Response 1024870478

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Elected representatives

6. Members of Parliament are elected to represent local people’s interests in the House of Commons. How can the internet and social media help with this?

I think this is a red herring. Politicians like to think they can use the latest technology to connect with the people, but all they want to do is use it for propaganda and to curtail our privacy. There are very few politicians who use either the internet or social media to any effect. Caroline Lucas and the Green Party do it very well. The lunatic fringe of UKIP and the Tories just use it to spread hate and fear. Labour constantly use it to make announcements but don't care what even their own voters have to say by way of comment. Politicians don't have to use these channels to be effective, for instance Glenda Jackson is a true conviction politician I admire but I never hear about her Twitter account, whereas I do see her Commons performances circulated on social media by others. It's the content that's important, not the medium.

7. Does social media enhance the local link for MPs, or undermine it by involving them in more national and international discussions?

It probably gives them more to do, and a greater opportunity to connect with the people they represent, which could be exploited to better effect. "National and international discussions" is irrelevant, unless the MP in question is a cabinet minister or foreign secretary etc. My local MP does tweet about things he's doing in the area although it often comes across more as a self-justification/party political broadcast exercise.

8. Use of interactive technology is increasing. Is this likely to increase pressure for more direct democracy, such as crowd-sourcing, referendums and citizens’ initiatives?

"Direct democracy" is a joke. It's gesture politics. Barely any politicians are interested in democracy and certainly don't want to use the internet or social media to give people *more* power.

9. What will democracy look like in 15 – 20 years?

I hold out very little hope for the future of "democracy". Politicians are only interested in serving themselves and their peers. They will continue to curtail people's freedoms as long as people let this happen.

Information about politics

10. Most people still get most of their news from television, although this seems to be changing in favour of online information. Traditional news organisations are also changing. What impact will this have on elections and democracy in general?

Traditional news organisations are changing for the worse. The BBC is no longer independent and doesn't represent what people need to see or hear. The BBC censors news that isn't in the interests of the government and gives disproportionate amounts of airtime to unelected extremists. None of this bodes well for "democracy".

11. How can online provision of information about elections be improved, including details of where to vote, how to vote and the results?

Central website independently managed (not political) with details of all polling stations (with maps and transport links), details of all candidates and their policies, and results.

Political campaigning

12. Can we expect continuous election campaigning through digital channels – what would citizens feel about that and would it undermine or strengthen representative democracy?

This happens already through the existing channels and I pay little attention to it. The extremists just use it for inflammatory speech, which gets all the attention anyway. Campaigning is mostly depressing, meaningless nonsense and has little to do with really connecting with the public. You don't engage with me by standing on a soap box in an M&S jumper, you do it by not making the police kettle me when I exercise my democratic right to protest against your policies.