Thursday, March 26, 2009

Democracy 2.0 Not Services 2.0

eye magazine article

I was very glad to read Chris Bilton's informative, and well written article on Democracy 2.0.

But it occurred to me that "Democracy 2.0" has failed to live up to it's presumptuous title. The movement seems to be too focused on the delivery of government services, and not enough on dialogue and setting the agenda.

While we all would love to see government be more responsive, consumer-friendly etc. etc., we should remember that the movement [not] known as "Democracy 1.0" came from a group of disgruntled forefathers who wanted to provide a way for the people to govern themselves, not consume services.

Democracy 2.0 should be about finding ways to give the powers that be their marching orders. Instead of government telling us which hospitals in our area have the shortest waiting times, we should be using the web to measure our governments against their own promises of reducing these waiting times.

I have been posting and blogging about new media and government for almost 10 years now, and have come to accept that hardly anyone, including pundits, can see the importance of what is coming.

Our media institutions are showing their age, and web-based media is poised to step in and redefine how we govern ourselves. But for us to focus on better delivery of services and information is another example of the rear-view mirror phenomenon described by McLuhan.

Do yourself a favour and read "It's more than talk", headed up by Don Lenihan - Chair in Public Engagement at the Public Policy Forum. His paper offers some very exciting ideas of where new technology might take us.

Public Policy Forum

Michael Hardner

(Next - Democracy 3.0)

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