If go you back a few pages on this website, you will find a quote from us that states "Online communications has replaced the town hall. Today, when people want to discuss a social issue to express their concerns or support, they take to their devices and put it out there for all to see." So we were obviously in full agreement with this excellent article by Mike Colledge, President of Ipsos Public Affairs in Canada via globalnews.ca where he says:
In the end, government must and will continue to consult on a wide variety of large and small issues and actions. They will need to use multiple methods to ensure they get as many views as possible but the lesson in this data is that they should be looking at Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts as well because somewhere between the selfies and the pictures of this morning’s omelet are some unfiltered views of Canadians expressing their concerns, desires and expectations of their governments.
The fact that this is backed up with Ipsos polling data makes it clear that people are forgoing the town hall for the online community:
In the spirit of consultation we at Ipsos asked Canadians what is the most effective to ensure that the views of Canadians are taken into consideration during the development of government policies and programs. Perhaps surprisingly given the decline (until 2015) in voting, voting in an election (52 per cent very effective) or a referendum (43 per cent very effective) are considered the most effective ways to give Canadians a voice. Some might note that the low 52 per cent very effective rating for voting in elections may indeed be the reason for the decline in voting.
The lesson for politicians? People are talking. Be a good listener.