Political Party Leaders and Twitter

Looking for additional ways to follow the election? Want to know what the party leaders and your candidates are up to and where they are on a daily basis? Follow them on Twitter!

With only 140 characters to get their message out, this is a new form of communication for politicians who are used to waxing lyrically when they have the public’s attention.

Granted, some of the party leaders are using Twitter much more effectively than others, but at least they are all using it. That said, there is so much more they could be doing with this tool including an unbelievable amount of information they could be mining for use in policy and campaign strategy and an opportunity to engage with voters.

So how are they all doing?

1. Michael Ignatieff is doing the best job. He incorporates other social sites into his tweets and delivers valuable, if limited, information. He is also starting to interact with the public more via this forum.

Does he write his own tweets? yes

Follow him @M_Ignatieff

2. Jack Layton tweets often but rarely engages with his followers – he mostly uses Twitter to broadcast but doesn’t appear to be listening and engaging.

Does he write his own tweets? Sometimes. Tweets come from both Mr. Layton himself as well as from team members.

Follow him @jacklayton

3. Elizabeth May interacts with her followers and the public more than others but has a significantly smaller number of followers.

Does she write her own tweets? yes. But sometimes it is her assistant who actually posts them.

Follow her @ElizabethMay

4. Gilles Duceppe does a great job interacting with people but with all his tweets being written in french, he has a much more limited audience.

Does he write his own tweets? yes. But sometimes they are posted by others.

Follow him @GillesDuceppe

5. Stephen Harper falls to the very bottom of the list. He doesn’t engage with his followers, writes in a very formulated and prepared manner and mostly uses the site to broadcast.

Does he write his own tweets? Sometimes, but not often. Most tweets are prepared by staffers.

Follow him @pmharper

If you’re looking for a place to keep track of what all the Canadian politicians are saying on social media, check out http://politwitter.ca. According to the site, “Politwitter does the searching for you by indexing Canadian federal and provincial political twitter, facebook, blogs, youtube, flickr and more into one location. The site maintains a list of politicians and political tweeters as well as popular hash tags. You can view tweets narrowed down by MPs, partisan affiliation, province and more.”

Local Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Candidates on Twitter:

Liberal – Kimberley Love: @girlfromgrey

Greens – Emma Hogbin: @emmajanedotnet

Conservative – Larry Miller: not currently using Twitter

NDP – no candidate

I’ll write a post after the election with a final review of how the different candidates fared in their use of Twitter.



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Kaisha Thompson on March 31, 2011 at 2:14 am

    What a shame Mr Miller isn’t using twitter! It also appears that Hogbin is confused. She keeps using the hashtag #gbos but our riding is clearly Bruce Grey Owen Sound, #bgos. haha!


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