Should Politicians Use Twitter?

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Two recent events should be highlighted to any politician thinking of using twitter to further their electoral prospects. These two stories do serve as maybe a warning, before the commit.

Case 1: Dale v McCarthy.

This case surrounds allegations made by the Hon. Kerry McCarthy, MP for  Bristol East, about the political magazine Total Politics, which is run by tory supporting blogger Iain Dale. I shall leave it to each of them to tell their story.

As you can see, politicians have to be careful with what they say and do online! Is one over reacting? Or are both responses justified? You be the jury.

Case 2: Limburg v Schüneman

This case from the Lower Saxon State Parliament. After a debate on Aslyum Seekers, Green MP Helge Limburg called Lower Saxony’s state Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann (CDU) an “insufferable agitator” who was “shamelessly on the right-wing fringe.” (Full Story)

This when it came to light in the Lower Saxon Parliament caused uproar and discussions over the budget had to be postponed.

Is that what twitter should be used for?

So its over to you, after these anticas would you recommend that politicans use twitter?

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Election Results: Hessen (Hesse) unt Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)

Update: Looking for the Results of the 2009 Election? See here.

They are fast with the results here in Germany (without electronic voting I may add!)

The results are bad for the CDU. They are down in both states which are seen as the test waters for next years federal elections. The results are as follows

Hessen (Hesse)

Percentages (Seats)
CDU: 36,8 (42)
SPD: 36,7 (42)
FDP: 9,4 (11)
Grüne: 8,0 (9)
Der Linke: 5,1 (6)

My View
This is a defeat for the CDU and Roland Koch in particular. The CDU lost 12% of the vote. The gainers in the election were: SPD up 7%, FDP up 1,5% and Der Linke who passed the 5% threshold on their first outing in Hessen leaving them with 5,1% of the vote!

There is a 110 seats in the state parliament and neither the two major parties and their favoured coaltion have a majority (CDU/FDP:53 seats, SPD/Grüne 51 seats). This means it will more then likely be a CDU/SPD coalition. Who will be Minister-President is a different question.

Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)

Percentages (Seats)
CDU: 42,5(68)
SPD: 30,3 (48)
FDP: 8,2 (13)
Grüne: 8,0 (12)
Der Linke: 7,1 (11)

The CDU have also suffered losses here down 6% for the last election in 2003. The SPD is also down 3% of the vote. The gainers here were FDP up 0,1% Grüne up 0,4% and Der Linke up 6,6%. Though the FDP and Grüne incrsead their vote share, they both are down two seats.

My View

Der Linke are the winners in this state. They surpassed the 5% threshold on their second outing in this state. Neither party will do a deal with them, but if they become enough of a force by the Federal Elections next year then both parties might change their tune. (Maybe not the CDU!) The Parliemant here has 152 seats and the current coalition (CDU/FDP) have enough seats to continue to govern so Christian Wulff will stay on as Minister-President.