Twitter this and OMG! that — are social networking websites just a popular fad or do a growing number of tech-savvy politicians have it right.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and more recently Twitter, have morphed politicians into the centre of the communication universe available at the click of a mouse. Or have they?

Mount Royal College political scientist Duane Bratt said while politicians at the municipal, provincial and even federal levels are tweeting, it’s what they are tweeting that really matters.

“I don’t see the value in politicians twittering. I think it’s something they do in session because they are bored,” he said, pointing to when MLAs were scolded for twittering in legislature session awhile back.
“I think it’s just a fad, just a bunch of chatter,” he said.

Bratt thinks the fad might come to an end.

Ald. Andre Chabot hasn’t jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and in fact, he is taking himself off Facebook, too.

“I just don’t have time. I don’t see the benefit in it, I’m already accessible and I always answer my phone and return calls,” Chabot said, adding he has his own website linked to the City of Calgary site.

However, some politicians do find a political use for Twitter, including Premier Ed Stelmach, who has a page followed by about 400 users.

Stelmach is becoming increasingly plugged-in, posting some of his own updates on speeches, trips he’s taken overseas, and responses to heated provincial decisions.

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