our team at

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