Monday, 6 August 2012

Will Twits Make a Difference in the Quebec Election?

Much talk these days about what impact Twitter and Facebook will have on elections.  Since last Wednesday Quebec has been in provincial campaign mode, with everything being analyzed right and left (and center, too). 

Tweets and Facebook also played an important role in passing the message about anti-tuition hike demonstrations earlier this yeara.  Will comments in the Twittersphere make a difference in engaging young people this election?  Who knows?  Certainly Twitter can be dangerous.  The leader of the terribly named Coalition pour l'avenir du Québec (CAQ, and it sounds as bad in French as it does in English) has already got into hot water with his tweets.  His remark that girls put less importance on wages then boys do is a classic.

These social media are a bit like an echo chamber, though: comments on them go around and around and can end up being amplified to deafening levels among those who are listening.  The audience is circumscribed though.  Those outside the circle only hear a faint roar when commentators on more traditional media mention them.

Certainly so far none of the political parties seem ready to put aside posters and ads on radio and television.  And who can judge what winds blow through the spirits of voters?  The Orange Wave of the 2011 federal election was not accompanied by a lot of social media action, yet some pretty major changes went on in voters' intentions.

À suivre, as they say around here.

No comments: