I sat in on part of the Demo_NET conference that we hosted here at the ITC. Some thoughts…
One breakout group came back with 5 key question for e-participation practitioners:
- Is there a link between e-participation and success?
- Does e-participation allow a move away from representative government?
- Can e-participation work at the European level?
- How should government learn from spontaneous and commericial examples of e-participation like myspace.com and Big Brother?
- What should be the criteria for success in e-participation?
The point is, there is no easy answer to any of these – but I think that question 2 is the most disturbing. Maybe ‘democracy’ has had its day, in the same way as ‘monarchy’ pretty well had by the mid-19th century in the UK. We might keep the forms, but the mechanism for maintaining stable government will change.
A formal record of the proceding will be published in due course – I will add a link when it is.