Friday, April 30, 2004

VoxPolitics points out that Wikipedia now has an entry for e-democracy, but that "It isn't very good."

But what is e-democracy other than a buzzword that begins with an "e-"? Apparently it's more than electronic voting, but at what stage does democratic process (i.e. public decision making and debate) become just that - decision making and debate? How much of e-democracy is anything special, and how much of it is just technological linkage combined with social structures?

Personally, I think that there is a huge scope for e-democracy. I think distributed group decision making through a variety of means - not just the Internet (although perhaps driven by it) - is yet to be anywhere-near-realised, with most of the talk about it seeming to focus on voting, and getting MPs to blog. What we need is more people looking at how to reassemble power networks in a broader scope, start looking at solutions to problems that affect everyone that utilise the power of comms networks to get a more applicable, more practical answer. Getting councils on-line and having MPs blog is dull, and does very little to actually empower the people whom decision actually affect.

It also needs to lose that "e-". How about just "modern democracy", or maybe even "re-democracy" - the idea of moving the power back to the demos, the citizens, rather than people that exist solely for the purpose of making decisions.

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