Perspectives On eDemocracy - Panel Description

Perspectives On eDemocracy
The New York Times recently identified the second global superpower: public opinion. Its key weapons: newsgroups and mailing lists. If such tools can be so effective, what are the implications of the availability of more sophisticated eDemocracy tools for participatory decision making?
Based on hands-on involvement with citizens’ groups, political parties and democratic institutions, all experimenting with new forms of participation based on the use of IST, “Perspectives on eDemocracy” will leverage some of these experiences to discuss potentially desirable scenarios and identify how technology can best help close the so-called “democracy deficit” that currently exists. Each presentation will present a different perspective ranging from a case study to policy issues.
Target Audience:
This panel is targeted at policy makers, NGO representatives, government officials, industry representatives, and EC officials interested in defining the future scope of eDemocracy initiatives.
The objective of this proposed panel is to stimulate discussion between different actors interested in the new modes of IST-based democratic participation and the prospects for adoption of new and more sophisticated technologies. This panel discussion aims to contribute to the definition of EU policy options for action in the short and medium term. In addition, it hopes to provide public institutions, citizen groups, NGOs and industrial actors alike with some ideas for action-oriented frameworks in moving towards common objectives.
Primary Elections in Palermo: a Case Study
Jesse Marsh, Atelier Studio Associato, Italy
An alliance of self-organised citizens’ movements recently proposed primary elections for the choice of the candidate for the centre-left coalition in the upcoming elections for the President of the Province of Palermo. The proposal was made believable by the specification and partial implementation of a Web-based voting system for a network of “democracy points” spread throughout the province. While not fully accepted by the 8 political parties the proposal did lead to a compromise solution that represents a break-through in the political decision-making process.
Interactive Decision Making and the Future of Politics
Auli Kekien, Finland Futures Research Centre, Finland
Reflections based on hands-on experiments with local authorities from the use of videotext to today. For IST to radically transform the shape of political decision-making into a citizen-oriented vision involves ongoing interaction between citizens and political decision-makers.
The Discourse on eDemocracy: Where are We Heading?
Bernard Corbineau, University of Marne la Vallée, France
Current discourse is concerned with the potential rather than the current reality of eDemocracy. An analysis of discourse on eDemocracy by politicians, researchers and the media can help identify future trajectories.