• Australian MPs and the Internet: Avoiding the digital age?

      Ward, Stephen; Lusoli, Wainer; Gibson, Rachel; University of Oxford ; University of Chester ; University of Leicester (Blackwell, 2007-06)
      Based on content analysis of representatives' websites and face-to-face interviews, this article discusses the way in which Australian MPs (Federal House of Representatives) have adopted the internet to get and keep in touch with their constituents, in the case of large electorates. The results indicate that while websites amongst legislators are growing, they are used primarily as supplementary, administrative tools.
    • Online participation in the UK: Testing a 'contextualised' model of internet effects

      Gibson, Rachel; Lusoli, Wainer; Ward, Stephen (Blackwell, 2005-11-01)
      This article discusses a new test of the mobilisation thesis on how the internet effects political participation. The data is taken from a May 2002 NOP survey of 1972 UK adults.
    • (Re)connecting politics? Parliament, the public and the Internet

      Lusoli, Wainer; Ward, Stephen; Gibson, Rachel; University of Chester ; University of Oxford ; Australian National University (Oxford University Press, 2005-11-04)
      Much concern has been voiced about the ability of UK parliamentary institutions and elected representatives to respond to twenty-first century politics. Consequently, there has been an increasing focus around the need to modernise representative politics and re-engage public interest in democratic institutions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the emergence of the internet and email, has been seized upon as one potential solution to public disconnection from parliament. This article examines the extent to which new media can: open up new channels of communication between MPs and the public and whether it could widen/deepen participation in parliamentary politics. To answer such questions, the paper draws on public opinion survey data which assesses: the extent of current usage of parliamentary websites; whether there is a new audience using online communication; the comparative value of different forms of communication with representatives; the demand for online parliamentary consultation and participation; and attitudes towards use of new media in the parliamentary politics. It concludes by suggesting that whilst new media technologies have potential, without wider changes to parliamentary politics, they are just as likely to reinforce existing participation patterns.