Brian Jean is the current head of the official opposition in Alberta and is preparing for a serious run for the premiership in 2019. I have noticed an increased social media presence by him on my Facebook compared to other politicians, even the prime minister. Brian Jean uses simple even slightly aggressive language to get his message across. According to his Twitter posts, Jean feels that Alberta has not been treated fairly by the Equalization System and by Ottawa in general.
— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanWRP) October 28, 2016
Brian Jean is also very anti-Rachel Notley and NDP, posting articles and statistics relating to difficulties being faced by Albertans and then promises solutions. Jean’s social media strategy appears to follow the formula that President Elect Donald Trump used in his run, albeit a bit watered down. Jean is not subtle when he blames Premier Notley for the struggling Alberta economy and rising unemployment, but he also refrains from insults and personal attacks. He also uses the strategy of regularly repeating his core stances, which appear to be anti-Carbon tax, pro-Keystone pipeline, and a simple ‘Alberta first’ mentality.
He reaches a frustrated audience who feel they are being exploited by the Laurentian elite and sparks their fury by providing simple solutions to the issues they face. It is unclear whether or not these ideas will even be possible if Jean is elected, but you can’t help but admire his ability to generate passion among Albertans who feel disenfranchised by Premier Notley and PM Trudeau’s policies. His opinions of Justin Trudeau appear to mirror those of many Albertans during the federal elections, which voted overwhelmingly Conservative according to Elections Canada. Jean uses Twitter to make large attacks on Trudeau’s policies he deems to be against Alberta’s interest, but also makes small jabs at his character and word choices. This is an example where Jean openly questions a statement of PM Trudeau regarding the death of Fidel Castro.
Disturbing statement from the PM today. I will not mourn the death of a dictator who murdered many in the name of ideology.
— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanWRP) November 26, 2016
Brian Jean is using a social strategy based on outrage against what he describes as a class of politicians disjointed from the working class that he is trying to unite. He accuses Rachel Notley and Ottawa of being out of touch with Albertans, and only being interested in new ways to tax or ‘exploit’ them. His words regarding the equalization payments are sure to spark engagement as it is an issue that many Albertans feel strongly about. It remains to be seen if he can remove Rachel Notley from power, but he is following a tried and true social media method of doing so.