Twitter, like it or not, is where a lot of conversations pertaining to every part of our lives are taking place. Youth especially use Twitter as a news source, and for the politically minded youth, as a way to engage with Members of Parliament or the Legislature.
Which is why a local youth, Cam Lomon, has begun a campaign to get himself unblocked on the Twitter feed of Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks.
Lomon is now attending the University of Lethbridge and he is active in politics. His Twitter handle is @Act3Politics, and he does not necessarily agree with MP Wilks on political matters. But Lomon’s point is, Mr. Wilks should be engaging with his constituents, not blocking them because they don’t agree.
“I was on Facebook and noticed that one of my friends, Joy Orr, made a status saying that our MP David Wilks had blocked her on Twitter from seeing his tweets or tweeting at him,” Lomon told the Bulletin.
Joy Orr is NDP MLA Norm Macdonald’s constituency assistant, and is assisting federal NDP candidate Wayne Stetski in his bid for the Kootenay Columbia seat. To Lomon, that shouldn’t matter.
“I saw this as a rather unfair way to treat a constituent who simply disagrees with you on a matter and asks questions.
“I took it upon myself to tweet at Mr. Wilks to demand he unblock Joy and to allow for an open and transparent government. After several requests to Mr. Wilks’ Twitter account and no response I decided to try one last time at which point I found myself now the subject of being blocked by his account (an event that Twitter is dubbing ConBlocked).
“I took to Facebook with my new found predicament of being barred from interacting with my MP on a social media level and addressed that I simply wanted answers to why Joy and now myself, Wilks’ own constituents, were being silenced. My thought was that the status would generate some conversation but nothing to the degree that it has now taken off to; fellow constituents came forward stating that they too were now ConBlocked.”
Lomon says this is denying him information which he could use to make an informed decision on how to vote in the next election.
“The youth of our country are interested and hungry for political engagement but now we have politicians denying them involvement by shutting them out of media formats on which they feel comfortable talking with elected officials or election hopefuls. I would think the best course of action that Mr. Wilks to take is to unblock all of his constituents and allow the democratic process and transparent government that his government promised come to fruition.”
Mr. Wilks was contacted for a comment on this issue but did not reply.