Voters are being kept in the dark by all three main political parties in failing to disclose the scale of tax rises and public sector cuts required to tackle the financial crisis, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies. They claim that the parties have black holes of up to £52 billion in the economic plans they have published as part of the election campaign, and need to be frank with voters. Not having enough information to make an informed decision based on non-transparent party policies will not engender trust, something members of parliament lost with the expenses scandal. Votes may be cast without thought of the consequences or there may be a “why bother” attitude, dissuading people from voting altogether.
As for being caught saying things behind apparent “closed car doors”, Gordon Brown seriously damaged his election campaign by describing a staunch Labour supporter he met in Rochdale whilst out canvassing as a “bigoted woman”. The comment, made in his car after a meeting where he publicly praised her, has been broadcast across the nation and subsequently he has had to call and visit the woman in question to eat humble pie. He may convince her or maybe not but whatever the outcome of her vote next week, millions of others may have changed their allegiance today. If Cameron or Clegg had done this the outcome would probably be the same……..but a salient lesson in how to “damage the brand” instead of “managing the brand”.