Monday, September 16 marks the beginning of Democracy Week in Canada. The initiative was started three years ago by Elections Canada, which was inspired by the United Nations’ International Day of Democracy.
This year’s theme , “Connect with Democracy”, encourages connections “with people, places and information that help broaden your understanding of why democracy and voting are so important”. So far, there have been 198 mentions of “Democracy Week” on Twitter between yesterday and today.
As part of their way of participating in Democracy Week, the NDP decided to hold Question Period through Twitter. The Official Opposition announced that they disagreed with PM Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament, which puts off the start of the new parliamentary session until October 16, and planned to pose questions to the Conservative government through Twitter.
Yesterday, the NDP posed 26 questions using the hashtag #QPQ, with only one of the questions receiving a response from a Conservative MP.
Hamilton-Mountain NDP MP Chris Charlton and Industry Minister James Moore got in a bit of a Twitter spat yesterday when Charlton posed a question to Moore in regard to the wireless spectrum auction:
Moore’s comment caused a number of Canadians to question why the Industry Minister was even on Twitter if he was operating a vehicle. Moore clarified that he was actually about to start driving; he then proceeded to engage in a back and forth discussion with Charlton on telecom policy.
Today, Moore chose not to respond to Charlton when she tweeted more questions to him about telecom.
Overall, the public’s reaction on Twitter to the Virtual Question Period has been positive, with individuals commending the NDP for coming up with this initiative:
In honour of #QPQ, NDP MP Charlie Angus who famously quit Twitter last year, made a return to Twitter: