By Victoria Quiroz
Tuesday marked one year since Kathleen Wynne’s appointment as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, following the departure of premier Dalton McGuinty, who she subsequently replaced.
To commemorate the anniversary, Wynne logged on to the popular social news website, reddit.com to take part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.
The session is a platform in which registered users are able to ask questions of the participant, who in turn respond publicly.
On Sunday, Wynne tweeted the announcement of her upcoming AMA.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) February 9, 2014
The AMA was scheduled to last an hour, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wynne appeared to be taking her time with answers, and by the midway point at noon, she had only responded to three questions. Wynne picked up the pace in her second half, ending the hour-long session having answered 10 questions.
The questions Wynne chose to answer covered topics both political and personal.
High Hydro Rates
Minimum Wage Hike
Wynne’s passion for running
Wynne’s literary favourites
In her parting words Wynne said she looked forward to doing another AMA, and that she’d be able to answer faster then, having learned from this experience.
Wynne is one of the most recent public figures to jump on the AMA ship. U.S President Barack Obama made headlines when he used the AMA forum in August of 2012. Former Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is active on the website – although his comments are usually focused on body building and health subjects.
Andrea Tavchar, program coordinator of Humber College’s public relations program, said communication formats like Reddit AMAs are popular to public figures for many reasons, including how they encourage an image of authenticity and honesty.
“It’s cool, it’s the latest thing,” said Tavchar. “It makes [Wynne] look more attractive to a younger demographic.”
Tavchar said the benefit of AMA’s and other social media use is they make the user seem more accessible. She also said that for a politician, using these formats allows them to reach out.
“You want to go to where the people are,” said Tavchar. “She’s trying to reach out to a demographic that might not be typically inclined to vote.”
At press time, a representative from Wynne’s media office had yet to respond to requests for comment on her AMA.