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Will #IamLinda move votes away from Christy Clark?

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

Angus Reid Institute

It’s said that the half-life of a tweet is somewhere between a few minutes and a few hours. By that measure, #IamLinda made it well past its life expectancy. The Twitter hashtag caused a social media storm. It was driven by what is now a well-chronicled awkward moment on the campaign trail between BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark and a voter who said she’d never choose Ms. Clark.

For that, whether they like it or not, the folks running the BC Liberal campaign must tip their hats to the rapid response of their war-room counterparts over at NDP headquarters who quickly marshalled their own social media influencers to distract the incumbent party for days.

Of course, #IamLinda might have become #IwasLinda more quickly had Ms. Clark and her campaign directors not compounded the situation with their own unforced error, accusing the aforementioned #Linda – one Linda Higgins, a retired social-worker assistant – of being an NDP plant sent to embarrass the candidate.

But now that the BC Liberals have stated they “stand corrected” on this front, we can consign #IamLinda to the annals of other political hashtags that may or may not have had an impact on campaigns. Think: #NastyWoman or #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain.

And that is the real question: Beyond the retweets and the likes and all those people weighing in with their own reasons why they won’t vote to re-elect the BC Liberals, will this saga actually sway a significant number of votes?

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