Rivlin polls Facebook fans on slogan

Likud ministers, MKs take to social networking site ahead of November primary.

Rivlin with Kenyan VP Musyoka 370 (photo credit: Itzik Harari/Knesset Spokesman’s Office)
Rivlin with Kenyan VP Musyoka 370
(photo credit: Itzik Harari/Knesset Spokesman’s Office)
Many politicians start their campaigns with a catchy slogan – but Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin launched his run in the Likud primary by asking the public for advice.
Rivlin took to his Facebook page to poll supporters, giving them options: “Rivlin – Faithful to his principles, faithful to people,” “Rivlin – Believe in Israel, love Jerusalem,” “Rivlin – our Knesset speaker,” and others.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post to be published on Friday, the Knesset speaker expressed confidence that he will maintain his high slot on the Likud candidates list in the November 25 primary, and hold his position as speaker for a third term. He was No. 4 on the Likud’s candidates list in the last election in 2009.
Rivlin, 73, said that “although people my age are afraid of new technology, it is important to learn to take advantage of the Internet, which helps deepen democratic discourse.”
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“The Internet improved the direct connection between voters and representatives, and it is amazing to see how different candidates run election campaigns based almost entirely on social media and direct contact with voters,” he said.
Rivlin does not run his own Facebook page, but his staff updates him on comments he receives from supporters.
As Knesset speaker, he supported the opening of an official Knesset Facebook page and the recent re-launch of the Knesset website.
The Knesset speaker is not the first Likud lawmaker to crowd-source his primary slogan. Ofer Maoz, a spokesman for MK Tzipi Hotovely, also took suggestions for the campaign on his Facebook page.
Several other Likud legislators have used Facebook for creative campaigns.
Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, who held a conference of his Facebook fans in the Knesset last year, posted a series of Internet meme-style images on his profile.
One showed Batman’s logo and Eitan’s photo, with the text, “A knight who fights corruption and looks good in black. It’s not Batman; it’s Miki.”
He also posted his pay slip, saying that he is the most transparent of the government’s ministers.
From the day the election was declared, MK Danny Danon, also from Likud, has taken to Facebook almost daily, posting a different accomplishment on his page each time. Danon plans to continue the campaign until after the Likud primary.