Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Democracy 3.0 Please

This past Saturday June 27th the National Post glossed about the double-edged sword of 'Democracy 2.0' which apparently now means following politicians on twitters and making them your facebook buddy

So, now it seems that Democracy 2.0 has come to mean the automated tabloidization of public figures. This is as disheartening an event as the realization in the 1920s that the new medium of radio would best be suited to selling soap.

The web has the power to provide unlimited amounts of information instantaneously. It's capacity to provide useful data that can help guide our democracy is practically limitless. But this brain-busting volume of information will have to wait, as we apparently are more concerned with the minutiae of celebrity living.

This is especially ridiculous in Canada, where in all likelihood, our politicians are less interesting and glamorous than our personal friends.

Hopefully, an intelligent subculture will soon emerge and demand information with how our politicians are actually performing in their jobs. And today, more than ever, that means "how are they doing at providing the public with government services ?". Canadians still don't pay enough attention to the poor quality of services, and bad management practices by the government. The Ontario government has still not delivered on a promise to manage healthcare waiting lists made in 2003, but the mismanagement only made it to the headlines recently when a $2,700 a day consultant billed the province $1.65 for tea.

While the plebs of Democracy 2.0 delight themselves with Blackberry bus schedule updates, the rest of us will be waiting for the information that government really doesn't want to give up: statistics on their own performance.