Monday, August 23, 2010

e-democracy and governance

The theoretical concepts of e-democracy and e-governance are still in early development, but many scholars agree that blogs (web logs),wikis and mailing lists may have significant effects in broadening the way democracy operates.[35]

There is no consensus yet about the possible outcomes of this revolution;[35] It has so far shown promise in improving electoral administration and reducing fraud and disenfranchisement. Particularly positive has been the reception of e-government services related to online delivery of government services, with portals, (such as United States, in English, in Spanish), used as intermediaries between the government and the citizen, replacing the need for people to queue in traditional offices.[36]

One of the main problems associated with the digital divide as applied to a liberal democracy is the ability to participate in the new public space, cyberspace - as in the extreme case, exclusively computer-based democratic participation (deliberation forums, online voting, etc), could mean that no access meant no vote; there is a risk that some social groups — those without adequate access to or knowledge of IT — will be under-represented (or others over-represented) in the policy formation processes and this would be incompatible with the equality principles of democracy.[36]

Proponents of the open content, free software, and open access social movements believe that these movements help equalize access to digital tools and information.[37]

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