As non-partisan as I can muster, here’s my top 10 favourite things about the 2010 NB election:
10. New voices – With new and sometimes very different ideas, the 2010 NB Election welcomed @GreenPartyNB and @PANBParty to the fray. Time will tell if they will last post-election, but both parties added valuable contributions to the election discourse.
9. Everything #gate on Twitter – From #suppergate to #gategate to #watergategate to my personal favourite, the Abba-themed #waterloogate, #nbvotes folks had lots of fun with politicians and their minions as they tried to sway hearts and minds with minor “scandals”. Other memorable #gates included #fakegate, #1755gate, #signgate, and #widowgate.
8. Non-stop election reporting from a host of newspaper reporters was freely available most notably through the BrunswickNews’ CanadaEast web site. Notable print journalists from the election included Brett Bundale (@BrettBundale), Nick Moore (@nicky_moore), Adam Bowie (@AdamJBowie), and Greg Weston. Also notable was Canadian Press’ Kevin Bissett (@KevinBissett).
7. @AndreTheriault‘s #nbvotes games – The #nbvotes game of the day on Twitter provided a lighthearted and satirical view on the election news of the day. Some of the best were #failedelectionslogans, celebrity doppelgangers, Abba songs and lines that apply to #nbvotes, which policies will be confused as coming from another party, what will Volpe’s unknown source release next, what private personal information will be leaked next, and obvious endorsements. Honorable mention goes to Kelly Lamrock’s (@klamrock) #badcampaignsongs.
6. The NDP comeback – Coming back from relative obscurity after losing half of their meager support in the 2006 election, the NDP reemerged to become a potent force during the 2010 NB Election. With a full slate of candidates and a credible platform, NDP’s contribution to the debate was both refreshing and meaningful. We saw great engagement on Twitter from folks like @DWCardy, @mattdoherty4mla and @Jason__P.
5. CTV Atlantic’s Steve Murphy and his interviews with the party leaders, made very accessible on demand through Facebook and widely shared on Twitter’s #nbvotes hashtag. Murphy’s “roundtable” with the three major parties (http://www.youtube.com/user/NBLiberalTV#p/c/0/5VZM83E22cs) was also a refreshing switch from the shout-down contests we saw at the English CBC debate and the Rogers/TJ debates (see @RobHoadley‘s hilarious and succinct analysis of the English CBC Leaders debate – http://twitter.com/robhoadley/status/24559369436. ‘Nuff said.)
• David Alward – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=149091058457338&ref=mf
• Shawn Graham – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=713375254831&ref=mf
• Roger Duguay – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=148866121813165&ref=mf
• Jack MacDougall – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=635428849279&ref=mf
• Kris Austin – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=635275621349&ref=mf
4. CBC’s Jacques Poitras’ (@PoitrasCBC) live tweets and election reports including those from the campaign trail. Jacques also provided some extra fun for poli geeks like this tour of @ShawnGraham_NB‘s campaign bus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFZco3yKj7c) and an insider’s view of an Alward photo op (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHC-Rz5zE4Q).
3. CBC Radio’s Terry Seguin (@SeguinCBC) and his tough one-on-one interviews with the party leaders, as well as his province-wide phone-in’s (which can all be found here – http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nbvotes2010/media/audio.html).
• David Alward – http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningfredericton/2010/09/pc-leader-david-alward.html
• Shawn Graham – http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningfredericton/2010/09/liberal-leader-shaun-graham.html
• Roger Duguay – http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningfredericton/2010/09/ndp-leader-roger-duguay.html
• Jack MacDougall – http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningfredericton/2010/09/green-party-leader-jack-macdougall.html
• Kris Austin – http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningfredericton/2010/09/peoples-alliance-leader-kris-austin.html
2. CBC NB’s web editor, Dan McHardie (@mchardie) with the all-time best NB Election web site (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nbvotes2010). First and foremost, there was the 21-part (by my count) essay series on election issues including favourites like Savoie, Finn, Desserud, Everitt, Furlong, and Peacock. Other excellent features included Election Promise Calculator, Riding seat projector, Follow the leaders and Tweet Central. And those are just some of the top features – there’s much more to see on the site as well. Kudos Dan; it was an amazing effort and greatly appreciated.
And my #1 favourite part of the 2010 NB Election:
1. Twitter! Twitter made a huge difference during this election both on my own personal level of engagement, but also my exposure to differing points of view and a wealth of information. The maturity and penetration of the social networks collided beautifully with the election, leading all parties and voters to flock to Twitter (also Facebook and YouTube) to exchange views and ideas. Twitter’s #nbvotes hashtag served as a vibrant non-stop “town hall” for partisans, parties, and everyday citizens alike. Voters were often able to engage the media and parties directly on issues (and non-issues) of the day. I can’t imagine ever going back.