Blog

Conversing with Alberta politicians on Twitter

By DJ Kelly June 4, 2009

Twitter has proved to be a pretty powerful tool for democratic engagement. The Bill 44 debate cemented that belief because MLAs were having conversations on Twitter with constituents well into the night as the live debate in the Legislature continued.

I think the argument put forward by Ian Bushfield over on his blog “Terahertz” regarding the seemingly futile nature of the debate – his post is titled “Get over it: Social Media is not going to change the world” – is a good one. Twitter and social media are just tools; you still have to have a strong message that is convincing. Same as always.

But I don’t want to debate the pros and cons of social media here. Instead I just wanted to create a list of Alberta politicians on Twitter. Step one in creating a strong message – for whatever your issue or political sway is – is to listen. So I invite you to listen and then converse with the following folks. Hopefully this will create even greater understanding among us all moving forward.

This kind of direct access to politicians is something new that we should all take advantage of. I know I’ve had some great conversations with these individuals and I hope you do too.

Provincial:
Progressive Conservative:
GriffMLA
KyleMLA
JonoMLA
RAndersonMLA
CindyAdy_MLA
JaniceSarichMLA
LindsayBlackett
ElniskiMLA
DaveHancockMLA
premierstelmach

Liberal:
darshankang
chasemla
davidswann
calgarycurrie
calgarybuffalo

NDP:
bmasonNDP
RachelNotley

And there are even some municipal politicians on Twitter too:
BillGiven (Grande Prairie)
aldjohnmar (Calgary)
doniveson (Edmonton)
ben_hen (Edmonton)

Most of these accounts are updated regularly and are operated by the politician themselves, although the odd one is manned by a staffer. Which certainly lessens it’s impact and usefulness. No Twitter user is looking for regurgitated press releases. This is something the politicians will learn over time if they REALLY do want to be engaged with constituents. (Basically if they care. Or rather, have the time to care.)

I’ll update this post as more Alberta politicians join Twitter, but if you know of someone I missed please DM me on my Twitter or add it to the comments of the post, and I’ll update the list. Thanks in advance!

  • Jeremy

    I think your post and Dave Cournoyer's "Citizen Bloggers" article in Alberta Views is a bit too optimistic, but I would not say that kind of view is a bad thing. I do not expect the Internet to become a mainstream medium for quite some time simply because it's still very anti-social and new. I mean anti-social in the sense that you are not actually going out and networking with people on issues face to face. It's great to be anonymous and spew out words of hatred about your politician, but you would as a rational individual act very different if you were to talk to politicians face to face. I would never go up to my alderman or MLA and go "YOU SUCK FOR BLAH BLAH BLAH WTFWTFWTF". Those that act in such an irrational way are usually put in a negative light and frowned upon. There's a long way to go for the Internet and at the end of the day, it's really action and innovation that needs to evolve out of it. If a candidate has innovative ideas via a new technology such as the Internet, then they can expect support. However, if it's the same old rhetoric but on a shiny, new medium, then it's not going to work. Twitter all you want, but I hear the same old things.

  • Jeremy

    I think your post and Dave Cournoyer's "Citizen Bloggers" article in Alberta Views is a bit too optimistic, but I would not say that kind of view is a bad thing. I do not expect the Internet to become a mainstream medium for quite some time simply because it's still very anti-social and new. I mean anti-social in the sense that you are not actually going out and networking with people on issues face to face. It's great to be anonymous and spew out words of hatred about your politician, but you would as a rational individual act very different if you were to talk to politicians face to face. I would never go up to my alderman or MLA and go "YOU SUCK FOR BLAH BLAH BLAH WTFWTFWTF". Those that act in such an irrational way are usually put in a negative light and frowned upon.

    There's a long way to go for the Internet and at the end of the day, it's really action and innovation that needs to evolve out of it. If a candidate has innovative ideas via a new technology such as the Internet, then they can expect support. However, if it's the same old rhetoric but on a shiny, new medium, then it's not going to work. Twitter all you want, but I hear the same old things.

  • calgaryrants.com

    I just joined Twitter last week and I find it amazing. It is pretty cool that the MLA's are actually responding to your tweets. Good Job!

  • calgaryrants.com

    I just joined Twitter last week and I find it amazing. It is pretty cool that the MLA's are actually responding to your tweets. Good Job!

  • For a complete list of Alberta politicians on Twitter check out http://politwitter.ca/page/canadian-provincial-twitters/province/ab

  • For a complete list of Alberta politicians on Twitter check out http://politwitter.ca/page/canadian-provincial-twitters/province/ab