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article imageCanada: Most MPs fail online

By Gene Kosowan     Dec 4, 2013 in Technology
When it comes to web savviness, most Canadian members of parliament aren't fully utilizing their digital footprints, says a study.
Research group Samara Canada revealed Monday that less than half of the country's 308 federally-elected officals provided adequate information to help engage with their consitituents.
According to the study, conducted over the summer, only 46 per cent of MPs online facilitated any content or features to help represent their constituents' views. As well, 97 percent of federally-elected politicians had little more than the basics on their websites, including a biographical page, office address and email link. Five MPs didn't even have an online presence, including websites.
Furthermore, only a quarter of MP websites allowed for visitors to sign or submit petitons, while only one-tenth facilitated comment posting and forum participation.
Samara expressed disappointment over how MPs fail to involve its electorate electronically. "In this digital era, it should be easier than ever for MPs to hear what matters to Canadians," said the group on its blog.
"Social media, email, online forums and surveys all provide fairly simple means for MPs to invite conversation with the constituents they represent."
No MPs received perfect marks, based on Samara's 14-point scoring, although 17 politicians did receive at least 11 points in the assessment. the non-partisan group listed 15 New Democratic Party MPs in the top category while one Conservative and one Liberal rounded out the tally.
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