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Is It Essential To Be A Celebrity In Politics Today

by on May 16, 2014

Tom Cruise, Nigella Lawson and David Cameron…


One could be forgiven for wrongly trying to spot an odd one out, however as our relationship with media changing the way we view politicians; their social standing has now completely overlapped that of the celebrity.

Some would argue that politics is moving into an era in which personalities and media perception of candidates is as important as the actual policies for which they stand. On one hand, already established faces such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, during his run for Californian governor had an obvious edge over competitors such as Darrell Issa for example, who seemed a more qualified candidate, yet dropped out when Schwarzenegger’s name was added to the race. And on the other end of popularity, labour leader Ed Miliband springs to mind, as he doesn’t seem a viable candidate for a party trying to compete against other charismatic candidates.





The need for a politician to conform to new social constructs of being accessible seems to be global as Indian’s wanting to break out of the cycle of poverty, and reinvent are taking the charismatic Modi, who used a ‘selfie’ to help promote voting in the largest democratic event in the world.


Mr. Obama has a lot of Hollywood behind him this election year. Actor George Clooney flexed his star power in May with a Los Angeles-based Obama fundraiser that included such guests as Tobey Maguire and Barbra Streisand. The event netted an estimated $15 million. Mr. Obama calls Clooney “a good friend”.




The level of importance appropriated to transparency is massive and it seems that privacy is a privilege that those that wish to work in the public sector give up. Under more scrutiny, every infraction becomes newsworthy as the press becomes increasingly instrumental in shaping public image, Jacqui Smith Andrew Mitchell being recent examples of ‘press crucifixion’.


The issue of participation, especially from the youth is something that has been a niggling problem of liberal democracy, the relatively laissez fair attitude of our political system has over time dissolved into complete apathy for many young people. Although lack of direct representations and a clash of interests is cited as the main reason for this, generally celebrities are more easily relatable and well liked and their involvement in political matters can be seen as helping bridge this gulf.




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