Elections and Web 2.0

Reading both the Guardian’s blog Comment is Free on WebCameron and today’s accounts of the use of collaborative technologies by Senators Obama and Clinton, makes one wonder why Canadian politicians use of the new technologies has been so lame.

You wouldn’t think from the offerings of Dumont, Boisclair and Charest, that candidates elsewhere had more passionately embraced the technology, or that Monday’s vote might be moved by spontaneity.

On this continent, you can browse the video offerings of the declared candidates at Youtube. But don’t expect Canadian equivalents – Stephen Harper is way behind Nicolas Sarkozy and even Angela Merkel.

The world moves on and we’re stuck in a web mentality from the late 90s.


  1. CTV.ca harnessed prominent bloggers with various interests to cover the 2005 election (looks like that material is no longer on their website, and difficult to pull up from Google cache). But it never really took off in the sense that it wasn’t in the eye of the general public the way the technology is such a focus in the U.S. elections.

  2. And I’ve been banging for years on the Miller people here in Toronto that he should have a mayor’s blog. Nada.

  3. But we’ve elections for the AssemblĂ©e Nationale on Monday, a provincial election in Ontario, and I’d bet even money that Ottawa is out on the hustings before too long.

    So why aren’t the bright politicos thinking about it, especially if the US elections spur a torrent of innovation?

    Just look at Sarko and Cameron – and these are the conservative ones.

    Best of luck with David Miller, Simon.

  4. Jason Cherniak has been involved in blogging for the Liberal party (he was also one of the CTV bloggers in 2005). See his bio on the right side of his blog Cherniak on Politics.

  5. I suggest you check out http://liblogs.ca to get a sense of the direction of Canadian politics online. You should also be seeing some new stuff at http://liberal.ca.

    During the Liberal leadership race, many Liberals suddenly became aware of what is going on. I expect more to come soon.

  6. Loved the “lurking Harpo” line, Jason.

  7. Simon,

    Lameness aside, just maybe part of the reason is that, somewhere in the Machievellian minds (poor Nicolo – what he gets blamed for!) of the spinners, there’s the subconscious recognition that …

    on the whole, more Canadians than not – regardless of their political stripes – want their news above the belt, not below, and in more than ephemeral, poisoned, sound-bites?

    Or, you’re right. It actually is incontinence expressed through incompetence.

    Time will tell.