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Power in our Pockets official film trailer

Know the game. Hold the power.



Money is central to politics. Money is critical for communicating with constituents. Political parties, candidates and other electoral institutions need funding to carry out tasks including campaigns.

Money can also have a serious impact on fair political participation and competition. Problems abound, and scandals involving corrupt politicians, questionable alliances between wealthy donors and politicians, vote buying, and the influence of money from organized crime all contribute to the degradation of an equal playing field.

Power in our Pockets: Social Media, Money and Politics in the Digital Age hones in on the power of social media to boost public participation and raise funds in politics. This engagement and advancement in social media is not without consequence. In the long term, such an environment can make politicians less accountable and less responsive to voters, which can, in turn alienate citizens and decrease political participation.

The documentary highlights cases on the interactions in the United States, Spain and Indonesia. The American example demonstrates Obama’s landmark success in using social media to raise money and to raise it from previously disengaged sectors of society. Indonesia, which is known as the “social media capital of the world,” demonstrates the broad range of new social media innovations related to elections. The Podemos party’s campaign in Spain showcases the use of social media to promote transparency in political financing.


  • Created by Seema Shah, International IDEA Electoral Processes Programme
  • Produced and Directed by Alice McDowell
  • Cinematography by Maurice Gunning
  • Edited by Manuela Corbari and Alice McDowell
  • Special thanks to the Galway Film Centre for technical assistance
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