Members of the Scottish Parliament on the Net



Smith C & Webster CWR (2004) Members of the Scottish Parliament on the Net. Information Polity, 9 (1/2), pp. 67-80.π=6

The creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 presented a unique opportunity to integrate new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into a new democratic body. The design of the parliament and democratic practice was informed by the capabilities offered by these new technologies and, consequently, it is of interest to explore the response of parliamentarians to this new setting. This article presents research undertaken into the use of ICTs by Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), based on findings from a survey of all MSPs conducted in Spring 2002. Findings are explored to investigate whether members of the new parliament indicate more extensive use of ICTs, and express more positive opinions on the democratic potential of technology, than their counterparts in more established representative bodies. Further, the Scottish Parliament incorporates a new electoral system, electing MSPs both directly through constituencies and via regional party lists. Of interest here is the extent to which there are differences between these two types of MSPs in terms of their use of and attitude towards ICTs. In particular, do list MSPs make more use of ICTs and are they more likely to emphasise their democratic potential, in order to assert their representative legitimacy in the absence of a traditional representative relationship with constituents?

Information Polity: Volume 9, Issue 1/2

Publication date31/12/2004
Date accepted by journal26/10/2004
PublisherIOS Press
Publisher URL…91556d320357π=6

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Professor William Webster

Professor William Webster

Personal Chair, Management, Work and Organisation