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22 March 2007updated 27 Sep 2015 2:32am

Tactics to get the Scottish youth out

The role the internet is playing in trying to encourage young people to vote

By Rebecca S Bundhun

Elections in which you can vote for Wet Wet Wet to represent your region? Travis bassist Dougie Payne runs for Parliament?

Maybe it’s not such an absurd proposition given that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foray into politics resulted in him becoming governor of California. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on the extent to which you like to mix your music and politics – the aforementioned elections are not real, but an online game.

This cunning device has been adopted as part of the VoteScotland campaign in an effort to lure the Scottish youth to the polling stations.

VoteScotland is a politically neutral campaign that has been established by the Scottish Executive and the Electoral Commission as an initiative to raise awareness of the local government and Scottish Parliamentary elections on 3 May.

They have developed the digital games to explain a system that, quite frankly, isn’t the epitome of clarity. One game, designed to elucidate the Additional Member System used in the Scottish elections, asks players to cast two votes to create a ‘super group’ from Scotland’s most famed musicians, including KT Tunstall and Belle and Sebastian.

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In another game, based upon the Single Transferable Vote – to be used for the first time this year’s local elections in Scotland – voters select Scottish Premier League football players and rank them in order of preference to create a five-a-side dream team. Meanwhile, an online animation guides you through the voting process.

It’s unclear what impact this initiative is going to have. However, the fact that something is being done in attempt to rouse interest in the workings of a representative democracy is surely a step in the right direction. The next step is, of course, to try to ensure that voting choices are actually informed, otherwise Scotland may as well place Marti Pellow in a position of political power.

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