The use of social media websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in political campaigns has dramatically impacted the way in which people interact with elected representatives of different political parties today. Such websites have made these elected officials far more accessible and accountable to the general public.
With the Canadian Federal elections scheduled for October 21, 2019, the Conservatives and Liberals are once again engaged in a major battle, which will carry on until the last polls are held in British Columbia. Unsurprisingly, Canadian politics betting is also getting a lot of action right now, with New Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals slinging more mud at each other, including at all the popular social media platforms. While Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer are both favourites tied at odds of 1.77, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh also stands a distant chance, going at odds of 21.00.
Needless to say, social media has had a profound impact on the Canadian elections and politics too. In fact, it marks a new battleground for the Canada’s federal elections. Let’s go over some important ways in which social media has impacted the political culture everywhere.
Facebook and Twitter have been quite instrumental in spreading viral campaigns. These platforms enable like-minded activists and voters to share crucial information and news stories related to the campaign events with everyone. Every political campaign involves social media usage, which can result in quick transmission of information across all the corners of the country, facilitating bigger support and voter turnout.
Direct contact with the voters
All popular social media platforms enable politicians to communicate directly with the voters, without the need of spending a lot of money and/or time on other mediums. These platforms have become popular means to reach the voters as against the conventional methods like paid advertising. Politicians can easily and instantly share their campaign goals and core beliefs with everyone.
It’s not uncommon for political campaigns to use methods like money bombs for raising huge amounts of funding in a fairly short time period. These money bombs normally involve 24-hour time periods during which the candidates urge their supporters to donate funds. To do so, they make use of social media portals like Facebook and Twitter and normally tie such money bombs with specific political controversies that come up during the campaigns.
Requesting feedback from the constituents and/or voters can prove to be a good strategy. And it can backfire too, depending upon how the politicians respond. It’s not uncommon for political campaigns to have special staff for monitoring different social media channels, in order to locate negative responses, and to get rid of anything that is unflattering. Such mentality and method also has a cost attached to it. It can make the campaign appear closed out from the general public and more defensive in nature. If you look at any modern-day well-run political campaign, it engages a lot with the general public regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative.