Conversing with Alberta politicians on Twitter
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.
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!