The Party of European Socialists are proudly trumpeting the fact that they will be the first European party to develop their manifesto through an open dialogue using web-based tools. Their manifesto website features blogs, buttons, video, photos using flickr and links to events. Party activists can register to get involved both online and offline. Party leader, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, features in the opening teaser YouTube video.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnNm1EdBbIQ] No doubt the PES hope that these activities will mobilise local party activists in the run up to the elections and allow them to feel that the manifesto is in effect theirs as much as it is that of the PES. Painful personal experience from last time around suggests that there is nothing more important. It’s always a tad disheartening to find that half the local constituency party activists are refusing to put the European elections leaflet through letterboxes on the opening day of your campaign.
Two questions remain. 1. How far will national parties allow the PES manifesto to be the one that is communicated to voters in 2009? 2. Can the PES avoid falling into the trap of Segolene Royal in France?