As a rule, Canadian political campaigns don't make use of the available technology to reach voters.
The national party websites are light years ahead of what goes on at the riding level, but even nationally, they aren't anywhere close to the Obama campaign and its new iPhone application.
Barack Obama'[s people have introduced an application designed specifically for the iPhone. The app allows the user to build contact lists, keep track of campaign news, and send information out to their personal contacts.
The basic idea behind the app is simple. It's a way of letting individual voters help mobilize their friends. I love Obama. I go and get a few friends to vote Obama. Those friends are more likely to vote Obama because I am pushing it rather than because some dorky student from state u at butthole is sitting on their doorstep.
Social media used to send a message through social networks. Holy crap. That's exactly what this stuff is for!
And the psychology of it is as simple as it is brilliant as well.
In one app you get an answer to declining voter turn-out, voter tune-out, the shortage of volunteers all campaigns are experiencing and all the other woes of modern campaigning. Get the activists going and let them spread the word on your behalf.
The Obama app shows the way, but in order to grasp it, politicos will have to break out of their mental confinements.
And that, dear reader, is something for another post.