Today there will be a short debate in the National Assembly for Wales, tabled by Bethan Jenkis AM on the role of “new media”, i.e Twitter in democracy. Can services such as Twitter invigorate politics in Wales, where turnout for elections are small at best? I think it can, and I believe that it’s required of our elected representatives to make full use of these new ways of communicating. This is especially true for younger voters, who are less likely to communicate with their AM’s through the “traditional” channels (surgeries, lettering, attending public meetings).
Twitter can, and IS being used to commentate on debates within the Senedd, which can be a quick way of keeping up with debate (as long as you keep in mind that Party Politics can come into play when it is the politicians themselves who Twitter).
We see ourselves at an interesting time, when blogs are maturing into the mainstream and people aren’t sure what exactly to do with Twitter in a political context. I suppose it takes time for a new technology to be fully realized. Apart from printing Bibles, the printing press’ full potential wasn’t utilized in its infancy, could this new revolution in communications be a similar scenario?