MP Tony Clement: Stop Being Afraid Of Social

In a wide-ranging interview with the Huffington Post, Canada’s Treasury Board President and MP Tony Clement offered his thoughts on politicians being active in the social media space.

Clement, who is a Twitter power user with over 30,000 followers, offered this candid advice:

“Politicians come to me and say, ‘I don’t really want to be on Twitter, I’m going to come under review and attack.’ I say, ‘Well, welcome to your world’. Social media to me is now a critical component for any politician who wants in the modern age to be engaging…to have a dialogue with citizens, to radically break down the barrier between what used to be the governing elite and the governed.”

Clement is absolutely correct. Politics is a full-contact sport. Many politicians feel that if they ignore the online community completely, they are somehow immune from criticism. Ignorance may be bliss, but the debate and discussion is happening regardless. It’s important to offer your side and engage.

Plus, as Clement notes, two-way dialogue is now part of the job description for politicians, candidates and campaigns. It is only a matter of time until those not participating online will be deemed unworthy of office.

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