21st century soapboxes? MPs and their blogs

  • Francoli M
  • Ward S
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Abstract

This article examines and compares the growth and prevalence of MPs' blogging in the UK and Canada. We explore the scope and objectives of such blogs, assess their democratic significance and analyse the institutional and systemic features that help shape the blogosphere. Diverging patterns of adoption were found: the number of blogs have increased in the UK but withered in Canada, where party discipline has been heavily imposed. This illustrates the impact the wider systemic environment can have on the adoption of new technologies. Ultimately, it is concluded that while there is evidence of a potential for MPs' blogs to serve as spaces for debate and conversation, the current majority resemble the traditional style soapbox where few listen let alone take the time to engage. However, there is some early evidence to show that blogs might in fact have a great deal of potential in personality driven, and internal party, election campaigns which have a niche, but highly attentive audience.

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  • ISSN: 1570-1255
  • PUI: 370173289
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-66749180230
  • SGR: 66749180230

Authors

  • Mary Francoli

  • Stephen Ward

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