Debate? What About a Twibate Canadian Style?

As we enter the election period I thought it might be timely to share something I stumbled on a few months ago.  Through the wonderful world of Twitter I came across a tweet from Kirk Schmidt who is one of a number of folk involved in  They are:

“Bloggers, pundits, and citizens, trying to cover civic politics in a semi-organized way, to share the burden each of us thought we’d have to shoulder alone, cover the races and candidates that the mainstream media can’t or won’t, and maybe add a hint of mischief to what is typically a NOTORIOUSLY dry subject, covered in notoriously dry ways.”

I recommend a detailed look at their site – they are doing some brilliant stuff designed to facilitate interest and engagement in politics.  One specific piece of work they have initiated involves the use of Twitter for political debating purposes.  It’s called a Twibate.  Full details of the what and the how are captured by Kurt and his colleagues.  In essence –

“The Twibate is an opportunity to have the candidates online, answering questions in a debate, combined with opportunity for any follower to engage, ask follow-up questions, and learn more about the candidates in one place.  11 mayoralty candidates have Twitter so far, as do almost 30 aldermanic candidates.”

I think there might be some real opportunities here for local government in this country.  Using social media to generate interest in and engagement and dialogue with politicians has got to be something worth considering in more detail.