I was reflecting on the Let It Shine Live Final on BBC TV and the fact the viewing public voted in their droves (and paid for the privilege) for a newly formed boy band to star in the new Take That live musical called The Band.

Is this how the younger generation is learning democracy?  Intentionally or not, are we embedding a voting culture amongst millennials and younger?

Does audience voting on reality TV shows teach young people to vote? Does anyone know if there is evidence of this?

I wonder what percentage of the show’s viewers voted that Saturday night?   The turnout in the Stoke by-election was 38% and in Copeland 51%  (but the electorates were just a tenth of the size of the viewing audience for Let It Shine!)

We run simple twitter polls from time to time.  For Maker’s Mark, for example, we have hosted quick votes to find the most popular Bourbon cocktail, according to the taste buds of brand fans.

Maybe we can grow generally lamentable voter turnout (whether in a by-election, a general election or a single/issue referendum) by encouraging everyone to form and express opinions, take sides and vote, so it becomes second nature?

Voting, after all, is a hard-fought right which cost our predecessors dear and costs us nothing at all.

Anything we can do, big or small, to encourage voting en masse must surely be for the greater good.

Maybe in the next election we should all vote online by pressing on-screen buttons?

Hilary Crossing

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