Well Canada/Dominion Day has come and gone, but there were some odd occurrences for this year’s “celebrations”.
I spent part of the day watching Twitter.com and the Twitterverse was absolutely lit up with #DenounceHarper messages. Starting around lunch time here in Ontario, the Hashtag #DenounceHarper was trending in the second spot for Canada. Number One was #HappyCanadaDay.
This made me curious, so I did follow a bit more closely.
Twitter is an odd bird, sorry for the pun, but it is social tool as well as a media tool and it is a polling tool as well. Now I wouldn’t buy stocks based on Tweets or base my vote on them either, but there are reasons that things trend.
Things trend when something happens and it resonates.
#DenounceHarper resonated. (I’m going to cheat and use #DH for that, okay?)
I read a blog where the author did a statistical analyses of the #DH trend and concluded that a small number of authors of tweets and a larger number of retweets caused this to happen. I can see that. I was involved and retweeted a few times and had a few of my tweets retweeted as well. A retweet only means that you agree with what I said. And I only posted about 10 times all day.
He held out the example of one post that was retweeted over 400 times. Someone said that because #DH was trending they were proud to be Canadian. Over 400 people agreed.
It’s not a conspiracy. If it were a conspiracy, then there would only need to be a couple of hundred posters with a few thousand repeaters. The retweets I saw were not all that numerous. The reasons for posting #DH were.
Some of the posts asked questions.
Why were there no media reports of booing at Harper’s message to Trafalgar Square?
Why were there no media reports of booing Harper’s message at the Blue Jays Game?
Why were people being screened at the gates to Parliament Hill before they could come on to the grounds for the Big Celebration? And what were the criteria used to turn people away at the gates?
I guess you can say that because the media didn’t cover it that it didn’t happen, but I did find one media mention about the Blue Jays game… when the relief pitcher was removed he was booed more loudly than the Harper message was. Jays fans can be vocal on occasion.
I don’t know how much booing there was in the first two cases, maybe in a day or two the video will surface on YouTube. They always do.
The third one was mentioned by media personalities on Twitter but hasn’t made it into the “official” stories.
The reasons used by the posters with the Hashtag #DH were too numerous to mention. The ecology people were posting, the economy people were posting, the lefties were posting, the political junkies were posting. The Doves were posting, the vets were posting, and the conservatives were posting as well, the ones that felt betrayed by the Harper Government. The Democracy watchers were posting, the feminists were posting, labour was posting, I think you get the picture.
All these disparate groups were posting but they were themselves made up of a myriad of smaller groups on down to individuals each with their own voice and a #DH Hashtag.
I almost forgot the trolls. Sorry guys and gals. The echo boxes that gleefully repeat whatever they are told to repeat and the true believers, the ones who think that the lefties are all loopy and that the right is always… er… right. Apparently they haven’t figured out that when they post competing Tweets using the #DH Hashtag, it just helps the cause that much more. I did remember to thank them for this yesterday.
The other funny thing was how hard the media tried to ignore the #DH trend. Huffington Post, who do follow things like Twitter trends were the first to offer anything on this phenomenon. It was several hours later before any “main stream” press caught on that something was happening. The last time I checked, the stronghold of Lefty Fear Mongering, the CBC had nothing on #DH. The National Post did. Global did. CTV did.
What does all this mean?
Well, we have a lot of cranky people in Canada who for one reason or another have a bone to pick with one Stephen Harper. And we all have our own agendas.
We are seeing the disconnect between the “news” and the media growing. Here’s a thought to the media moguls of Canada and elsewhere. Let’s go back to reporting the news. Lose the spin, lose the opinion bits and just tell us what happened. I saw a lot of complaints about the lack of media coverage of events that might embarrass the Harper Government, it’s just news. Huffington gets it, why not you? You might even sell a few more papers too.
The other thing I saw though was a large number of people who care enough about their country to shout “Stop!” We know we had a good country before Harper and we want it back. We do not want a government run by an inner circle behind closed doors, we want healthy debate between the Government and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. We want MPs on all sides of the House to represent us, not to be Harper’s or Mulcair’s or Rae’s representative to the constituencies.
You see it is not that we are “anti-conservative” like some are reporting, we are pro-Canada. We know that there is good in Canada and the world knows that as well. We have long been respected because of our ability to move between the lesser players and the super powers on the world stage. We are losing that respect, if we haven’t lost it already.
The #DenounceHarper movement is a way to tell Stephen Harper and the Harper Party that Canadians do not share his vision for the future of Canada, our old vision was just fine.
Finally, for the echo box who opined that all the #DenounceHarper posters were 15 year old kids… in three years time we’ll be holding another election… in three years time, those 15 year olds that you are blowing off now will be able to vote.
Keep annoying them, please.