On election night last fall in Toronto, I was sitting at the web desk at CP24 (the city's all-news television station). As soon as Rob Ford was officially elected Mayor, my producer notified me that the cameras were coming my way to do a live hit about the reaction on Twitter.
Quickly, I told him that while many people in the GTA were celebrating Ford's appointment, the online community was not pleased (and that was an understatement). In other words, the comments across the web were overwhelmingly negative, filled with profanities and threats to leave Canada's biggest city with this new leader at the helm.
This was one of many times in the past couple of years it's become clear that a loud online voice does not always reflect the actions of the mainstream population.
Just Thursday I stumbled across another example of outspoken voters. While lurking about on @margaretatwood's Twitter feed, I noticed she posted a link to a video from "the women of Hamilton" who were declaring that their "relationship" with Prime Minister Stephen Harper was over. As part of the " It's Over Steve" campaign on YouTube, moms, wives, and daughters are demanding better from this country's leader. These women are also asking others across Canada to post their own Harper break-up videos, and they're demanding that they make sure to vote in our upcoming federal election (against Harper).
The first episode has already raked up more than 30,000 views. Another break-up features a woman at a dinner table with candles and a chorus of friends calling the Prime Minister on his many "broken promises." One blogger on SheDoestheCity.com clearly loves the campaign, echoing the sentiment from the videos as she writes to readers: "Oh honey, think of how much better life will be once he's gone! You know, we never liked him from the start. You really do deserve better."
No doubt these videos will continue to spread. It's a clever and entertaining campaign (as long as you side with the women's point of view). Will this help get more women out to the polls? Will this affect the election? At this point, it's hard to say, but if history is any indication this campaign will have to push into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of views before it has an impact on May 2nd.