Politicians trying to "speak" to the common voter have more platforms than ever to do it on. Many of us are on Twitter and so are many B.C. politicians — but not all are worth a follow.
We sought to ID the best and the worst B.C. politicians (or their staff) to ever punch out 140-character messages.
Some politicians in our province are really taking it seriously. B.C. Premier Christy Clark was captured taking a photo of reporters before a news conference to post on her Twitter account. And she gets kudos for assigning a staffer to "live tweet" highlights of her speech at the Liberal party convention.
We ranked the best by how often they tweeted, and the quality of those tweets. It takes more than pumping out canned messages every few days, that's for sure. A little personality goes a long way, as does actually engaging with people on Twitter.
What we enjoy: quick response to constituents' questions, off-the-cuff photos and wit.
What we frown upon: unbroken strings of RTs (@mkaragianis), stiff PR language (@CumminsforBC), and curious spelling, abbreviations or capitalization (@ujjaldosanjh). Also a big no-no: super stale, inactive accounts. Especially ones that go quiet the day after an election (ahem, @AliceWongCanada).
Of course the worst of the worst politicians on Twitter are obviously the ones who aren't on it. Come on, it's 2012.
Check out our lists and tell us what you think in the comments below, on our Facebook page or of course, on Twitter @HuffPostBC.
B.C. politicians with the best Twitter accounts:
Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands
Oh Liz May, Liz May. Your feed is <em>very </em>active and it genuinely sounds like you behind the each tweet. Keep it up. <a href="https://twitter.com/ElizabethMay">@ElizabethMay</a>
Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Mayor
There's obviously a savvy team of twentysomethings manning the Vancouver mayor's social media fronts. But the effort shows and goes a long way. A Mandarin-speaking staffer even set up a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/01/gregor-robertson-weibo-vancouver-mayor_n_2058721.html">Sina Weibo</a> account in November. Full points to his team for their efforts to engage the public. <a href="https://twitter.com/MayorGregor">@MayorGregor</a> Sina Weibo: <a href="http://www.weibo.com/gregorrobertson">@gregorrobertson</a>
Andrea Reimer, Vancouver city councillor
Very Twitter-chatty with where she is, who's she's meeting with, what meetings are underway and what good reads she's enjoyed. <a href="https://twitter.com/andreareimer">@andreareimer</a>
Bill Bennett, MLA, Kootenay East
You're a funny man, Bill Bennett. We like your quips. <a href="https://twitter.com/KootenayBill">@KootenayBill</a>
Dianne Watts, Surrey mayor
Active feed. Active mayor. Nice. <a href="https://twitter.com/MayorWatts">@MayorWatts</a>
Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre
The doctor is in and Hedy Fry's feed has a healthy dose of interaction. She even answers queries if she's read Anna Karenina before the movie made the Russian classic popular. <a href="https://twitter.com/HedyFry">@HedyFry</a>
James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages
This MP's feed has a multicultural mix of RTs, article and video shares and the occasional Conservative party defend-against-criticism tweet. <a href="https://twitter.com/JamesMoore_org">@JamesMoore_org</a>
Jane Sterk, B.C. Green Party leader
Sharing is caring. This is what Jane Sterk does best. <a href="https://twitter.com/janesterk">@janesterk</a>
Richard T Lee, MLA for Burnaby North
So many photos! We like. <a href="https://twitter.com/Richard_T_Lee">@Richard_T_Lee</a>
Christy Clark, B.C. premier
She whips out her BlackBerry to take real-time PPOV (premier's point of view) photos and shares them... because she wants to. High fives go to her staffers for helping with premier-related speech live tweets.The government's fall sitting may be cancelled, but at least (<em>very </em> least) her Twitter feed is active. <a href="https://twitter.com/christyclarkbc">@christyclarkbc</a>
B.C. politicians with the least impressive feeds:
John Cummins, B.C. Conservatives leader
Intermittent tweets that are basically shortened news releases — which link to news releases. No engagement at all with fewer than 350 tweets since joining Twitter in March 2011. <a href="https://twitter.com/CumminsforBC">@CumminsforBC</a>
Mike Bernier, Dawson Creek mayor
Hiding Twitter use behind a whole lot of RTs. <a href="https://twitter.com/Mayor_Bernier">@Mayor_Bernier</a>
Jasbir Sandu, MP for Surrey North
A steady stream of government announcements and RTs of caucus collagues. Yawn. <a href="https://twitter.com/jasbirsandhu">@jasbirsandhu</a>
Kerry-Lynne Findlay, MP for Delta-Richmond East
Seems to use Twitter mainly to tell us who she's with and where. <a href="https://twitter.com/KLDF2011">@KLDF2011</a>
Mark Warawa, MP for Langley
Warawa actually posts to Twitter fairly frequently — his feed is just kind of boring. <a href="https://twitter.com/MPmarkwarawa">@MPmarkwarawa</a>
Maurine Karagianis, MLA for Esquimalt Royal Roads
RT RT RT RT RT. Need we say more? <a href="https://twitter.com/mkaragianis">@mkaragianis</a>
Nina Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells
Follows nine people. Way to connect. <a href="https://twitter.com/MPNinaGrewal">@MPNinaGrewal</a>
Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country
Joined Twitter in March 2011 ... and pretty much stopped using it in June. <a href="https://twitter.com/RonCannan">@RonCannan</a>
Alice Wong, MP for Richmond
Two months after joining Twitter, she abruptly stopped using Twitter the day after she was re-elected in May 2011. However, she gets bonus points for her <em>liberal </em>use of exclamation marks. <a href="https://twitter.com/AliceWongCanada">@AliceWongCanada</a>
Ujjal Dosanjh, Former MP for Vancouver South
Though not active in the political arena since his 2011 federal election defeat, spelling crimes are alive and well on Dosanjh's feed. Example: <blockquote>Nov 19: Am disappointed 2wmen charged 4 ofndng rlijus sentmnts in Mumbai bcos xprsed opposition 2 a bandh. #india #religion #politics</blockquote> What's the Twitter equivalent of doctor's handwriting? <a href="https://twitter.com/ujjaldosanjh">@ujjaldosanjh</a>