Open Parliament, the Senate in the Net (III): Citizen participation and presence of the Parliament in the Net

Notes from the Open Parliament: the Senate in the Net, organized by the Spanish Senate in Madrid, Spain, in November 12, 2012. More notes on this event: senadored.

Round table on Citizen participation and presence of the Parliament in the Net. Chairs the Vicepresidente 1º del Senado D. Juan José Lucas.

D. José Antonio Manchado Lozano. Senador del Grupo Parlamentario Socialista.

Citizens have to participate, to engage in the management of public things.

Institutions can ignore them, listen to them or even sit and talk with them. Given the fact that politics is hugely discredited, it is maybe time to sit and speak with people in order to regain legitimacy and trust in institutions.

There is a big difference between transparency, which is a responsibility of institutions, and participation, which comes from an engaged citizen. Transparency is the duty of institutions, participation is a right of the citizen. And participation has to be fostered. Participation is not only be informed, or accountability, or tell one’s opinion, but being also able to have an influence in decision-making. So, the Senate — and Parliaments in general — should enable the participation of citizens in their daily work, so that nothing that happens within the Parliament’s walls has not been co-participated by the citizens.

It is important noting that the world wide web does not begin and end in the Senate’s web page: this is only the institutional headquarters of the Senate, but people are everywhere in the Net, especially social networking sites.

D. Narvay Quintero Castañeda. Senador del Grupo Parlamentario Mixto.

The website of the Senate could turn into another chamber, to be added to the existing parliamentary groups, commissions, etc. Websites or social networking sites can be used to bridge the chasm between the citizenry and politicians as they are open gates for information sharing and conversation.

D. Ismael Peña-López. Profesor de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

[click here to enlarge]

D. David Álvarez. Analista Político en Redes Sociales.

Who are the actors of online politics?

Citizen activism in the Net:

  • Intensive use of social networking sites.
  • Collective intelligence: collaboration, participation, co-creation.
  • Financing practices: crowdfunding.
  • Data journalism-based practices.
  • Elimination of intermediaries.
  • No one has the exclusivity of knowledge.
  • Shared political experiences.

Political institutions are not usually very active in social networking sites. Indeed, there are more people not directly related with political institutions talking about them on social networking sites than people directly related with these institutions.

Survey on “Social intelligence” by Territorio Creativo:

  • Does the institution measure the impact of its communication on the Net?
  • Does the institution have spaces for interaction and collaboration?
  • Does the institution have a protocol for interacting with the citizen in social networking sites?
  • Does the institution listens to what is being said in social networking sites?
  • Does the institution measure its online reputation?
  • Does the institution use the Internet for pattern recognition, to identify behaviour trends?
  • Does the institution share information within the institution?
  • Does the institution foster open innovation?


Open Parliament: the Senate in the Net (2012)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2012) “Open Parliament, the Senate in the Net (III): Citizen participation and presence of the Parliament in the Net” In ICTlogy, #110, November 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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  1. Pingback: ICTlogy » SociedadRed » Instituciones tradicionales y ciudadanos en red: el caso de la web del Senado

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