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Great Expectations: After the vote - citizens online, e-democracy in governance, and White House 2.0


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presentation and facilitated discussion with Steven Clift, E-Democracy.Org Board Chair and one of the first Internet and politics/government gurus dating back to 1993. Hosted in Washington, DC by the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet on Wednesday, January 9th. Audio also available from

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Great Expectations: After the vote - citizens online, e-democracy in governance, and White House 2.0

  1. 1. Great Expectations After the vote - citizens online, e-democracy in governance, and White House 2.0 Steven Clift, Founder and Board Chair E-Democracy.Org
  2. 2. Thanks <ul><li>Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet, GWU </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Sponsors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunlight Foundation (Refreshments) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ashoka </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliberative Democracy Consortium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center for Democracy and Technology </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Audio Recording <ul><li>We are recording the audio from this event. </li></ul><ul><li>Always use a microphone to ask a question or add to the discussion. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>E-Democracy in Governance – 40 min </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens Online – E-Democracy.Org – 20 min </li></ul><ul><li>Short Restocking Break – 5 min </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion – 50 min </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How E-Government is Changing Society and Strengthening Democracy” – Author introductions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectations - White House 2.0, Congress, Federal Agencies, Government and Civil Society Generally </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Hello <ul><li>It all started in 1994 … </li></ul><ul><li>Government by day, citizen by night … </li></ul>
  6. 6. A new Athens for Democracy?
  7. 7. Made for Internet Candidate in 98 – Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota
  8. 9. Mongolia 2004 <ul><li>Local news … flip … </li></ul><ul><li>Russian game show … flip </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Trippi at the Politics Online Conference! </li></ul>
  9. 10. Candidates and campaigns <ul><li>Organize your supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Generate multimedia and spread it </li></ul><ul><li>Shake hands at the digital parades of online social networks and groups </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking power and influence online </li></ul>
  10. 11. Organize Supporters – Gather E-mail
  11. 12. Communicate with supporters, introduce the candidate
  12. 13. Activate Supporters
  13. 14. Digital Parade – Social Networks
  14. 15. November 5, 2008 – The Day After <ul><li>What next? </li></ul><ul><li>Moving from a red-blue virtual civil war to … </li></ul><ul><li>How do we use the Internet to better “govern” or “represent?” </li></ul><ul><li>Engage or empower citizens? Or build trust and community capacity to solve problems ? </li></ul>Source: The Political Blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: Divided They Blog By Lada Adamic and Natalie Glance
  15. 16. Recent Articles <ul><li>Ten Practical Online Steps for Government Support of Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of new 47 page U.S. government publication about e-democracy titled, “How E-Government is Changing Society and Strengthening Democracy.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also see - UK Local E-Democracy Project – See: </li></ul>
  16. 17. Government Support for Democracy Online <ul><li>Timely, personalized access to information that matters. </li></ul><ul><li>Help e-officials receive, sort and better understand and respond to e-mail. </li></ul>
  17. 18. E-mail notices in St. Paul
  18. 19. Democracy Portal with “e-democracy” policy, Queensland, Australia
  19. 20. Personalization Ideas <ul><li>Personalized tracking, user generated “hot” links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me when something is new like Google Alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratized navigation </li></ul></ul>Live Video
  20. 21. Alberta Gov’s Web Feeds <ul><li>Those little orange icons </li></ul>
  21. 22. Right to Petition Government <ul><li>What is the Magna Carta’s expression in 2007? </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. petitioning mostly about e-mail acquisition for advocacy not listening or redress of grievences </li></ul>
  22. 23. UK Prime Minister’s e-Petitions 7 percent of British population have signed an e-petition here
  23. 24. Mobile Inbox <ul><li>SMS (text messages) out number voice calls 8 to 1 in the Philippines </li></ul>
  24. 25. Government Support for Democracy Online <ul><li>3. Dedicate at least 10% of new e-government developments to democracy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not “services first, democracy later.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>9. Fund open source sharing internationally across government. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Deep Access and Accountability <ul><li>Estonia’s Today I Decide, Document Register, X-Road (below) </li></ul>
  26. 27. Gov Voter Guides in Korea
  27. 28. Mobile Photos to Enforce Anti-Corruption Election Laws
  28. 29. Government Support for Democracy Online <ul><li>4. Announce all government public meetings on the Internet in a uniform matter. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Allow all people to look-up all of their elected officials from the very local to national in one search. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Host online public hearings and dialogues </li></ul>
  29. 30. Scottish Parliament – Best Look and Feel <ul><li>Common committee templates, testimony, etc. </li></ul>
  30. 31. Live Rural Villages Town Meeting, India –
  31. 32. Online Events and Consultations
  32. 33. Videoconferencing to District Office <ul><li>Video connection to district </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formet Canadian MP Reg Alcock had an ISDN video link with district office as part of a pilot initiative. Held mid-week constituent meetings in part to ease the pressure on the weekend schedule. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. Government Support for Democracy Online <ul><li>7. Embrace the rule of law by mandating the most democratically empowering online services and rights across the whole of government. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open meeting laws, ethics information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. Promote dissemination through access to raw data from decision-making information systems. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Accountability <ul><li>Deep Transparency – Yalova, Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>They provided access to: </li></ul><ul><li>Council decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate flow of incomes </li></ul><ul><li>Daily flow of expenditures </li></ul><ul><li>Municipal Tenders </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen applications and document follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Wealth Declaration - Increase/decrease of income and wealth of top officials (on left) </li></ul><ul><li>US – FederalSpending.Gov </li></ul><ul><li>Poland – FOI Laws Require Budget Information Online </li></ul>
  35. 36. Reuse Government Data – Make Useful Crime Data in Chicago
  36. 37. Scrape, Search and Notice <ul><li> – mySociety UK </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Scrapes” the UK parliament website and adds notification and commenting features not offered on the official site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> and others scrape in U.S. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. Government Support for Democracy Online <ul><li>10. Local up – Build a strategic approach to building local democracy online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absolute need for non-partisan, convening approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government, media, universities, non-profits, business all must contribute something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public interest use “of” the Internet not just “on” it </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. Citizens Online <ul><li>With my E-Democracy.Org hat on… </li></ul>
  39. 40. Top Five Citizen &quot;to dos&quot; for Democracy Online <ul><li>1. Build our public lives online </li></ul><ul><li>2. Get candidates to make public promises </li></ul><ul><li>3. Contribute time or money online </li></ul><ul><li>4. Request information service and new government vision </li></ul><ul><li>5. Demand truly public spaces online, build local up </li></ul>
  40. 41. Private Spaces with “Public” Qualities – v. Online Public Spaces
  41. 42. Like Minds Organize Easily
  42. 43. For the Non-Dog Lover
  43. 44. Need Public Spaces – Online Versions of Town Halls, Capitols <ul><li>Online public spaces, not just “public” commercial spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Need for decorum, civility, agenda-setting, relevance, accountability </li></ul><ul><li><- The Minnesota Capitol Rotunda </li></ul>
  44. 45. Blogofest Destiny? <ul><li>Blogs democratize media, provide accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Compared to forums, most are highly individualistic often privately controlled spaces with some dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Need own blog to join the e-ristocracy </li></ul>
  45. 46. Creating Public Space - Issues Forums Librarian Reporter Arts Group City Councilor Candidate Local Biz Ctizen #1 Advocacy Group Neighborhood Leader Mayor Forum Manager Citizen 500 Police Citizens Issues Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Subscribe once Commitment secured Post via e-mail/web New Resident City Hall “ Secondary Networks ” e-mail forwards Civil Society Personal Networks Local Media Coverage
  46. 47. Issues Forums – E-Democracy.Org Recent Topics <ul><li>Local schools </li></ul><ul><li>Support for area war veterans </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood park changes </li></ul><ul><li>Water quality and shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Crime and policing </li></ul><ul><li>Candidates and elections </li></ul><ul><li>Feral cat problem </li></ul><ul><li>Racetrack noise pollution </li></ul>
  47. 48. Issues Forums
  48. 49. 10 Communities and Growing <ul><li>Starting with service club-like local “democracy committee” </li></ul><ul><li>Now in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minneapolis, St. Paul, Roseville, Winona, MN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean energy experiment in Pioneer Valley, MA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brighton, Bristol, Newham, and Oxford </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canterbury (Christchurch), New Zealand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adding neighborhood forums, rural efforts </li></ul>
  49. 50. Challenges <ul><li>Transition to participant donations </li></ul><ul><li>Technology/resources for new communities and expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking “sucking sound” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Big difference between </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Pubicizing” private life and personal networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making local “public life” accessible any where, any time where people step up as “citizens” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  50. 51. Building Democracy and Community Online <ul><li>I-35W Bridge Collapse over Mississippi River </li></ul><ul><li>It could have been anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>Community shared their stories, offered help via Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>E-Democracy.Org forums provide vital space for discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative &quot;wiki&quot; created content commons. </li></ul>
  51. 52. Wiki
  52. 53. E-Debates
  53. 54. Citizen Content <ul><li>Voter Voices response to e-debate and more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube Video, Flickr pictures, links and blog posts tagged “mnpolitics” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  54. 55. Project Blog
  55. 56. Conclusion
  56. 57. Frustration Today <ul><li>Failure of technological determinism </li></ul><ul><li>People expect two-way, those in power still one-way </li></ul><ul><li>Private lives dominate &quot;public life&quot; online </li></ul>
  57. 58. Opportunity <ul><li>Realistic, incremental change -trial and error improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and tools advancing - Internet always on, everywhere, in everything </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of law and funding priorities in government, media, and civil society </li></ul>
  58. 59. Conclusion <ul><li>Build democracy with the new tools of today. </li></ul><ul><li>Links, blog/e-newsletter, online groups, and more from http:// </li></ul>
  59. 60. Links to Everything <ul><li>From: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  60. 61. FYI - Briefs and Case Studies <ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canadian International Policy eDiscussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Blogging - Northfield, Minnesota </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Forums and News in Subang Jaya - Malaysia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening to the City - New York City </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Madrid Participa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NordPol - Northern Denmark </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Queensland's E-democracy Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seoul's Online Policy Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seattle's Online Civic Engagement Initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Briefs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced Web Comment Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget Proposals Online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Portals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democracy Portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratized Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elected Official Videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail Response Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Notification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic Personalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>M-Democracy - Mobile Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS Citizen Input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voter Education Online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireless Internet </li></ul></ul>
  61. 62. Discussion Questions