Open Parliaments Around the World. Open Parliaments’ Tools in Comparative Perspective

Book by Rafael Rubio and Ricardo Vela: “…over the past few years Parliaments across the world have started to explore new forms of developing their traditional functions, assuming what some consider new functions, to try and respond to these demands. In this regard information and communication technologies have show their capacity to support and modernize institutional activity. In the past few years there are very few countries who have not experienced technological advances in the parliamentary realm. It is possible to discover new ideas, new tools, new practices and an increasing number of parliaments use technology to carry out their representative tasks with greater efficiency, drawing them closer to citizens. It still remains to be seen as to whether they have created a real change in parliamentary practice….

Born to be mirrors of public opinion, Parliaments are places in which national sovereignty resides and as such, communication is a key aspect of its DNA. It is thus not surprising that new technologies have special weight in the configuration of Open Parliament. However, the model for Open Parliament is not only about increasing the technology used by and in the Parliament, nor just about its implementation. When they are implanted in a passive way, new technologies often end up being used to replace representation, which constitutes one of the most frequent errors in the initial process of adapting to technologies: putting reality at the service of the tool and not the other way round. Not everything that is possible to carry out is interesting or appropriate, even if it is new and innovative. It makes no sense to start developing functions that adapt to what technology is capable of doing, and losing sight of the needs that technology serves….(More)”.