Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Electioneering via Social Networks: Preaching to the Converted?

With an election looming, some of the old favourites like "let's kick a dole-bludger" among other idiotic policies are being tossed around in the popular media. Targeting Tony Abbott in particular, it appears that the ACTU will be using Facebook and Twitter to 'hammer out a warning' about a re-painted Workchoices industrial relations environment.

Everybody knows that such a policy is not a winner - just ask John Winston Howard and Stanley Melbourne Bruce. But it makes me wonder how much difference the use of social media will make this election?

The inherent beauty of social networks is that you don't have to engage with or read stuff you don't like. If you have a friend or followee who annoys you, you simply unfriend or unfollow them and move on.  But how many people will be happy about having their social networks infiltrated by those annoying politicians during the election campaign?

The reality is that most of us will either only read or engage with those we are already going to vote for, or alternatively we will keep a safe distance away from the more evangelistic politicians. 

I am not a betting man, but if I were my money would be on social networks being nothing more than a sideshow for the traditional media, or at the every most a case of simply preaching to the choir.


Creative Commons License Except where indicated otherwise, Le Flâneur Politique by Michael de Percy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Based on a work at politicalscience.com.au. Background image ©Depositphotos.com/ @redshinestudio