Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stephen Harper Must Hate Facebook

The races are tightening up both in Canada and the United States with election dates nearing. Albeit, many still remain undecided on which camp they will lend their trust to for the next four years. Concerned voters are turning to the web to get information and more importantly to social media to join or even lead a political charge.

On the CBC news the other night they mentioned a Facebook vote-swapping group that has gained a lot of attention.

"The online group, titled 'Anti-Harper Vote Swap Canada,' is trying to match Canadians who are willing to swap votes to keep the Conservatives from winning a majority in the Oct. 14 federal election."(source:Election officials poke around Facebook vote-swapping group)

The group has picked up steam (well over 10,000 members as of this post) and has gained plenty of media attention in the country including from Elections Canada who have determined that online vote swapping is not breaking any Canadian laws.
The group offers the following example of how it works:

"Let’s pretend I’m an NDP supporter in the riding of Winnipeg South. Seeing as the Tories only managed to beat the Liberals by less than 150 votes in the 2006 election, the Liberals almost surely have the best chance of winning. I use the “anti-Harper Vote Swap” facebook application to indicate that I’m an NDP supporter who is willing to vote for anyone but the Conservatives. Even if you don’t know the latest polling data in your riding, we can help."

"We will then match you up with another member of the group (in this example, a Liberal in a strong NDP riding who is willing to swap). Assuming we find you a match, you’ll receive a message a few days before the election letting you know that your vote can be swapped."

Anti-Harper Vote Swap Canada consists of a website ( and a Facebook group with a corresponding Facebook widget allowing members to swap their votes with others. It's tough to say how the results will pan out although it would be interesting to see how social media including Anti-Harper swap and any other online social channels impacted the final results.

Whatever happens, let's hope it brings positive change!

**Please note that the views of the Anti-Harper swap group are not necessarily the same as my own...I still haven't decided which way to vote yet!


Corby Fine said...

At least people were talking about him. Does the old saying apply, "bad publicity is better than no publicity at all"?

Jeff Pontes said...

Election time is an interesting time and it's tough to say...all in all I'm glad it's now more campaign propoganda to have to listen to!