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Karina Pedersen and Jo Saglie, "New Technology in Ageing Parties: Internet Use in Danish and Norwegian Parties," Party Politics, 11 (May, 2005), 359-377.

First Paragraph:
While 'cyber-optimists' describe the democratic potential of the Internet and underline how we can gain access to more information and new channels of communication, 'cyber-pessimists' highlight the potential threats to democracy; new technology will strengthen the power of existing elites, and those who lack access to the Internet will be excluded. The potential consequences of the Internet are frequently the subject of discussion, but much research on democracy and the Internet lacks data on whether and how citizens actually use these new possibilities.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Members' and congress delegates' visits to party websites (Denmark and Norway), by holding party office, 2000/01 (%)
Table 2. Members' participation in party facilitated electronic debates (Denmark), by holding party office, 2000/01 (%)
Table 3. Members' and congress delegates' reception of email from the central party office (Denmark and Norway), by holding party office, 2000/01 (%)
Table 4. Members' and congress delegates' use of email to keep contact with fellow members (Norway), by holding party office, 2000/01 (%)

Two paragraphs from the last section:
Our interviews with party organizers, as well as the Norwegian congress delegate survey, show that the new ICTs have become fully integrated parts of party work among the top- and middle-level elites. Administrative processes are simplified, and communication between central office, parliament and party branches has become easier. This administrative rationalization should not be underestimated; effective communication is necessary to maintain party organizations as a link between citizens and the political elite.

The party member surveys tell a different story. About a third of members visited the party website, but most of them less frequently than once a month. Email reception and participation in electronic debates were even more limited and therefore not substantial characteristics of Scandinavian party membership. This may make a difference to the character of party membership, as some members that did not engage in traditional party activities were attracted by these new activities, but the impact was limited during the early 2000s.