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EU bells and whistles: Milkshaker.eu

I’m not sure if the sherbet ice cream colors are to my liking, or if the pink, green and blue stars flying across the screen add anything to the issue, but if it works….

Milkshaker.eu is a “one-stop-shop” for information on the EU and European Parliament, just in time for the upcoming European Elections, the largest polling of its kind in history.

From the site:

“Milkshaker blends new ideas on Europe. You come to this website with your own idea about Europe (base idea=milk). Then you encounter different voices on Europe from various people and media, which colour your basic idea (new information + other people’s ideas= strawberry, chocolate, pistachio, banana etc.). Ultimately, you should come up with a new milkshake of your own: blend of ideas > feeds new idea!”

The site features the aforementioned cotton candy colors and Hello Kitty-like stars (whoops, was that out loud?) and is geared toward getting young people interested in the elections, happening 4-7 June.

But with a 45 percent overall turnout during the last elections in 2004, it’s clear that even their parents are foregoing a trip to the polls. Will soft colors and hip words pique interest in youth?

On the website e_IR Mary Scott mentions a survey of British children that “revealed a fundamental lack of knowledge about the political system of their country and the wider world.” She goes on to quote Chief Executive of the Institute for Citizenship Jenny Talbot as saying:

“When 90% of young people claim to know less than a little about their local council or the European Union, it isn’t surprising that voter turnout is as low as 1 in 3. This isn’t apathy. This is a lack of information.”

It gets worse.

“While less than a quarter of the children quizzed was confident about how Parliament works,” Scott writes, “over half considered that large companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Nike have a powerful influence on their everyday lives (compared to 40% who recognised the Government).”

So perhaps marketing the elections like a product *can* get young people interested in the elections.

But could someone please turn off the flying stars?