Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), Vol. XII, no. 3/2014, pp. 62-69.
Online communication for electoral purposes: A view on political practices in Timis County
Abstract: The paper aims to present instances of political communication during electoral processes carried out with new media tools. The high rate of Internet penetration and the spreading of social networks triggered the response on the part of political candidates, interested to reach their publics wherever possible. In addition, the development of e-democracy, e-governance and e-politics naturally produces effects in electoral processes. The 2012 parliamentary elections in Romania have as distinctive features the breakdown of constituencies into smaller units and the uninominal vote instead of the previously employed party lists. These features placed the burden of communication tasks on individual candidates, who had to resort to at least one web based communication channel during the campaign. The article is structured in ﬁve sections, as follows: the ﬁrst section is dedicated to presenting the context and tools of the study. The second section views the digital communication as the new frontier to conquer for political communicators. The third is dedicated to Romanian politicians and their Internet presence. The fourth section, which is the largest, places the 2012 parliamentary elections in Timis County under the microscope and highlights the choices of communication tools preferred by the candidates coming from the two political alliances that dominated the elections, the Social Liberal Union (USL) and the Right Romania Alliance (ARD). Finally, the concluding sections discusses further research to be carried in understanding how digital technologies shape the pillar of political communication in the years to come.
Keywords: online communication; electoral campaign; social media; interactivity.
Cuvinte-cheie: comunicare online; campanii electorale; social media; interactivitate.