April 18, 2018, 2:45 p.m.
The potential of the internet to address deﬁcits in the relationship between representatives and represented has been discussed for some time. This paper presents an analysis of whether mySociety’s WriteToThem.com, an online Civic Tech tool allowing people to contact their elected members of local, subnational, national and European parliaments, promotes interactivity between elected and electors. The analysis uses data from a survey and interviews with Scottish local councillors and Members of the Scottish Parliament.
The paper argues that WriteToThem.com seems not suitable to generate high levels of interactivity between citizens and the elected and is often used for purposes not intended by its makers nor necessarily appreciated by the elected.
It also presents thoughts on how an online tool such as WriteToThem.com could be improved, amongst others by communicating better with elected representatives in order to engage them more fully with the tool.
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mySociety Limited is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy, a registered charity in England and Wales. For full details visit mysociety.org.