Political parties in the west are finally starting to use the internet in significant and innovative ways. The use of such technology is clearly intended to find new ways to connect with a disengaged population who are no longer interested in the traditional party political processes. The latest example is Segolene Royal's new internet-based participatory way of mounting an election campaign - as reported in the Independent. Royal's website welcome's policy advice and messages, which she has 45 staff to sort though and synthesis into policy for Royal's presidential platform. Such a technique will allow Royal to partly bypass her more ideological Socialist Party and put forward a more centrist and non-socialist programme.
Jackie Ashley has also warned in the Guardian to: Beware the powerful when they hail the new democracy. Citing internet takeup figures for the UK, she reminds the reader that the internet 'has a class bias and is not the voice of the people'.