Response 875118891

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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?

Properly promoted they can provide a means for MPs to be more accessible, particularly to groups like young people who use these tools as part of daily life and who might not engage through traditional methods. They also give people the opportunity to raise smaller issues, which they might not raise if it required more effort, and to start discussions, which they cannot do through traditional contact methods.

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

It would do both and MPs would need to adapt to the benefits and shortcomings of a new means of communication as other bodies and organistations have had to.

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?

It might increase pressure for these things, but electors have have their say in electing their MP. MPs would need to manage expectations carefully, but there are existing channels to deal with these pressures and MPs could these situations as an opportunity to engage people with the democratic process that makes them accountable.

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

Hopefully a lot more accountable and in touch with real lives.

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?

People will increasingly expect online technology to be available in all areas of their lives, including democracy and elections. This will include MPs being accessible through digital channels and also online voting.

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

Improved local government websites with some consistency of content.

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?

Election campaigning naturally peaks around elections (general and to a lesser extent, local) and major issues. This will continue to be the case.