Prime Minister will use social media to connect with Canadians

I just found out from my friends in the Prime Minister’s office (and at Google) that the Prime Minister will be using YouTube to livestream his reaction to the Speech from the Throne and will use Google Moderator to take questions from Canadians regarding the Throne Speech and Budget.

Social media has been creeping into many different fields from its rapid uptake in entertainment to cautious integration in politics. Barack Obama used social media extensively during his campaign and has used it during his presidency. Some will remember that President Obama used Google Moderator to hold a first-of-its-kind townhall answering questions submitted via the service.

Canadians can watch the Throne Speech reaction live at Tuesday March 11, 2010 at 11 a.m. ET at http://www.youtube.com/TalkCanada and submit questions via the same address and see the townhall on the 16th at 7pm ET.

Here is the release from the PM’s office:

Canadians, especially younger Canadians, are no longer getting their news from just television, radio and print media. They are turning to new media in increasing numbers. This marks the first time that a Prime Minister’s speech will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Social media is changing the way Canadians interact with politicians. It allows Canadians to have unfiltered and immediate access to information. And it facilitates conversation between citizens and their elected representatives. Livestreaming complements our Government’s current use of social media, which includes Twitter, Facebook and pre-taped YouTube videos. In fact, Prime Minister Harper has an active following – 47,383 followers – on Twitter.

Here is the YouTube video explaining the event:

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