“Parliament must move with the times or get left behind” – Swinson

Jo has welcomed the publication of a survey showing that MPs are not making full use of digital media and social networking sites to interact with constituents.

The survey by the Hansard Society found that MPs are getting better at using social networking sites for speaking to the public but do not yet see them as a forum for listening to voters. Jo, who has her own pages on Facebook and Twitter, has been at the forefront of efforts introduce Parliament to ‘new media’. She is currently campaigning to end the ban on putting Parliamentary clips on YouTube. The report also shows that Liberal Democrats are more likely than their Labour or Conservative colleagues to use social networking sites, and to believe that MPs should be making more use of digital media.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Some MPs may treat social networking as a passing fad, but that shows a failure to understand how communication in society is changing, especially among younger people. Twitter and Facebook are incredibly useful for two-way communication with the public and I have even received casework from constituents through Facebook. When I have tweeted updates during Prime Minister’s Questions I have received very positive feedback. If Parliament does not move with the times it will get left behind, which is why I am campaigning to allow clips of Parliamentary debates onto YouTube. This would not only help MPs to connect with a new generation of voters, but also gives users the opportunity to interact and comment on what we’re doing which, as this report shows, is what we need to be doing more.”

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