This pilot project assesses the levels of responsiveness from elected representatives covers emails, Facebook and Twitter, for both Perak and Selangor.
The information was gathered from March 22 till March 30. The project assumes things from the vantage point of online rakyat who rely on prevailing methods to contact their reps when they need to.
The impact of this study is higher for generation X and Y who are more inclined to these methods of communicating. Objectively, a) Almost all the reps have placed their electronic contact points (email, FB account & Twitter accounts, therefore are responsible for them. To say they do not matter is being disingenuous; b) Almost all their voters are connected electronically, and therefore the attitude towards electronic communications reflects their willingness to serve their community.
The contact points were identified through a fair online search, and when not found the project used traditional contact points (telephone, fax and SMS) to gain the correct information. The messages were also flashed repeatedly, in case the mail, FB message or tweet was genuinely lost in a barrage of correspondences or unfortunate instances like spam.
The project used traditional contact points when the representatives did not answer their emails.
The information in this first appraisal helps voters;
- They have a central repository of contact data for representative which has been verified, tracked and qualified
- Reduce the time for voters to reach their representatives
- Confirm their own findings about the reach of reps
It helps the representatives in;
- Having a third party evaluate their communication chain
- Provide useful feedback for improvement
- Rationalising their communication strategy forward
Communication is central to voters and their representatives to meet each other’s expectations.
Evaluation attitude and method
The project is not set to negatively impact representatives, but to enhance democracy in the country, in our limited capacity here, Perak and Selangor.
The traffic lights are utilised to mark the following:
|Green||Trouble and hassle free|
The intention is not to set an unachievable bar or to punish those who have hiccups. We want to appreciate and acknowledge the good work of our elected reps. In several instances we have elected to ignore minor communication slip-ups.
Reps are in the red when the channel is not working, or the reps are not using those channels — Many do not use Twitter, and some have elected to rely on Facebook alone and not emails, for instance.
That is their choice, but this project allows the rakyat to know which channels are not possible, and more importantly allowing them to utilise the channels that are working.