Thursday, December 14, 2006

Good Governance Through Internet

Today i came across a very good post on Digg. It talks about legislation by citizens themselves.

JosephW says -

"Citizens using the Internet to monitor their representatives and the legislation that they draft is nothing novel. But a new Sunlight Foundation project aimed at allowing citizen legislatures to collaboratively script their own legislation, challenging what representative democracy mean"

A good idea indeed. The representative democracy which prevails in most of the democratic countries today is not a full proof democracy where each person has his or her say in the governance. This form of democracy creates a Pyramidal structure where the base is formed by those who don't have powers beyond voting rights. And when you have to choose from 10 thieves, the voting and electing becomes a farce. Thus in the representative democracy, true democracy is non-existant. Here, the meta-decisions (which concern every person's life within the State) are taken by the vertex of Pyramid which is cut off from base. The vertex controls all the information (under the name of secrecy) as also the decision making powers and punitive authority.

In such a scenario, collaborative legislation is really a ray of hope, and that's what the Internet can offer. Various examples on web have that true collaboration and networking is really possible through Internet. Wikipedia is a case in the point. In such scenario, the Citizens can have Information, enforce responsibility & accountability, and decide their own fate.

However, this is only a theoretical possibility. What can hamper this initiative is the Digital Divide. Today there are two classes of digital have's and have not's. We will have to ensure the have not's also have a real say OR the digital divide itself is bridged.
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