Ghana’s Most Active Legislators on Social Media
Elections are not won on social media. But gradually Ghana’s population is moving online (35% of the 29 million Ghanaians are on the internet as at January 2018) with 5.6million actively using social media, according to Hootsuite and WeAreSocial’s 2018 digital report. Though it does not look feasible anytime soon to have our ballot box online in our fledgling democracy, the citizens who elected the 275 legislators into the Seventh Parliament and the President seem to find the social media space attractive. This space holds enormous potential in stretching the canvas of participatory democracy through upfront advocacy and feedback to Legislators on public policy matters.
Last year (2017), the 535 members of the US Congress altogether, posted over 1million times on social media in a fierce competition for Americans attention and buy-in of party agenda and presidential candidates, according to Quorum, a public affairs software platform. In 2009, only a small number of Congress Members (Representatives and Senators) were on social media (Facebook and Twitter). By 2016, seven years later, “all 100 Senators and almost all Representatives have adopted Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools as a way to supplement their overall office communication strategies and disseminate information” (Straus and Glassman, 2016).
Earlier social media reports in Ghana have focused on the social media presence of personalities in the Entertainment, Media, telecommunication and Church sectors, ignoring the country’s legislators. The dearth of literature on the impact of social media communications on MPs engagement with constituents and the general public on many issues has necessitated this research.
The aim of this research is to:
1. Inform Ghanaians about the social media presence of their MPs;
2. Examine the kind of content MPs share on their social media platforms;
3. Identify the most active MPs on social media
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