E-electoral Engagement: How Governments Use Social Media to Engage Voters

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Political Science, 2012, 47 (4), pp. 623 - 639
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Governments worldwide are increasingly attempting to use the internet to engage citizens. After an initial focus on delivery of information and services via what technologists call Web 1.0, strategies referred to as 'Government 2.0' and e-democracy have turned attention to the use of interactive Web 2.0-based 'social media' to engage citizens in consultation and participation to redress a concerning 'democratic deficit' and reinvigorate the public sphere. Even in countries with compulsory voting, such as Australia, electoral enrolment, voter turnout and formal voting are declining. Much focus has been given to expedient political use of social media during election campaigns, but an understudied area is how disengaged citizens and youth can be encouraged to engage or re-engage in democratic participation on an ongoing basis. This article reports analysis of initiatives by national, state and territory electoral commissions in Australia and New Zealand to use social media to engage citizens in political participation. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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