Politicians! Get Off Our TV!
Too much politics on the box? If you have ever felt that politicians get a little too much exposure on TV screens, especially in the run up to elections, you will understand why there's been a call for a one-day TV walkout in Italy, where elections are held with great frequency as governments fall, one by one..
The call is not for a strike by TV technicians, but by TV's audience. Thousands of Italians are expected to heed the call on Saturday 11th of March and head for their local piazza armed with their TV remotes.
In town squares and village meeting places all over Italy, alternative entertainment to take people away from their TV sets is being laid on – and there are substantial discounts on admission if you produce your TV remote.
The strike is being promoted by the Esterni organisation, for people who are simply fed up with seeing so many politicians on TV. In Italy, the problem is accentuated because of frequent changes of government, each change causing fresh elections to be called. Voting is often closely tied, so cross party coalitions and temporary alliances are frequent. Italy is TV mad, it is THE national amusement, beating every other diversion possible.
Politicians know that TV can get them into every house in Italy and when they are after votes, they take every opportunity they can to get on the box, resulting in on-screen squabbles that pass for debate. Esterni says it all must stop.
The strike is well timed to make its point, with an election coming up fast.
A spokesman for Esterni says their protest coincides with “an an intense period of election campaign in which television is caught in the middle of heated debates and spoils to be shared”
Esterni insists that politicians need to take a break from television, as they put it;
“Stop with TV duels, word subterfuges, freak performances, care for appearance and look that compensate for a lack of contents and insult the voters' intelligence.”
The break from the screens should be used constructively, they say.
“Away from the TV for one day, politicians can give themselves a break to reflect, go through a process of self-criticism, analyse and read. Politicians, take to the streets and to the places where people meet, work, and study and get in touch with the real world!”
Italy's switch off TV day is on the 11th of March.