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Suburban candidates entering Twitterverse

While #elxn41 has been touted as the first real social-media election, candidates in North Vancouver are moving very cautiously into the Twitterverse.

The three main candidates are Conservative MP Andrew Saxton, running for re-election; the NDP's Michael Charrois, making his second run; and Taleeb Noormohamed, a newcomer running for the Liberals. All three are on Twitter, but they don't use it as intensely as their leaders do.

Andrew Saxton has (as of late Monday afternoon) so far made just 14 tweets, all including at least one exclamation mark. He has 207 followers and is following 103. These include North Vancouver institutions like Argyle Secondary and Capilano University.

New Democrat Michael Charrois has almost 90 tweets, but only 16 followers; he himself follows 6, including the federal and B.C. NDP plus Jack Layton.

The Liberals' Taleeb Noormohamed seems the most twitterate of the three: He's tweeted 322 times, follows 468, and is followed by 262. Among those he follows: Andrew Saxton and numerous media tweeters. He's also the only one of the three who uses hashmarks to put his posts in discussions like #elxn41, #cdnpoli, and #LPC.

None of the candidates, however, come close to their leaders. Stephen Harper has just 322 tweets, but he has 109,520 followers and himself follows 12,404. Michael Ignatieff has 71,112 followers and follows 9,649. He's tweeted 368 times. And Jack Layton has tweeted 835 times, has 65,877 followers, and follows 11,415.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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