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The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada » News & Events » Events » On October 19, Your Vote Matters More Than Ever » Vox Populi: Letters to the Editor, Social Media, and Online Comments

Vox Populi: Letters to the Editor, Social Media, and Online Comments

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook have revolutionized electoral politics in recent years. Today it’s easy (and often inescapable) to follow the comments and opinions of political candidates and their parties – moment by moment. Online news and opinion sites bombard us with their insights and predictions about the electoral horse race – riding by riding.

No surprise then that commenters too are often found on such sites trash talking federal public servants or promoting misleading or mistaken views about the true cost and value of public services. It fits a certain political agenda and mindset to characterize public servants as underworked and overpaid. We don’t have to take it. Nor should we.

By following a few common sense rules – such as not sharing confidential or privileged information and knowing when to end an online exchange before it gets too heated or unprofessional – you can help raise the level of public debate during this election and set the record straight about the federal public service and the value of the services we provide. Consider starting with some of PIPSC's 10 ways to restore the public service outlined in this booklet.

If you need guidance on using specific social media or the comments sections at online news sites, be sure to check out their respective help sections. A few mainstream websites that feature online comments sections include: the Globe and Mail, CBC, and the Toronto Star.

Nearly 25 years ago, we fought for recognition of the right of PIPSC members to engage in election politics outside the workplace (see "How You Can Participate in the Federal Election"). It’s your right to have your say!