MPs will be left out in the cold if they don't adapt to e-democracy, the UK government's e-Envoy has warned.
A rise in online polling could erode the importance of democratic representatives, Andrew Pinder told the audience at the Microsoft Government Leaders' Conference in Seattle.
"Lots of instant polls could disintermediate them. [MPs] will become an endangered species unless we protect them," he explained.
Pinder added that, as well as online voting, he wants to increase public involvement in the political process through the internet.
"One of the problems we have is that people aren't taking part in the debate," he said. "The issue for us is how to get people engaged. More people voted for Big Brother than in the general election."
Pinder suggested that using the internet to increase communication between government and citizens could reinvigorate the political process, as long as such channels are used sensibly.
"It will certainly make things noisier and that's no bad thing. But just because people make their voices heard doesn't mean they will win the argument," he warned.
"There is a danger that if you move to new forms of communication people will be immature about it. We have to educate people to use their empowerment in a way which is mature."
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