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The Governance of e- Democracy: From Consultation to Participation John Morison Connex Seminar, QUB 23 rd September 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "The Governance of e- Democracy: From Consultation to Participation John Morison Connex Seminar, QUB 23 rd September 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Governance of e- Democracy: From Consultation to Participation John Morison Connex Seminar, QUB 23 rd September 2005

2 The Governance of e- Democracy: From Consultation to Participation 1. Consultation imperatives 2. Government consultation practice 3. Better consultation - a recommendation

3 1. Consultation Imperatives a. “Crisis” of democracy b. Modernisation c. New protocols for decision- making

4 a. Crisis in Democracy: A disconnect between formal electoral process and democracy n Perceived irrelevance of state structures n Reduced use of formal democratic process – election turnouts of less than 40% n Marginalisation of minorities, sense of disempowerment

5 Democracy and decision-making Distinctions between: 1. Traditional, incumbent democracy 2. Radical, transformative democracy “democracy is a struggle over power, and as such, it provides an entirely different experience to those who hold power and those who do not”

6 Traditional, incumbent democracy Aggregative Procedural Top-down Formal and electoral Blind as to informal inequalities Justificatory and legitimising “thin” Frameworks

7 Radical, transformative democracy Integrative, Direct, Bottom-up, Aspirational, Informal and substantive Challenging and empowering “thick” process

8 e-democracy as “widening and deepening” democracy? From simple e-voting to an electronic agora?

9 b. Modernising Government in the Europe (and beyond) An international phenomenon OECD Briefing on Public Sector Modernisation (2003)

10 Big-scale changes in the “project of government” “Steering not rowing” D. Osbourne and T Gaebler Reinventing Government (1992)

11 “Government to Governance” n Globalisation – multiple sites of government, - nodes in a network rather than layers of a pyramid n Multi-format government - public, private, civil society, partnerships etc.

12 “The restructuring of government should follow the ecological principle of ‘getting more from less’, understood not as downsizing but as improving delivered value” A Giddens, The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998) at p. 74.

13 Modernisation in the UK a style of government aimed at - reinvigorating public services - introducing new concepts of efficiency including elements of private sector efficiency, but without ceding control to the same extent as with earlier versions of privatisation - Ensuring that the public sector will operate in a way that is “as efficient, dynamic and effective as anything in the private sector”

14 Modernising Government: Key ideas n Consumer focus -measuring outputs, targeting resources, monitoring satisfactions -benchmarks and good practice codes -Cost transparency n Cross-cutting -joining up government -project based -Multi-format, (public and private and Vol.) -partnership ethos

15 Modernising Government: Key ideas n Central coordination/control -Cabinet Office, PM’s Delivery Unit, Office of Public Service Reform n Developing ICT -Online services -Consultation mechanisms

16 Modernisation as a “brand for other reforms n PSAs, “Best Value”, Beacon Councils and “earned autonomy”, duty to promote “community well-being”, “community plans” Health – foundation hospitals, Compacts with Vol. sector providers, n Civil Society as a “space of dialogue and debate”

17 Modernisation – next phase “it is by embracing customer satisfaction as the key driver for public services – finding out what people actually want from their services and using that information to drive change programmes – that we can help public services catch up with the best on offer in wider society”. Public Service Reform: The Key to Social Justice. A Speech to the Social Market Foundation by the Rt Hon John Hutton MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office on 24th August 2005 (available at ).

18 Engine for modernisation = - Online Services - 100% target - Consultation mechanisms - fine-tuning market led service delivery mechanisms

19 c. New Protocols for decision making: evidence-based policy- making

20 2. Government Consultation – existing practices in the UK

21 Consultation register

22 A.pdf!

23 A managed process

24 Can we do better? Democracy and the nature of decision-making

25 Technologies of communication

26 Technologies of Democracy: Modelling democratic decision- making

27 Democratic sufficiency

28 1. Support dialogue (i) a) Two way communication

29 Support dialogue (ii)…. ii. Hearing many voices

30 2. Hear all voices – software that explores problems/plans solutions

31 3. Sharing information for informed decision-making

32 3. Count each voice equally - measuring needs and preferences b

33 4. Share the authorship of outputs – writing documents

34 Example: Simultaneous global teamworking

35 Design an open, equal democratic space - integrated systems for this are coming soon…

36 Recommendation: online civic debating systems n Funded by Government n Independent n Citizen orientated n Sufficient cheap bandwidth for useable ICT information support

37 A neutral public space for endogenous, genuinely participative decision-making

38 HEA e-consultation project


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