The topic in one of my classes this week is campaigning and one of our readings is specifically about the 2011 Canadian federal election. I was excited to read the chapter because it was directly related to my job on the campaign – media and social media – and it brings up some very interesting thoughts about what could happen this year.
It is almost certain that the 2015 federal election will look different and be covered different. Partly because of social media and partly because of reduced budgets, media outlets will be look for different ways to present the campaign to their audiences.
While the chapter in The Canadian Federal Election of 2011 (Pammett/Dornan) talks about how much time and focus the leaders’ tours got, many media outlets just won’t be able to afford the cost of sending reporters out on each of the Conservative, Liberal and NDP campaigns for 36 days. This means that either all the major outlets will be using pooled coverage or reporters will find creative ways to cover local and national issues without being on the tour.
There is also a very good chance that social media will be put to greater use in 2015, with parties talking to supporters, undecideds and especially to the media, or at least trying to get media attention. Around 83 per cent of Canadians are on Facebook and can be reached there is very specific ways. A lot of Canadians aren’t on Twitter, but the Parliamentary Press Gallery is.
There are also other interest groups that will be fighting for attention during this campaign, specifically those fighting for an inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women. The movement has its own hashtag (#MMIW) because more than 1,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women have gone missing or been murdered in the last 30 years.
I am both excited and tentative. No matter what, it will be interesting to watch and analyze after the fact.