There may be a few persistent, “progressive” partisans who had hoped that last month’s Idle No More movement might have led to a mighty, left-leaning populist movement that would propel those of the leftward persuasion to the pinnacles of power here in Canada. It says something about the quality of leadership on the “progressive” side, as well as the level of interest displayed by the Canadian electorate on all sorts of topics, that this analysis will cause more than a few grumbles:
Online activity related to Idle No More — on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, online forums and in the online news — has fallen 84 per cent in four weeks, which suggests “public interest and internal energy are currently shadows of their former selves,” digital public affairs strategist Mark Blevis wrote in his newest analysis on Sunday.
“It’s a movement that grew very quickly, had a lot of energy … kind of like a star that grew very quickly and then reached critical mass and they couldn’t sustain its size and so it’s closing down to its energy core,” Blevis said in an interview with Postmedia News.
“I think what we have now is largely the epicentre of the Idle No More movement without the orbiting participation around it.”
“We have now essentially moved on from Idle No More. The media appetitive has waned a fair bit, public interest has subsequently waned in this, and of course other things have come up,” Blevis said.
You can find the original posting by Mark Blevis here. One thing the Citizen report leaves out: Mr. Blevis notes that Chief Theresa Spence did try to use her “public platform” to keep the momentum going, but it didn’t lead to any particular spike in traffic.
Of course the more rabid among the puntwitting Left will deny that this is the case, and they would certainly have a point: activity on Twitter / Facebook isn’t really a true measure of a political movement’s actual strength or impact on policy. But if we’re talking about the ability to capture the public’s attention and imagination, then social media activity does become a valid measure of public engagement, and in that particular sense, the partisans are going to be hard-pressed to deny that Idle No More has turned into a dud.