Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Mireille Lalancette (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)
Public Engagement in Political Science: Moving Beyond Tweets, Blogs, & Media Interviews: Chelsea Gabel (McMaster University), Nicole Goodman (Brock University) Abstract: When political scientists talk about and apply public engagement, acts like tweets, blogs and media interviews are often cited as key strategies to disseminate scholarly knowledge. While these approaches certainly represent one layer of engagement, there are many others political scientists are currently not tapping into. Scholars in other disciplines such as Indigenous Studies and Health, for example, often draw upon dissemination strategies that engage the stakeholders of their work more deeply. Such outputs can include community reports, non-scholarly presentations, ongoing relationship building through regular communication, webinars and digital trainings as well as other education and outreach activities. The fact that many of these acts are not the norm in political science, raises questions about the impact of our work, value for money generated by universities and its scholars, and whether academics have a responsibility to communicate scholarly findings more broadly. As scholars, do we have an obligation to translate and disseminate the scholarly knowledge that is derived from our research? In this paper, we argue political scientists (and all social science scholars) have a duty to more widely translate and disseminate research results and ensure these findings find their way into the hands of key stakeholders. Depending on the discipline and research topic this could include governments, community members, NGOs and the private sector. We present a model for engagement that political scientists can follow to stretch the reach of their work, enhance value for money and put important knowledge into hands beyond ivory towers or social media.
'The People Vs. The People's Party of Canada' - Maxime Bernier, The People's Party and the Twitter Response: Asif Hameed (Carleton University) Abstract: On August 23, 2018, Conservative MP Maxime Bernier announced he was leaving the Conservative Party of Canada. Following a narrowly unsuccessful bid for party leadership in 2017 that would then flourish into irreconcilable differences with his victorious opponent Andrew Scheer, Bernier’s exit from the party was heavily publicized not only for its brash nature, but because of the increasingly xenophobic and anti-multicultural rhetoric he began to expound in interviews and on Twitter almost daily in the months leading up to his decision. Few would be surprised when Bernier announced his intent to create his own federal political party – the People’s Party of Canada – less than one month later on September 14, 2018. The proposed study is a content analysis of public reaction on Twitter in the days following Bernier’s controversial announcement. Focusing on public responses to tweets made by Maxime Bernier’s official Twitter account, as well as public responses to tweets made by prominent Canadian politicians and news organizations reacting to the launch of the party, this study intends to illustrate the utility of social media content analysis as a valuable means of real-time public opinion measurement and civil society activity, as well as highlight the important role social media plays in the contemporary democratic body politic.
Canadian Mayors Online: Katherine Sullivan (Université de Montréal) Abstract: The municipal level in Canada, which is often mistakenly believed to be more accessible to women seeking to participate in politics (Trimble et al., 2013), has not yet reached the gender parity “zone”, as women hold only 18% of all mayorly positions. Among the obstacles limiting the number of female mayors is a significant media bias towards female political actors (Goodyear-Grant, 2013). Additionally, social media has become an important political tool in order to circumvent traditional channels (Enli, 2017) and control one’s message. This paper seeks to shed light on the adoption rate of social media platforms by Canadian mayors, and particularly by female mayors, by creating a repertory of all Canadian mayors and of their social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our analysis focuses on the variation of the gender of mayors across provinces, territories, and regions, as well as their adoption of social media platforms as political tools.
Enli, G. (2017). Twitter as arena for the authentic outsider: exploring the social media campaigns of Trump and Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election. European Journal.
Goodyear-Grant, E. (2013). Gendered news: media coverage and electoral politics in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Trimble, L. Arscott, J. & Tremblay, M. (2013). Stalled. The representation of Women in Canadian Governments, Vancouver :UBC Press.