After a local newspaper article Election has candidates all a-Twitter decided to contact Riding Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar candidates and engage in a twitter Q&A.
All candidates had an account (Apr. 30, 2011):
285 Tweets 280 Following 1,189 Followers 136 Listed
55 Tweets 189 Following 201 Followers 23 Listed
135 Tweets 35 Following 29 Followers 4 Listed
2 Tweets 9 Following 11 Followers 1 Listed
Nettie Wiebe (NDP), Vicki Strelioff (Green) & Lee Reaney (Liberal) all started Twitter accounts for the 2011 election. Incumbent Kelly Block (CPC) started an account April 4, 2009. Usage speaks for itself.
Began with a Prologue - introductions and seeing possibilities.
Primary intention was to ask a series of questions. Needed to alert that the arts are important. Also posted relevent arts links from page numbers of their particular party platform statements on the arts to art advocate groups hoping candidates would become more informed on the complexity of arts&culture issues.
Canadian Conference of the Arts' online Bulletins and the Canadian Arts Coalition Arts Vote toolkit were main resources for both questions and information.
All except Lee Reaney made some contact. It became apparent he had no interest in Twitter.
i.. Dear candidates, your campaign is on: Who will speak for real support for SK arts & culture this time? (question co-opted with slight revision from Jian Ghomeshi tweet).
Kelly Block: Enjoyed hosting Minister Moore on March 17, 2011 who announced funding of$700,000 for festivals and cultural events in SK this summer.
Kelly Block: To start I would suggest googling Government of Canada and the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
ii. Dear candidates. Any all-candidate forum planned?
iii. What is your vision for arts and culture in our riding?
Vicki Strelioff: Arts & culture needs more investment as they feed the heart & soul of society. People are more than machines.
Vicki Strelioff: I am involved with Scottish pavillion at Folkfest & on the executive of the SHDA. I enjoy music, art, theater, etc as a fan.
1. How will you improve culture sector workers socio-economic conditions whose annual incomes fall below Canadian average?
Vicki Strelioff: We need to establish an adequate base income & work up from there; establishing funding, grants, etc. to keep arts & culture vibrant.
2. How will you forge a culture policy of international exchange - a diplomacy of co-operation, understanding & critique?
Vicki Strelioff: Lot to answer in a tweet. GPC all about cooperation here & abroad. Can't we all just get along to achieve the common goals of humanity?
Nettie Wiebe: Hello Raymon. Thanks for the questions. However, they require substantial answers. Do you have an email address where I can reach you?
3. What fiscal measures do you propose to encourage SK arts philanthropy & private investment in arts and cultural work?
Vicki Strelioff: Better value at tax time for charitable donations made to the arts. Improve funding to Arts & culture agencies. Really support CBC!
4, What measures does your party propose to support touring and the circulation of the works of Canadian artists across Canada?
Vicki Strelioff: I would need to get details from GPC for this; don't know if there is time before May 2 to answer.
5. Do you support increasing the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts and if so, to what level and over what time frame?
Vicki Strelioff:You give tough questions! It's hard to nail down $ amounts, but I would guarantee no cuts firstly for sure & move forward from there.
Attended the all candidates forum and tweeted a thank you to the three present which resulted in the first candidate tweet to the others.
Vicki Strelioff:@if @leereaney2011 @Nettie_Wiebe As always, so many topics not touched upon which should have been.
Lee Reaney essentially did not use Twitter. Kelley Block stopped on Apr. 20. Nettie Wiebe tweeted infrequently though followed back (She did not e-mail back). Vicki Strelioff tweeted extensively, followed back & tweeted directed to me often.
A List of all candidate tweets. Should be noted posts directed to specific people (@user name) are not included on the list.
More info at PoliTwitter.
:: Note :: ... special thanks to Vicki Strelioff who sought engagement with thoughtful and continuous replies and extended conversation ... she also sought permission to use a tweet of mine in her speeches ... Kelly Block earned the most offensive tweet suggesting I google for information ...