Politics And The Internet

By admin ~ May 10th, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

According to a recent poll conducted by ComputerWorld, about
forty percent of the population believes that people can increase
their political power by going online. Hence, many academics
believe that people in western societies are becoming more
technologically educated in order to gain more influence in the
political sector. For example, Mr. Jeffrey Cole, a director at the
University of Southern California states, “This year, 6% of
regular Internet users said they have their own blogs, 16% said
they post pictures on the Web, and more than 10% maintain
their own web sites. In 2003, 3% of Internet users said they
blogged, 11% posted photos, and less than 9% maintained web
sites.”(ComputerWorld, 2005: 1) Thus, the question raised by
many is, “Is the Internet providing a more democratic and
participatory human society for the future?”

Mr. Cole agrees that the Internet plays a pivotal role in
providing a more equitable society that encourages
participatory development. He argues that due to the
younger generation having the ability to effectively
communicate through Internet forums, they are more
willing to express their political opinions online. The
younger generation also has the opportunity to engage
in academic discussions with people who are older and
have more experience, such as university lecturers, or
people who specialize in the area of discussion. Hence,
the Internet has clearly demonstrated its use in terms
of educating the younger generation for the future.
However, the positive benefits that can be gained through
the use of the Internet not only extends to young citizens,
but has also created an impact for those who are in the
workforce and are keen to learn more about their nation’s
political system.

Research has shown that many Americans are ‘surfing’ on the
Internet before a Federal Election to increase their knowledge
about political parties and their policies. Mr. Cole states, “The
Internet is no longer a marginal force in American politics – it
is quickly becoming the central force in empowering voters.
“(ComputerWorld, 2005:1). For example, the success of the
election of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was mainly
due to the Internet, where online fundraising and lobbying was
used to ensure that people were adequately informed of the
parties’ policies.

Hence, due to the power of the Internet, although many would
argue that a person needs a certain level of knowledge and
expertise before they are able to master the Internet and its
search engines effectively, these people also agree that new
software and computer technicians are slowly changing
technological discourse in order to accommodate for people
who may not be as technically inclined. Although it is
generally agreed that the environment of cyberspace and the
purpose of using the Internet is constantly changing to suit
the needs of contemporary society, gaining information about
political parties and their policies still remains a top priority for
Internet users, especially those living in Western society.

Article written by M6.Net Web Hosting.
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