This post will be deviating from my normal posts about beer, and breweries impact on social media and will instead be focused on political impact on social media.
Now if any of you readers don’t know there is currently an election in Alberta Canada right now that may have the impact to shape a lot of the decisions in Canada over the next century. Alberta is holding a provincial election to decide which party will have control over what the province does in the next 4-5 years. The top 2 parties that are in contention to win this election with about two weeks left before the vote are the Progressive conservatives, and the Wildrose party. The PC’s are a party that are a cross between a liberal, and a full-fledged conservative. They are in a sense a party that believes in some strict guidelines towards programs in the province such as education, and health care, but also believe that they should provide an adequate amount for public funds to organizations when the money is available. Wildrose are extremist conservatives who believe in cutting the budget on those programs until they balance the books offering very little in support towards publicly funded programs.
Throughout the past month by which this election has gone on their has been a steady rise in the support for the wild rose party. This is seen as unusual, because the PC’s have retained power for the past 41 years in the Alberta Legislature. I believe that a factor that could be influencing a lot of the voters in the province is the fact that we live in a social media age, and this is one of the first elections in the province that it has been used so frequently.
Often people who don’t understand social media wonder what the big impact is with using it? They don’t understand that social media is a communicating tool that is often more frequented than newspapers, magazines, email, and possibly tv. People check Social media sites many time throughout the day, they use it to express their opinions, and views about topics such as politics, as well as a news source to gather information on these topics so that they can form their own opinions about them later.
I took an active interest in this election, and have found a few trends that I believe have allowed for the recent rise in wild rose popularity. Wildrose has basically started using social media to gain leverage over the PC’s.
I didn’t recognize this as a problem until it came up in my class where I found out one of the key problems with the PC’s is that they are not communicating with some of their key voters. I looked at some of my local candidates in my own riding with regards to how much they usually use their twitter accounts.
Now as you can see in the info graphic is that although the PC party has more followers in my local riding they have not been able to effectively communicate to the same extent that wild rose has done. Now to put this on a larger scale below is an info graphic of the leaders of each party.
Now again it shows the same problem that although the PC’s have more followers in comparison to the wild rose they are not communicating to the same extent through amounts of tweets or retweets that wild rose have done. The Wildrose have been able to communicate by illustrating some of their policies, as well as communicating back and forth with their loyal followers. This has allowed the wild rose to secure about 10,000 voters, and gain more. Since showing this problem in my class Wildrose’s leader has had a steady increase in followers from about 7000 to the number on the account now while the pc’s has stale mated.
If you want to gain support for whatever you are doing you need to communicate with your followers regularly, and offer them informed topics without them you may lose them to your fiercest competitors. Politicians need to recognize that by communicating online is not a bad thing it offers up incentive to talk to a wider range of people about your parties policies. They just need to choose the right one. Enclosed is an article about how one local man took interest in finding out who cares about his vote by tweeting out to local candidates. http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20120414/SAG0803/304149968/-1/sag/a-tweet-to-the-ballot-box