From Brazil to the Maldives, legislatures are moving key parts of their work online. In almost every case, the virtual push prioritises helping parliamentarians to sit, meet, or vote. This emphasis is unsurprising; they have critical decisions to make.
Beyond facilitating regular parliamentary business, the advent of the virtual parliament presents a singular opportunity for legislative bodies to better connect with citizens. As we remain physically distanced, digital engagement—keeping citizens informed and accessing our experiences, ideas, and sentiments on key national questions—may prove more critical than ever.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution across legislative bodies, but there are common themes and opportunities. In this Covid-19 Note, we explore options for including citizens’ voices in virtual parliaments.