The man who is seeking to retain the St James South seat for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) says social media has had a great impact on this year’s election campaign.
And, according to Donville Inniss, one of the most controversial ministers in the last Freundel Stuart cabinet, social media has forever changed the face of political campaigns here.
Inniss explained that unlike previous elections where the emphasis was on paraphernalia, newspaper advertisements and rallies, social media was the most powerful tool in the campaign for tomorrow’s election.
“Without recourse to empirical evidence, I believe that social media has played a far more important role in disseminating information to voters than it has ever done [before] in the history of this country. It will certainly be a game changer in future elections,” Inniss said.
The two-time incumbent for St James South told Barbados TODAY this was why heavy turnouts at political rallies did not paint an accurate picture of support for the parties, an apparent reference to the large crowds that the Barbados Labour Party attracted at its meetings.
“I don’t get excited about the large numbers or small numbers at the political meetings because what we have been seeing more is persons preferring to stay at home and view these meetings via the internet rather than going to the meetings. So it really presents a very difficult scenario to read because the Internet is such a far reaching tool and its difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the [rallies],” he said.
Inniss explained that given the variables, as well as the challenging nature of the campaign, he was not prepared to predict the number of seats that DLP would win.
“I am not prepared to give predictions on the number of seats but what I can say is that it has been a very challenging campaign. The voters throughout the country have gotten the chance to hear from all sides involved and hopefully by now they would have examined what each candidate is offering, which would help them make an informed decision,” he said, even as he refused to call the election results, while stating he confident of retaining his seat.
“I am satisfied that I have done as well as I could over the circumstances. I have done the best I can in terms of my campaign and in terms of getting my message out. My constituents know my track record and equally important they know the way forward. So I am very optimistic about St James South.
“However my attitude has always been not count your chicken before they hatch because at the end of the day it is the average man and woman who has the power to decide who run the affairs of this country,” he stressed.