Wednesday, April 04, 2007

councillor blog shut-down

This is a bit surprising, and provides a solid indicator of how political blogs continue to be misunderstood. Right now, and until May 7th, if you go to the Brighton and Hove Councillors website - as you may very well do in the weeks preceding the local elections - to take a look at what councillors have been doing with their time as elected officials, you'll find the following message.

Temporary shutdown of this website
During the six week period prior to local and general elections, there is a ban in place on publicising the work of councillors to unfairly influence votes. Because of this, all of the pages and councillor blogs on this website are to be temporarily suspended until after the elections have finished.
I guess I can understand the thinking to an extent, but it seems to me that the time surrounding an election is exactly when the electorate need to be able to find about the people they may or may not elect - it's at times like this when you need to know just what, and who, you're voting for.

(hat tip to Jane for drawing my attention to this)


Andrew Brown said...

Good reason not to let the council host your website I'd have thought.

Powerful Pierre said...

The purdah period is very restrictive regarding what councils can and can't do. Press releases can't quote Councillors that are standing for election etc. It is up to Councillors to get their messages out, which most of the time means the wonderful stuff we're getting through our letterboxes at the moment.