Roadtest: Online democracy, Inner West style

We keep an eye on the Facebook pages of your candidates this election...

These days social media has become a tool to connect and communicate with others, which can be a valuable thing if you’re trying to win an election – just ask Barack Obama’s campaign managers. However, some candidates are a little better at the social media game than others. We click ‘Like’ to find out who’s best at flooding our Facebook feeds.




roadtest-facebook-johnJohn Murphy, Labor.

110 Likes. Last updated 20 hours ago.

This page is mostly updated by the candidate’s “campaign team,” which is a professional way of doing things but unfortunately disconnects the candidate himself from the people (and isn’t the whole point of social media to make the politician seems accessible to the people?). The page uses great quality images but does not get much of a response from his followers.


roadtest-facebook-emilyEmily Dunn, Democratic Labor Party.

74 Likes. Last updated 11 seconds ago.

Emily’s writes her status updates directly and in a conversational tone giving the page a more personalised and authentic feel. Her page was only created a couple of months ago and she updates it regularly but she needs to work on using hashtags and better quality images to get people’s attention.


roadtest-facebook-craigCraig Laundy, Liberal.

837 Likes. Last updated yesterday.

Craig’s page is rather formal; he posts a lot of official advertisement-type images and posters, as well as links to the Liberal Party’s official website and prompts his followers to ‘Share,’ which is a good way to have a message spread to as many people as possible. The page attracts quite a few comments and likes, though it could be updated a little more consistently.




roadtest-facebook-joelJoel Scully, Bullet Train for Australia Party.

50 Likes. Last update August 16.

This is a very new page without any action just yet. If Joel’s serious about running however, he should at least fill in the ‘About’ section on his page. Let’s hope the bullet train is faster than this candidate at getting going.


roadtest-facebook-cedricCedric Spencer, Liberal.

97 Likes. Last updated yesterday.

There’s limited activity on this page, which actually looks more like a tribute page to Tony Abbott and is usually updated with information about Liberal policies and Labor failings. While the election is a competition, it can’t be all about dissing your opponent when you could be connecting with voters.


roadtest-facebook-hallHall Greenland, Greens.

620 Likes, Last updated August 19.

Hall’s page is very well-managed – it’s updated regularly, sometimes numerous times daily with good quality photos, news links and more personal updates. Hall also responds to comments and interacts with followers via the page.


roadtest-facebook-mohanMohan Balasingham, Palmer United.

183 Likes. Never updated.

Despite having over a hundred likes, there’s no updates or action on this page whatsoever. Enough said.



roadtest-facebook-alboAnthony Albanese, Labor.

2725 Likes. Last updated 5 hours ago.

Of course the Deputy PM’s page is impressive, updated daily with information, photos and even fun stuff like old photos for ‘Throwback Thursday.’ While there is a bit of bagging out his opponents and little interaction from Albo when it comes to replying to comments, the page attracts plenty of attention from the voting public.



roadtest-facebook-tanyaTanya Plibersek, Labor.

7492 Likes. Last updated 17 hours ago.

There’s lots of discussion happening on Tanya’s page, though she doesn’t reply to much. She does however update often, make use of hashtags and share photos from recent events so followers can keep up to date with what she’s doing for the electorate.


roadtest-facebook-seanSean O’Connor, Liberal.

471 Likes. Last updated 30 minutes ago.

Sean’s page is one of the most well-updated of all the local candidates, documenting his daily campaigning – and almost every update is accompanied by an eye-catching pic. Unlike a few other candidates, he keeps a very positive vibe on his page and bitching about his enemies to a minimum. It’s also a nice touch that he shares his fave books and movies in the ‘About’ section (he’s a Star Trek fan in case you were wondering).

Words: Nancy Merlo

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