How PNG’s Politicians are using Social Media to Campaign

I have previously written about how PNG General Election 2012 will be a milestone election on a number of fronts. This obviously  includes the much vaunted accolades directed toward the potential and opportunity for PNG to enter a new era of economic growth, but it also includes, what I term – the opening up of “PNG’s consciousness”.

And this opening up of “PNG’s consciousness” has social media and technology to thank, for although the desire to effect change has always been present in PNG, the means to do so in an organised manner aimed at achieving a strategic political goal, apart from waiting for the traditional five-year parliamentary cycle to end, has not.

I also noted that it hasn’t just been one way traffic either – with PNG’s political parties also breaking into new territory by planning on how best to use social media to their advantage.

The PNG Party, headed by current Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, is taking the lead by being the first Papua New Guinean political party to have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.

Recently, the PNG Party also launched an impressive website which sets out in full its vision and policies, calendar of campaign rallies and even a Flicker account showing the latest photos from the Party’s campaign trail.

Not to be outdone, current Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also released a very well-done TV commercial addressing the nation which went live across the nation right before the first State of Origin game on May 23:

Peter O’Neill’s party, People’s National Congress, has also since launched a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and also a polished-looking though not as comprehensive, website.

In addition, Peter Ipatas, Member for Enga Regional and Leader of People’s Party, also has a Facebook page while his party also recently launched its own website too.

It is fair to say that there are quite a number of both sitting and aspiring MPs on Facebook, with the most notable incumbents being Don Polye (Member for Kandep Open and Leader of the T.H.E Party), Powes Parkop (Member for NCD Regional and Leader of the Social Democratic Party), and Sam Basil and Charles Abel (both PNG Party strong-men and Members for Bulolo Open and Alotau Open respectively).

There have also been two particular aspiring MPs, both Independents, who have caught on to social media and who have been using it well: Jon Yogiyo (standing for Eastern Highlands Regional) and Robert Agorabe (standing for NCD Regional).

Both Yogiyo and Agorabe have their own respective websites too, with Agorabe also using Facebook to keep in touch with potential voters.

To date, we have seen these candidates inform potential voters of their whereabouts, provide information regarding upcoming campaign rallies/events, answer questions, as well as argue certain points on the events of the past month regarding the latest political events in PNG.

Although certainly not comprehensive, these candidate’s usage of social media has set the benchmark for a new era of candidate-voter relationship in PNG whereby the candidate can inform, and the voting public can become informed – like at no other previous election.

UPDATE: To view the a complete list of PNG political parties and candidates online and using social media, click here.

~ by Tavurvur on May 30, 2012.

4 Responses to “How PNG’s Politicians are using Social Media to Campaign”

  1. Talk about professionalism! Both the PNG Party and the People’s National Congress’ websites are very well done. I’m quite impressed.

    • Second that thought Larry – very well done websites. One can read all of PNG Party’s policies online. Although I must point out that they’ve already broken a few of them – “respect the judiciary”? Hmmm…

  2. Add to that list of candidates and MPs using social media. Enga Governor Peter Ipatas has a Facebook page ( Hon Peter Ipatas) and his People’ Party has a website as well.


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