Kevin Saide

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Are politicians having a positive influence on a younger voting audience by their increased use of social media sites?

Politicians are using mediums such as YouTube and social network sites in an attempt to become more relevant to a younger voter demographic. Is this making a difference? How effective is this new medium in getting the politicians message across? I am also interested in any research done on this topic.

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    Jun 13 2011: Corvida said it perfectly. It's the same discourse, the same proposals, the same ideals. The politicians might be getting more exposure, but many youngsters are still uninterested. The way I see it, its a failure of political social media networking.
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      Jun 16 2011: So Martim - how do you think politicians can get a message across to younger voters
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    Jun 13 2011: Not for me personally. They're still singing the same tunes, just on a different station.
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    Jun 16 2011: The message is still key, not the medium.

    In the same way that politicians make a fool of themselves, or convey a wonderful vision. or manipulate people in traditional mediums, same goes for social media sites.

    It perhaps happens faster, for better or for worse. Lies spread faster. Truth spreads faster.
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      Jun 16 2011: I think the use of social media sites for politicians is mostly about image - coming across confident - likeable - etc. In particular YouTube which presents an opportunity to put yourself out there - politicians could be using it to better advantage
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    Jun 15 2011: I don't see it making much of a difference. Young people don't vote because most politicians are out of step with youth values, and the ones that aren't, we are constantly reminded on TV are not electable. Likewise politicians ignore the concerns of the young because there is no votes to be had. A real chicken and egg problem.
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      Jun 16 2011: Anthony - I would agree that most politicians are out of step with the young voters - we had a Federal election in Australia last year and the first 20 year old was elected to Parliament. His electorate was mainly families and older people. Maybe this is the start of some change.
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        Jun 17 2011: Well he may have been young but if it was sill an older population that elected him he has to represent those values. right?
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          Jun 30 2011: You are right anthony, he has to respresent their values or he won't get re-elected. It is the same with all politicians. If an oil or medical company backs them for elect do you think he won't shot down a bill to tax them even if it helps the majority of people? You know the answer.
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    Jun 14 2011: Historically, in the U.S. turnout estimates among 18-to 29-year-olds range between 20 and 30 percent and turnout among those 30 and older ranges between 50 and 60 percent of the eligible population according to this report:
    http://www.civicyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/The-CPS-youth-vote-2010-FS-FINAL1.pdf

    I agree with the comments above. It's about the message, not the medium. However, now that everything is being recorded, we'll soon be able to reconcile the message with performance. This changes everything as social media will provide a way to give cred to politicians that actually do what we want them to do instead of just talk about it with a louder voice. Just my humble opinion.
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      Jun 16 2011: Agree - once social media supports a particular cause or person - in this case politician - it can increase their credibility among wider groups. But they ultimately still have to deliver on their promises
  • Jun 13 2011: I think these politicians are getting a lot more exposure, but if the youth doesn't know what these politicians are really doing for our country, what help does that bring us as a country? I don't think its a positive nor effective thing to do.
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      Jun 16 2011: Good point Sara - they are getting more exposure but not necessarily delivering the message any more effective