The E-democracy reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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E-democracy

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E-democracy (the short form of "electronic democracy") is the utilization of electronic communications technologies, such as the Internet, in enhancing democratic processes within a democratic republic or representative democracy. Usually, the enhancement comes in the form of making the processes more accessible and available as well as making citizen participation in public policy decision-making more direct so as to enable broader influence in policy outcomes. The Internet especially is viewed as a tool that finally helps to eliminate the distance constraints in direct democracy.

Ross Perot was for a time the most prominent advocate of this concept when he advocated "electronic town halls" during his 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns in the United States.

The traditional objection to direct democracy, however, also applies to e-democracy: both approaches to governance are open to demagoguery. More generally, the potential lack of deliberation is a serious problem; however, recent developments in peer-to-peer communication, collaboration mechanisms (like wikis and discussion boards) and weblogs (often called "blogs") offer successful solutions for deliberation, once the various issues (spam, populism, and verbal vandalism) are solved. In addition, there are numerous practical and theoretical issues revolving around electronic voting which are yet to be solved, but fortunately a wide and diverse set of experiments and trials into electronic voting are underway around the world.

E-democracy is also sometimes referred to as digital democracy or techno-democracy.

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