What is "E-democracy"?

Glossary

E-democracy refers to a range of innovations and proposals to embed digital technology into democratic political and policy-making processes. These can involve relatively minor changes such as governments putting information online, or politicians creating two-way information links which invite citizens to have their say on policy issues and political debates.

More substantive proposals involve overhauling existing voting or decision-making mechanisms by delivering them online.

These include allowing voters to cast their ballots through the internet, and ‘wiki-style’ collaborative forums where citizens contribute toward the development of policy through digital portals.

Many proponents see digital technology as making it easier for citizens to participate in and influence the political and policy process. Others see e-democracy less favourably, believing it compounds existing political inequalities for those who do not have good access to digital technology.

 

Thumbnail image: Pat Guiney/Flickr