Elections in the Internet age
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The next general election will be the most interesting in Jamaica's history. The political cycle leading up to the election due in 2016 will have more Jamaicans interested in exercising their democratic right. The Internet will begin to change the way people feel about the direction of the nation and the role they play in leading that direction.
Both major political parties - the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) - have used social media to communicate their achievements and rally the online base. Both have failed in using digital platforms to attract uncommitted voters to their base.
The Internet allows users to create campaign memes - favourable and unfavourable - about both political parties and politicians. Will we see general secretaries distancing themselves from such online campaigns?
The JLP has made a big deal about the 'From Poverty to Prosperity' tagline. One can tell it will become their campaign message heading into the election.
Friends of the PNP copping the domain FromPovertyToProsperity.com and using the website to promote achievements of the PNP is nothing short of sheer brilliance! This website, if used strategically, can cripple the JLP's campaign in the next election.
Karl Samuda's plea to involve the political ombudsman is a petty move and highlights the fact that the JLP! was again caught sleeping in Opposition.
I am interested in the way both political parties will use digital media in the next election. While both jostle to get their members ready for the ballot, there is an online campaign to win.
The next election will be about young people, and the PNP is starting to prove how brilliant they will be.