Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yes for Twibbons

It's established fact by now that one does not truly care about an issue unless he or she adorns their Twitter image with an icon expressing support for said cause. There is truly no more powerful declaration of one's ideals; and it hurts a lot less than self-immolation. Pity those Buddhist monks didn't have Twitter in Vietnam.

Out here in Wales, the Twitter feeds have seen an increase of profile images being adorned with a somewhat phallic-looking check mark. The bulbous end of the check is supposed to make it look like a dragon's tail, but, well, it kinda looks like something else. The purpose of this Peyronie's-affected image is to encourage us to vote 'Ie dros Cymru' (Yes for Wales) in the 3 March referendum on additional powers for the Welsh Assembly.

Admittedly, three months before a vote that could forever alter governance in Wales and eventually lead to the nation's independence is a really long time. So, it's no surprise that the "yes" side of the argument has not yet set up a website to support its case. Three whole months. That's ages away. Besides, the most important work has already been done: someone designed a Twibbon.

True, the campaign against further Welsh Assembly powers has a website, demonstrating a clear understanding of the necessity of WRITING IN CAPS LOCK and using exclamation points in political discourse! But they don't have a Twibbon. They are, therefore, doomed to fail.

Not having been born in Wales, and as such lacking an innate sense of Welsh patriotism, I've found myself struggling to understand what the arguments for further devolution are. I mean, I understand the general idea of wanting self-governance. I'm originally from the United States. Self-governance was so important to us that our forefathers valiantly duped British soldiers into dying of dysentery in New Jersey swamps -- all for the sweet joy of being able to tax ourselves. But in a state as small as the United Kingdom, is this kind of hyper-localism so necessary or beneficial? Especially considering how financially reliant Wales is upon that of its immediate eastern neighbour.

So far, I've not been able to find any real discourse on the issue. Perhaps because the word "devolution" uses up too many characters in Twitter. Whatever the reason, non-rhetorical answers are so difficult to find that some part of me feels treasonous for asking. Maybe there's something wrong with me that I have failed to realise that -- much like democracy, cupcakes and One Direction -- greater power for the Welsh Assembly is just an inherently good idea. After all, its supporters have a Twibbon.

And apparently that's really all one needs. In a recent poll, 53 percent of those asked said they would indeed vote in favour of more powers for the Welsh Assembly. Admittedly, however, only 37 percent of those asked said they actually intend to vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess most people in Wales will vote Yes because they prefer to have a comparatively left-wing government rather than out of die-hard patriotism... mind you the referendum is during the 6 Nations so I guess the Yes campaign is hoping for a run of good results!