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New media technologies, such as the internet and email, have been seen as providing opportunities to reinvigorate representative democracy and parliamentary institutions. This article examines the use of new technologies by Australian Members of Parliament (MPs). It looks at the growth and function of MPs’ websites and assesses how far such technologies might facilitate changes in their electorate, party and parliamentary roles. We analyse what factors persuade MPs to move online and how they then use the technologies. The results indicate that while websites amongst legislators are growing, they are used primarily as supplementary, administrative tools. Overall, technological innovation in the Australian Parliament is still relatively rare and it appears there are systemic barriers that limit the potential of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the representative process.

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