by Gareth Hughes
Ever wanted to adopt an MP? Well now you can, thanks to a discussion that grew out of the Nethui Internet conference held in Wellington this week.
It’s fair to say MPs and politicians around the world don’t have a good rap for their tech or Internet knowledge. Case in point: Alaskan Senator, Ted Stevens who once described the net as a ‘series of tubes’ or our own Jonathan Young and Katrina Shanks. But actually, we’re in the twenty first century, and it’s ‘no longer OK to not know how the Internet works’.
I’m a founding member of the cross-party Parliamentary Internet Forum and we were discussing this point and how many politicians have a less than exemplary knowledge of these issues in a panel discussion at Nethui. When tackling ways to fix this, the idea was raised: why not get geeks to adopt an MP and provide them with advice or simply be a friendly non-judging place to ask questions?
I think it’s a fantastic idea.
Within a few hours a website was built and MPs were being adopted. It’s still a work in progress, but check it out here.