With the anti-proroguing Facebook group now past 100,000 members, there is still a surprising debate about the merits of online advocacy. Blayne Haggart rightly points out that we've seen this before in Canada and it is somewhat surprising that there is such doubt that this form of advocacy can be effective. Experience suggests that it can – Canadian examples such as Fair Copyright for Canada or Young Drivers Against New Ontario Laws demonstrated that social media is a remarkably useful tool for bringing together tens of thousands of people with a common view. While some dismiss Facebook group membership as too easy (and therefore not representative of much), the ease with which people can be educated about an issue, express an opinion by joining, and ultimately asked to do more is a feature not a bug.
None of this is to say that Facebook or digital advocacy alone will change the decision to prorogue. It won't. But in tapping into the underestimated exasperation with political leaders who think that the public could care less about political games, it holds the potential to keep the issue alive in the public's mind. Polls already suggest that may be the case and if the people behind the Facebook group can maintain the momentum by branching out both online and offline [update: NoProrogue.ca launched today in an effort to go beyond Facebook], this could go on for awhile. For what's worth, I discussed digital advocacy in an @Google Policy talk in June 2008.