As politicians prepare for the upcoming elections, leveraging mobile devices and social media will be central to how candidates build support and spread their message. However, even the most technologically-savvy candidates have not been campaigning for the use of mobile technology to support more efficient and effective government-to-citizen interactions.
Recently released studies indicate the rapid rate of mobile adoption among Canadians – across the country and of all ages. Earlier this year, Catalyst Canada and GroupM Next shared the results of their report examining when, where, and how Canadians were using their mobile devices. One of the more intriguing findings shows that more and more Canadians who own a smartphone indicate that their smartphone is their primary means of communication.
Since a growing number of Canadians only use a smartphone to as their primary way of communicating and consuming information, shouldn’t the government be supporting this substantial group? Not just the federal government, but provincial and local governments should also ensure that their entire web properties are mobile-friendly.
While the Government of Canada has been making strides in recent years to modernize their infrastructure – particularly the citizen facing domains and applications, it will be interesting to see if the parties will see mobile as a major tool this election season to connect with citizens anywhere, anytime.
As the fall election starts to heat up, an increasing number of politicians are taking their message online. The days of whistle-stop train tours, packing gymnasiums and meetings in town squares has moved to online gatherings with message boards, video conferences, and especially prominent “donate now” links on every page. The reality is that politicians in general can’t rely solely on lecture halls to galvanize the crowds; the new public square is online.
As smartphone usage continues to grow, successful campaigns moving forward will need to keep this top of mind. For Canada’s next crop of leaders, mobile tools and applications will be critical for engaging citizens on their terms.
About the Author
John Landwehr is vice president and CTO of Adobe’s Public Sector Group.