03.21.2015 08:53 AM

Meerkat and Periscope will change politics

Mark my words.

My band did a Toronto show on Thursday night. We played live, and we were seen by a respectable number of people as far away as Australia. I’m told we were among the first bands to ever use this new video live streaming thing in that way. 

My prediction: it will change politics, too. As campaigns become more and more expensive to cover – and as news organizations have fewer and fewer resources – you will see campaign events showing up on Meerkat and Periscope, live and start to finish, for all to see from the comfort of their handheld devices.

Political parties will attempt to control these live feeds, of course. And the media will complain about that, of course. 

But average citizens – and voters – will be able to see events, unedited and unvarnished, just as if they were there.

Whenever something comes along to facilitate participation in the democratic process, I’m happy. The question remains, however, about whether Periscope and Meerkat will make those who toil within the democratic process look worse than they already do.

9 Comments

  1. Africon says:

    At the risk of sounding elitist, ( though hopefully not here) it is my view that most “voters” are no longer qualified to vote because –

    At school or worse at college there are no courses on “Debate” or “how to think” sadly quite the reverse now where “group think” prevails or the tyranny of the union media ( see Unionized Teachers) is considered acceptable.
    Voters no longer read the news – in fact News that does not try to do your thinking for you is almost non-existent.
    Referendums are nearly unattainable in Canada.
    Money, marketing skills and sound bites now determine election results rather than facts, sober debate and logic.

    While I applaud the notion of Meercat and Periscope leading to an informed voter, I doubt that will be the result.

    I just returned from a trip to Virginia and to Monticello, hence this quote –
    “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…
    They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty”.
    Thomas Jefferson

    • davie says:

      I was a high school teach in a small city in our oil patch. I worked at various positions in my teacher union, mostly pro d, but bargaining, grievance, exec, and sweeping up…I meet even be close to that bete noir , Big Union Boss.
      I made no secret with my 15 to 19 year old charges, and few of them kept their leanings secret from me.
      Your point that I converted any of my students to my way of thinking shows me that either you just have not experience with teenagers, or your kids are still pre schoolers.

  2. Curtis in Calgary says:

    Great quote Africon. Speaking of education, our warm and fuzzy PC government here in Alberta forbids the use of the term liberalism.

    I quote from a chat I had just last night with a friend and local high school teacher.

    “So our Progressive Conservative provincial government do not let us use liberalism in our curriculum … small ‘l’ liberalism which is, of course, the foundational ideology of western democracy …

    They were afraid that people would confuse it with a Liberal political party.”

    Talk about fear and loathings from our (metaphorically) poorly endowed ‘leaders’. Even I can’t make this stuff up.

  3. MississaugaPeter says:

    They could become part of a campaign, but I believe copyright laws and fear of the unexpected or flub by the candidate would prevent the entire event or every event to be streamed live. Unless they were completely choreographed in advance.

    Events are filmed and put on YouTube now. But copyright laws exist and they are pulled down.

    Events can be filmed in their entirety now and put on websites now. Not one party does that now. Don’t know if they will in the future considering the number of viewers is low. To get the right quality that you want is expensive: cameras, lighting, etc.. The possibility of flubs is too great.

    You were a willing participant. You were unafraid of potential flubs. It worked for you. Can’t see politicians being either.

  4. terence quinn says:

    Maybe the day will come when each MP has all potential legislation streamed to his/her constituents and gets their vote which he then uses as his vote in the house. That sounds pretty simplified, I know but this could be the way forward in another few years.

  5. That Mac Guy says:

    MississaugaPeter says:

    “Events are filmed …”
    No. They were recorded or videoed but they most certainly aren’t filmed. Film is soooo 20th Century … the usual exception are feature films and even some of those are eschewing film for digital recording.

  6. Joe says:

    Anything that gets us farther away from our enclaved – groupthink journalist filters has to be a good thing although I don’t see the average Canadian engaged enough to sit through an unfiltered rendition of what was said.

  7. Mark Roseman says:

    I think few people have the attention span for this. What I think will happen (sadly) is it will make it easier for grassroots partisans on all sides to produce short video clips containing entirely out of context comments or screw ups, which are then shared like the latest cat video.

  8. Cameron Prymak says:

    Yes, and part of the change will be how people relate to political parties.
    Our kids are not going to join with allegiance just because their parents did.

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