Friday, October 19, 2012

Social Media and The 2012 Regina Municipal Election

*DISCLAIMER: Look, I'm not here to tell to you who to vote for, that's your decision. This is my opinion on how a few of the top candidates for Mayor of Regina in the 2012 Municipal Election are using social media.*

Let's look at some platform comparisons.
Oh no, dear reader, not those platforms, I'm talking about social platforms..




Meka 2012 859
Team Marian Donnelly for Mayor 2012 779
CreelmanKid* 81
Michael Fougere 71
Dr. Liz Brass 20


Marian Donnelly @mariandonnelly 833 899 708 @meka4mayor 774 554 1160
Michael Fougere @fougere4mayor 752 185 193
Marian4Mayor @Marian4Mayor 506 455 310
David Carnegie* @CreelmanKid 455 196 9277
Liz Brass 4 Mayor @LizBrass 254 180 308

*I threw myself in there just for comparison. I'm not running. Yet... #Carnegie2020

Not bad, but there's more to social media than just the numbers. I mean hey, the account could be run by a team and not just the candidate, their followers could all be bots, who knows? Let's take a closer look at how each of the candidates uses social media...


(In Alphabetical Order)

Liz Brass

She doesn't allow comments on her Facebook page. Horrible mistake. You're cutting off the people.. The people who might want to ask you something so they can decide if they want to vote for you.

One of the bright spots is her Twitter handle (@LizBrass). It's the shortest handle out there and no unnecessary "4mayor" crap following it, unless of course it's a campaign team. Fewer characters is smarter in a platform that limits you to 140 characters.

Marian Donnelly

She clearly has experience in this area, for one thing.

She's running Twitter how I would've set it up. A personal account (@mariandonnelly - more followers than any other candidate) and a campaign team account (@Marian4Mayor). With a team account you have no excuse not to answer EVERY SINGLE question/comment/compliment/concern tweeted your way, because anyone can be behind a team account and can be monitoring it all the time. If a personal account takes time to respond I don't mind, because I'm assuming you're that person and I totally understand that you have a life.

Marian has a strong following on both platforms (She has a Youtube Channel too). The work she's done in the past has definitely helped build that following. The fact that she didn't decide to start using social media because she wanted to be mayor is big.

Hint to all you 2016 hopefuls: Start engaging today!

Michael Fougere

If you go down his Twitter timeline there is very little engagement with people.

In fact, there is nothing. At all. Unless it is someone talking about him or sharing something from him. There's even a case where he asks someone to phone him and people ask him why he doesn't just answer on Twitter.. No response.

On Facebook, however, he has the opposite problem. Fougere, for whatever reason, comments on wall posts twice. It's almost as if he and whoever is running his page aren't coordinating. But that doesn't make sense because it's not like you can't see the other response. It just seems weird to me..

He also has a YouTube Channel but doesn't allow comments. Not that it would matter though.

Going by social media it's like this guy doesn't even care. Luckily, he has a lot of supporters on Twitter who do the talking for him, still be nice to hear it from the horses mouth though..

I give him one stadium (without a roof) out of 675 Million.

Meka Okochi

Meka is really taking advantage of this space and communicating with the public. He has Facebook ads pointing to his Page. He responds quickly to tweets and engages with the public.

I'm disappointed, however, that he has a personal Twitter account (@lineofmeka) that he hasn't used since June 15th and that was only him retweeting his campaign team account. I hope he knows that people are talking to him on that account.. Maybe he's responding with the team account.

It should also be noted that when Meka himself answers a question or posts something on Facebook or twitter he ends with "- mo" which is a nice touch. Good to know that he's the guy answering.

I heard complaints that Meka's campaign manager was spamming people with emails. He never emailed me, but he did add me as a friend on Facebook after I interacted with the Meka 2012 Page. Not sure the strategy there, but that's that. I wouldn't be surprised if his spamming turns potential Okochi voters off. Don't push, listen.

Overall he's very open and engaging. He also has a YouTube channel and allows comments.


Marian Donnelly and Meka Okochi dominate this space. They interact and engage and use these online tools very well. They have large following and don't take them for granted. And I think that's the most important thing.

In many ways however, these platforms have been totally under-utilized. There could be way more engagement on Twitter with the search feature that the candidates probably just don't know about. You may argue that these people don't have time, but if they really wanted to win over voters they would make the time. It would take less time than going door to door, which I'm not knocking (Haha, knocking..) but why not take advantage of it? Welcome to the future!

This is an exciting time, Regina. What are your thoughts? Have any great experiences with candidates online? Have any horrible ones? What do you think? Leave some comments or tweet me.


  1. Great summary. You left off one force of nature on Twitter though ;-)

  2. Nice unbiased comparison. Would LOVE to see an infographic..

  3. Hmmph... I'll get real with you, I was looking for your candid Novak-attack, because of all principled people I know you'd have spelled it out in a way that I'm sure I'd say well done... Otherwise nice work young Jedi!

    1. I think my thoughts on Novak would surprise you. He's the only one who has engaged with me without me mentioning him, that means he's searching for people to engage with.
      If I did this sooner I would've included all of the candidates but just went with some of the top candidates this close to the end.

  4. Well written thoughtful article, David!


Thanks for your comment!