Response 991306779

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About You

1. What is your name?

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Sailesh Patel

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?

Members of Parliament could set up social media accounts where they respond to constituent matters. Members of Parliament could also conduct video meetings with constituents who cannot make it to their surgeries, which would also allow for flexibility on both the MP and constituents parts.

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

I believe that social media does enhance the local link for MPs because it allows MPs to keep in touch with constituents when they're travelling to Westminster. I don't believe it's undermining to involve MPs in national and international discussions because we are a more internationalist world.

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?

Yes, however direct democracy often doesn't work because it is usually hijacked by a small but vocal minority of people. We should be very weary when we talk about direct democracy and referendums because they are at risk of being used by small vocal minorities.

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

Democracy will look very similar to how it is now - flawed but one of the better options. It will have a lot more citizen involvement due to technology and many smaller parties will be influencial due to the rise of social media getting their message across to young people who will become their electors.

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?

This will allow voters to get independent sources so that they are not influenced by a certain newspaper to vote for a certain party, but instead they will perhaps vote for smaller, lesser known parties. Elections will no longer be the typical two party system but instead other parties will have representation which means there is a possibility of more coalitions. With regards to democracy, this will only strengthen it because now people will be more informed.

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

Social media campaigns could be set up in order to inform young voters where, how and the results of elections.

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?

I'm not sure however if this was to be the case then, I believe the majority of thinking adults would be furious and become cynical. This would undermine representative democracy.