Email and political campaigning: the experience of MPs in Westminster
Traditionally individual politicians communicated directly with their constituents, but the arrival of the mass media, especially television, eroded the role of direct communication. The development of new Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) is now re-opening the use of direct communication as part of post-modern campaigning (Norris 2000), with the Internet providing an alternative to media relations. The World Wide Web has attracted great interest from political commentators, but so far email has been largely ignored. Yet the Web is a pull technique, whereas the push nature of email opens up new campaigning possibilities. Downes and Mui (2000) suggest that email represents potentially a 'killer app' which might revolutionize the way MPs approach re-election.