Published: 13th Jul 2015

There is much talk about how new technology and social media can improve democratic engagement in the UK. Writing in the Guardian, Richard Jones, CEO of EngageSciences, said: ‘If politicians were willing to respond to the challenges of digital disruption, it could revolutionise the whole political process, massively boosting voter engagement for all ages and move the UK to a system of genuine direct democracy.’ Certainly political parties are only just testing the potential of new technology and social media in developing policies and encouraging voter turn out. The way parties use these channels will increase and become more sophisticated over time. But that doesn’t mean they can wash their hands of older tried and tested methods – getting out into communities, speaking to people, persuading them and listening to their concerns. And it won’t replace the importance of community activism as a route to political engagement and involvement. New … (To read the full article, subscribe below)