Initial Campaign Impressions

By Julian Dierkes

After a first full day of campaigning, here are some very quick, superficial impressions of the presidential election campaign.

These are based largely on Twitter and some emailing, as I am about to get on a plane headed for Ulaanbaatar, to see more of the campaign live in Mongolia.

Social Media

I was astonished especially in the 2016 parliamentary election, how little strategic use of social media candidates seemed to be making. Yes, there was some campaigning, but it was fairly unimaginative and basically used social media as a broadcast medium for official campaign messages, but less to engage voters directly.

Caveat: I myself mainly focus on Twitter and recognize that Facebook is in even greater use in Mongolia. Given algorithmic bubbles and all, I might simply be missing a lot of traffic and strategic campaigning.

So, will this change in this election? Will we see a more strategic use of social media?

Hashtags are generally not used much in Mongolia so far, but the MPP/Enkhbold campaign does seem to be rolling out hashtags that are also used by supporters.

Examples:

Over at the DP, have they set up a dedicated campaign account?

The 2k17 name seems a bit odd, but the links are to official campaign sites, so perhaps this has been created by the Battulga organization. Or, perhaps it is an account set up for dark campaigning?

Campaign Fashion

I don’t recall seeing quite so many deels on the candidates themselves or among their supporters. This seems to go along with the frequent use of Mongolian, Mongolia, etc. to give the campaign a bit of a nationalist flavour, perhaps?

Here, a snapshot of a campaign poster where Ganbaatar is posing with Enkhbayar:

How about Battulga in this handsome black-with-silver-dots deel:

Or, another version here:

Then, Enkhbold in a less flashy, more country burgundy deel:

About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He tweets @jdierkes
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