Canada’s federal election: social media won’t matter

Cover of "The Audacity to Win: The Inside...
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There.  I said it.  Social media won’t factor into who will be asked to form Canada’s next federal government.  And it’s not because that social media isn’t important.  I believe it is.  I will be informed by it.  I will continue to be influenced by the messages from other users whom I “follow”.  And so will many of you.

The fact remains though that Canada’s social media “winner” won’t directly influence the results of next month’s election.  And here’s the reason why:  Canada’s politicians, parties and their “social media” advisors are not using it to win.  They are using it to message and communicate.  And that’s a huge difference from where I’m sitting.

Winning takes more than telling people what you stand for.  It’s more than just asking for donations.

Winning with social media requires 4 specific things to be in place:

  1. The candidate MUST be a once-in-a-generation candidate who exudes passion and whose message resonates with the Canadian electorate.  Take a look around you. Which leader of Canada’s major political parties reeks of passion? Stop looking.  There isn’t one.
  2. The tools must be relevant to today’s electorate.  My mom is on Facebook and my dad just signed up for LinkedIn.  One point.
  3. The candidate or party must allow people to organize at a grassroots level and be provided with the tools to make their job and lives easy.  Ain’t gonna happen this time.  Will this ever happen in Canada?  Maybe.  Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi seemed to have been on the right track.  That was municipal politics.  Federal politics is a much bigger beast.
  4. Be transparent.  Sounds like an oxymoron.
If these 4 factors sound familiar to you it may be because I blogged about these back in 2009 when I reviewed the Obama election and the book, “The Audacity To Win” written by campaign manager David Plouffe.
So, in my opinion, Canada’s political leaders and their parties only meet 1 out of four requirements.  Therefore, what happens on Twitter, Facebook, or even the blogosphere won’t matter one iota when it comes to powering the next leader as Canada’s next prime minister.
What say you?