Thursday, March 12, 2009

Populist Twittering and Courtesy

You may have read the story. On tuesday the speaker of the Alberta Legislature verbally reprimanded six MLA's for use of Blackberry's during question period. The presumption of twittering was presumed.

By tuesday night and wednesday it turned into one of those stories that fired up the blogosphere for an interesting debate about new technologies and politicians.

I wasn't really surprised that a few people came out against the speaker and in favor of the MLA's being allowed to use their devices while in the session. At first I agreed then I disagreed. I think anyone who uses a pda or a notebook in a meeting is showing a basic lack of respect for their colleagues. Few companies would tolerate this in a boardroom meeting.

Some bloggers made the argument that the MLA's were consulting with their constituents therefore it was a valid used of technology. The idea that Tory MLA's are such enthusiastic populists that they would be so desperate to Twitter with them during a legislative session is improbable beyond reason. This is not a populist party. They may be talking to their hair dressers, their stock brokers, or perhaps tipping off insider land speculators on upcoming expropriations. Just don't tell me they're talking to constituents or advancing public interest.

They're being rude. Please recommend this post

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