Since the launch of its website in 1995, the National Assembly of Québec has been a leader in using online technology to reach out to citizens. In this article, the authors decribe efforts to launch and accept online petitions, online comments and citizen consultation of proposed legislation, and the more recent growth of social media networking. They conclude by noting the special attention paid towards responsible social media use and how this new technology can bring about effective communication between the people and their government.
To better inform citizens and increase their participation in the workings of their Parliament, the National Assembly of Québec launched its website in 1995. In 2010, the site was overhauled to enable Quebecers to participate more directly in the democratic process; in 2012 we went one step further when we chose to be present on social media. For years now, the National Assembly’s use of technology has facilitated both parliamentary business and citizen involvement through online petitions, comments and consultations, not to mention our official Facebook page and Twitter account.