A somewhat positive article in the last day or so in Congressional Quarterly about how legislators, mostly in the US House, are starting to use "telephone town halls" to interact with their constituents.
What are these town hall meetings?
Essentially, like a regular 'in person" town hall meeting, Representatives can ask their constituents to call into a phone number (often toll free) so that they can participate in a question and answer session with their representative from the comfort of their own home.
Or, like robo calls, the Representative can call constituents without their permission. Indeed, according to the article:
When House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland conducted a telephone town hall on May 1, his vendor dialed nearly 40,000 phone numbers. Only about 5,500 of the households, or 14 percent, answered the phone; roughly 2,000 agreed to take part in the call, and an average of 700 callers stayed on the line throughout the course of the discussion. But that’s far more than most lawmakers say they could ever get to attend an in-person town hall.
I think that if these calls are made with the permission of the voter, then these could be a very helpful and useful tool in getting people interested in politics and engagement with their Representatives.
However, if they become yet another "robo call" interrupting people at dinner, then these could further alienate voters from engagement in the political space.
What do you think?