Monday, December 08, 2008

The Future of Politics

While not a child of Obama's campaign, it is timely that Orange is tomorrow releasing a report on how technology can facilitate a greater link between politicians and the public. The Future of Politics argues that technology "allow(s) the public to have their say about new legislation, and the concept of MPs interacting with voters through real time online discussion. The use of holographic projection (see picture)... means there would be nothing to stop one of us beaming in to take part in Prime Minister's Questions". This report has been constructed by MPs in conjunction with Orange technologists and appears something of a pipe dream in terms of what could be achieved using the technology if the will is strong in politics.
However, the ideas are worth some thought. Would the caution inherent among politicians prevent such moves in losing control of the message? Would the public wish to get involved? Or rather would a majority wish to get involved and would the limit on numbers that can dissuade many? On the other hand could technology provide a level of engagement previously unthinkable. A key point is that participation has already been facilitated by the web and so has increased. Far more people contribute to political forums and comment on news sites that ever wrote letters to papers. The explosion of political blogs demonstrates a willingness to use technology. What if more people could have instant contact and interaction live? Could that draw in a wider range of participants? Worth a thought and look out for the report.

3 comments:

Matt Hurst said...

iSave on travel expenses...

I think the problem I would have is specialist groups targetting it. It's clear that some groups target forums and messageboards but I won't names for the fear of being put on Red Watch.

But anyhow didn't James Purnell appear in two places at once? He's one step ahead.

Kemi Wells said...

As a ‘young’ citizen, I can only see the way politics is moving as a positive thing, yes I agree the core message may get lost more easily now, but I think the way new technology and marketing is encouraging more engagement, more and more people will interact with politics. Previous attempts to engage wider audiences have failed but if this is working then it can only be a good thing? I definitely think if there was more contact and live interactive even more people will participate.

I think it will also put more pressure on political parties and governments to start making the changes citizens will campaign for, as the internet now makes it much harder for them to ignore the people’s voice.

Darren G Lilleker said...

There are pros and cons, I think i am still in the cons camp and more so for reading the report (see updated post), there is huge potential but no guarantee that the changes will be in the right direction. We shall see....