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Is Social Media Transforming Canadian Electioneering? Hybridity and Online Partisan Strategies in the 2012 Quebec Election

  • Thierry Giasson (a1), Gildas Le Bars (a2) and Philippe Dubois (a3)

Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which provincial political parties made use of social media in their strategy, organization and communication in order to achieve their electoral goals during the Quebec 2012 general election. Using data from a series of 19 interviews conducted with online strategists and campaign directors from the five leading parties active in the 2012 election, we identify the strategic objectives these organizations followed when developing their social media campaigns. The strategists' narratives reveal that social media became a central component of electioneering and that parties were carrying out, in various forms, hybrid campaigns that combined traditional and emergent communication technologies and employed both old and new types of organizational principles.

Cet article examine dans quelle mesure les partis politiques provinciaux ont inclus les médias sociaux dans leur stratégie, l'organisation et la communication de campagne pour atteindre leurs objectifs lors des élections générales de 2012 au Québec. À l'aide des données provenant d'une série de 19 entrevues menées auprès de stratèges et de directeurs de campagne des cinq principaux partis lors de l'élection de 2012, nous relevons les objectifs stratégiques poursuivis par ces derniers dans l'élaboration de leurs campagnes numériques. Les propos des stratèges révèlent que les médias sociaux sont devenus un élément central de l'organisation électorale et que les partis menaient, sous diverses formes, des campagnes hybrides dans lesquelles les technologies de communication traditionnelles et émergentes ainsi que d'anciens et de nouveaux types de principes organisationnels étaient combinés.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: thierry.giasson@pol.ulaval.ca

References

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