Social Media

Political Twitter

Last night was the English debate for the Canadian party leaders, as well as the VP candidates debate in the United States.  I don’t know who decided to schedule them both at the exact same time, but it certainly kept Twitter busy.  Throughout the debate viewers on both sides of the border were all posting about the election to Twitter — as were some of the candidates.


The Canadian party leaders participating in the debate.

In Canada, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton (@jacklayton) brought pieces of the debate right into Twitter.  He apparently had a team working behind the scenes to offer NDP responses to some of the things said by the other leaders (mostly Harper).  During the debate, several “fact check” tweets were posted, linking to various statements on the NDP website that offered the NDP account of what really happened.

Most of the other candidates have Twitter accounts too — Prime Minister Stephen Harper (@pmharper), Green Party leader Elizabeth May (@ElizabethMay) and Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe (@gillesduceppe) are all up there.  The only Canadian leader who doesn’t seem to have an active Twitter profile (at least not one that I could find) is Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.  @stephanedion isn’t following anyone, and has only a “Hello Twitter!” statement from over a year ago.

I’ve followed all of the leaders, but so far only Jack Layton and Stephen Harper have followed me back.  (Seeing “Stephen Harper is now following you on Twitter!” pop up in my email was amusing to me.)  I’ll be disappointed if Elizabeth May doesn’t follow me, but she hasn’t posted a tweet since the debate, and it looks like she genuinely manages her own Twitter account.

I do hope that whoever becomes Prime Minister does keep using Twitter.

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