The Japanese Fisheries Agency had a plan to kill 50 Humpback whales. The environmental organization, Greenpeace, decided to raise awareness about this planned killing by “placing a name with a face”. The idea, as part of its Great Whale Trail Expedition, was to name one of the whales. To do so would give the planned killings a great deal of attention; And in doing so, possibly stop the Japanese Agency’s plan.
Greenpeace was hoping for a name that would indicate something about courage or to show that the Whale had great personality. The online community was invited to submit names and over 11K were submitted. Out of those, 30 were picked for an online poll by Greenpeace. Things were moving along as hoped.
After the initial voting, the name “Mr Splashy Pants” was the online winner. It wasn’t a name that Greenpeace wanted to embrace because they felt that it was making a joke out of their intent to save the whales. They even claimed that the name “was not beautiful enough”. Then, Greenpeace announced that there had been a glitch in the voting and that there would have to be a reconsideration of the vote, because there had been an IP address that had improperly and repeatedly voted, by finding a way to circumvent the voting check, by disabling the cookie counter.
This enraged the online community. In response to that, the online community rallied around the “Mr Splashy Pants” name, and he won by a nautical mile by tallying over 78% of the votes. Telling the online community that it wasn’t a good chosen name only drove them to make sure of the end result, with extra effort. In fact, Greenpeace now has adopted this amazing campaign by even having Mr Splashy Pants mugs, T-shirts, and all kinds of other whale goodies.
Next Tuesday is the much anticipated mid-term elections. Federal and State elections will be held and there are many who believe that the Tea Party will influence these elections.
Because of our Law Firm office in South Carolina, I receive repeated emails from both sides, indicating why one candidate or the other will be good or bad for the future of the State. The current leader in the polls, for the SC governors race, is a lady who has faced many personal attacks on her morality and her truthfulness. It appears that several of the attacks have some factual basis.
Despite this campaign against her, her poll numbers show an increase in support and the Tea Party has adopted her as one of their own. I suspect that on Tuesday, she will be elected to replacing Governor Sanford.
This is just one instance where telling a motivated group that you are picking the wrong one, has only served to motivate. The principle of “you aren’t doing what we want” in the whale naming, seems to be the same kind of motivation that is being ignored by those currently in power.
There is more at stake than attention and a good campaign for mugs and T-shirts. Hopefully, those that are elected to office will be ready to govern. In South Carolina, the state has been a bit slowed, because the current Governor, was determined to remain in office. In all states, there seems to be an anger that is motivating the voters. I suspect that most of us know the outcomes that will probably occur next Tuesday. Only those in denial don’t see the big whale that is headed their way.