#DigitalPowerMap

The power is digital.

 

A viral thought, image, picture, or frame can shape perceptions, impose trends, withdraw bills and decrees, or might even change the outcome of elections. Today, the world isn’t what it used to be. Things are changing. Those who do not keep pace with evolutions and trends are trailing behind leaders. Those who do not keep pace with digital trends and developments may soon find themselves irrelevant.

And so we launched an experiment to measure the digital power of MPs from the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate’s Health Committees. A useful experiment in the social context of the public debate surrounding the vaccination bill.

What did we want to find out? How strong the MPs’ digital power is, how they communicate with their constituents in Social Media, what kind of feedback they receive and, particularly, how they use it in drafting public policies. By knowing the digital clout of each individual MP, and also of each party in the parliamentarian Committees, we can decide how to adjust the force and usage of our main campaign messages.

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How much digital power do political parties have on the Health Committees? Although PSD has a 9-to-19 majority in the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and a 5-to-11 majority in the Senate’s corresponding committee, the biggest digital power is PNL.

 

The Liberals are present, active, and committed. Thus, their absolute numbers mostly don’t count, since in fact it’s about being visible and making oneself heard.

Even though it has only one representative on each committee, UDMR has a strong digital voice that roughly equates to half the digital power of PNL or PSD.

At the opposite end, PMP, USR, and ALDE would have to join their forces to match the digital clout of PNL or PSD.

We have measured the presence of MPs sitting on the parliament’s Health Committees on all digital channels (Social Media and blogs) as well as their level of engagement (what they say and the feedback from people).

Should you want to see them, to hear them, to know what they do, you should visit their Facebook profiles. Facebook is the most used communication channel by the MPs on the Health Committees, possibly because it is also Romanians’ favorite communication channel – with 9.8 million users.

The MPs on the Health Committees also use YouTube to convey their messages, projects, public statements, but their presence there amounts to only a third of their Social Media activity on Facebook, even though more than 9 million Romanians use YouTube.

LinkedIn is a less attractive channel for those MPs, although this channel should be their first choice to speak about their professional activity.

Blogs, Twitter, or Instagram are basically forbidden territories, like a hostile electoral district, although a blog could conceivably serve as a lectern from where MPs could every day make their voice heard, and where they could gather votes like in a joint parliamentary session.

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#1

Chairman of the Committee for Health and Family (Chamber of Deputies)

Former manager of Sighisoara Municipality Hospital, Administrative director of Targu Mures Emergency County Hospital, Head of the Mures County Health Department. As MP he promised to promote equal access to medicines, 1 free medicine for every disease, trainings for GPs and emergency staff, minimal endowment of all GPs’ cabinets, development of the capacity for emergency services. He openly supports vaccination and is a strong supporter of the vaccination law.

Member of the Committee for Public Health (Senate)

 

More than 50 years activity as neurosurgeon, author of more than 30 books. He is a widely known academician, considered the best neurosurgeon in Europe and one of the 500 geniuses of the 21st century.

The neurovascular unit established by him in Bucharest is unique in our country. He stated that he entered into politics to make a better connection between this and the medical activity.

No public statements towards vaccination so far.

#1

#2

Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Health and Family (Chamber of Deputies)

Medical doctor specialized in balneology and medical recovery. Former President of the Social-Democratic Female Organization of Galați County. MP in the Chamber of Deputies since 2008, member of the health committee in each office. She is known for her statement regarding the reinstating of the national in vitro fertilization program: ”A child is a gift from God. There is a Romanian saying - someone who has, good for them, someone who doesn't have, shouldn't wish for.”

#3

Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Health and Family (Chamber of Deputies)

Medical doctor specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology, Professor at UMF Cluj-Napoca. Former executive president of the Liberal-Democratic Party Organization of Cluj County. Former Prefect of Cluj County. He sustained in the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies declarations on the problem of the under financing of the national health programs and that the prevention and early diagnosis are not being sufficiently taken into consideration. He also sent an interpellation to the Ministry of Health regarding the lack of breast cancer screening programs.

#4

Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Health and Family (Chamber of Deputies)

He is a social worker, journalist, history teacher and NGO volunteer from Cluj-Napoca. Main concerns: transplant procedures, vaccination law. He established a NGO for patients with dialysis, especially children, being called ”a hero” by the media. He was deep involved in solving the problems at the Renal Transplant Clinic in Cluj-Napoca. He recently run for the presidency of the Save Romania Union, but came in second place. His speech though was very appreciated.

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CONCLUSION

Of the 30 MPs sitting on the two Health Committees, we selected the five MPs with the highest digital clout. They are visible, they are followed, they are involved and careful about what their voters write on social media.

 

If you wonder about Leon Dănăilă, we assume that someone must be explaining to him what is going on in Social Media. Corneliu-Florin Buicu, on the other hand, seems to be taken his role as Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies’ Health Committee in a prolific and proactive way.

On the other hand, there are 10 MPs that are not active in Social Media, seemingly ignoring these tools of communication in the digital era. We just hope they still know how to use the conventional ones.

The benefits of digital communication are due to transparency, speed, the high level of commitment, continuous feedback, and real connection to the constituencies that one wants to address.

The time we will together change public policies through transparent dialogue, for the benefit of the entire society, is when we will be able to say that we have given society profit.

*analysis performed for 15th March - 15th May 2017