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MEP Backs New ‘Facebook for Politics’ Website

February 28, 2011 12:04 PM

A new social networking website has been set up to encourage people to lobby their local politicians online and propose new ideas.

Digital Democracy automatically puts users in touch with others in the same area, letting them band together to vote on issues and get their voices heard.

Following a pilot trial in the North East of England, the website has now opened today nationwide. John Elmer, founder of the website commented, 'I started digital democracy because I was fed up with how little say our communities have over the decisions that affect our everyday lives.'

'Digital Democracy lets you put your ideas directly to the people who make the decisions and challenges them to respond to the issues that you decide are the most important.'

To begin with, only MPs will be able to be lobbied, however, there are plans to expand this to councillors and Euro-MPs. South West MEP Graham Watson has already requested a profile on the site and is encouraging people to visit.

'The recent uprisings in the Arab world were able to grow in part down to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in order for demonstrators to organise gatherings. And whilst these networks are good for sharing pictures and bringing people together, to have a site that links citizens directly to their politicians can only be a good thing for democracy. From an EU perspective, I also hope this will encourage debate on Britain's role in Europe and help raise awareness.'

'Liberty and freedom work best when people regularly use them and I hope politicians and constituents will make the most of this opportunity.'

Ends.

Note to Editors

In addition to Graham, Andrew MacDonald and John Elmer at Digital Democracy are available for interview. Contact number: 0191 3709557.

Digital Democracy is a virtual parliament where members directly participate in identification, prioritisation and voting on the most popular proposal. In particular:
• When you become a member, Digital Democracy uses your postcode to generate a personal profile showing your political constituency and MP;
• Every member is able to make one proposal every month. You see this listed against the proposals made by others from your constituency;
• Digital Democracy generates a discussion forum specific to your proposal. It then makes sure that you are able to discuss issues with other members from your constituency;
• You get to promote the proposals that you think are most important, and every month Digital Democracy identifies your communities most popular proposal;
• At the end of the month the whole constituency votes on the top proposals and this auto-generates a report that goes straight to the appropriate MP who is invited to respond on the site;
• Digital Democracy has social networking capabilities that enables members to send messages, make friends and create groups;
• Digital Democracy includes a feature which assesses your political compatibility with other users. You can use this to get a list of people within a set radius who are similar to you - invaluable if you are new in town.