Here are my notes for the first and second panels at the International Symposium on Local E-democracy.
[MI] = My Impressions
Welcome and Opening Presentation
Worlds first election oriented website in the US was in Minnesota
Jesse Ventura used the Internet in his campaign in 1998.
Thanks are being given to the Corporate sponsors.
[MI] What are corporations doing creating voting systems that aren’t open source and really owned by all people? There was a very logical explination given by corporation president that makes voting systems. Reason: The complexities of law in the US and the need for trust in a secure closed code set that is vetted by academics require that it not be open source. I don’t buy it. This just deflects the burden of trust off of the corporation and onto another non-public body. So we are suposed to trust the academics and programers who work for corporations over ethical amature open source code programers? Sometimes we can trust people who work in corporations sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we can trust people who write open source code sometimes we can’t. Which group is more quickly held accountable for their actions? Who do you trust?
Isobel Harding, Lead Authority, UK Local e-Democracy Project
her blog: www.readmyday.co.uk/blogs/maryreid.php
examples of her work/collabs:
AOG Radio – www.live365.com/stations/aog
Facilitating communication between theses groups, Communities, Councilors, Councils.
paraphrase: “People who work at high levels are not considered human beings. But with blogs we learn they have families, pets, lives, etc.” I.H
Streamline teaching to the interest of learners. How do we reach young people and get them interested. Games are what kids are interested in. You need to sneak learning in with fun.
PEOPLE’S NETWORK – UK government put “quite a lot of money” into creating public access to the Internet.
Panel One – Informed Voting
John Groh, President, Election Systems & Software Corp.
Multi-Channel Voting :Internet, kiosk, telephone, sms
“Allowing people to vote the way they live their lives.”
[MI] Could multi-channel voting help to bridge the digital divide. Examples were given by participants of seniors in the UK that when they saw a internet kiosk they were amazed and wanted to take it home with them. A crucial first step in computer literacy is to see value in technology in our daily lives.
“How do you get young people voting?”
What is the Help America Vote Act?
Ravi Singh, CEO Election Mall Technologies, Inc., electionmall.com
Helps canidates get elected using technology
In Portugal the government was essentially forced to create their own blog because the citizens demanded it.
GOTV – Get Out The Vote
“The good ole’ boy network system is almost over.”
“My professor in graduate school used to say politics comes down too two things: money and votes.”
Campaign websites are 365 days a year. Even after a election, win or loose.
E-Democracy in Korea
Local government should be a leader in e-dem
Opportunity for media and nonprofits to provide online voter guides.
[MI] Here is the Orange County, NC voter chart.
How do we make online voting trusted?
A: TRANSPARENCY, Paper trail, …
Panel 2 – e-gov and democracy
Mary Reid, Councillor, Kingston upon Thames and Board Chair, UK Local E-Democracy National Project
Local governments responsibilities include computer literacy.
“How can we persuaded elected officials that participatory democracy is not a threat to them?” M.R.
Dr. Julia Glidden, Accenture e-democracy Services
Should the private sector be involved in e-democracy?
“Not sure that e-dem is viable business.”
A strong pitch was made about the equality that can be created by having a diverse number of ways to vote and participate in government.
[MI] Is this presentation a PR job to fix bad reputation that e-voting has gotten through scandals in the US? After speaking with Dr. Glidden later I noticed her sincere desire to about equality in e-democracy. It was just surprising to see someone from the corporate world talk about the importance of people before profit. It’s great to see someone put the phrase “It’s about people not products.” into actual practice.
* Partnership not Profit
* Passion not Process
*People not Products
[MI] Q: If there is “No discernible business model” in e-democracy then why are there so many businesses represented here today? Do partnerships lead to money?
Rona Zevin, Director, Office of Electronic Communications, City of Seattle
Live Video Streaming
Indexing of Video is very important. Text information must be linked to discussion occurring on video to create valuable context.
Right now they are marking time-code on video of specific events during video.
Anna Tan, Director for Home and Community Franchise of DirectGov and Programme Director of Local DirectGov
ENCORE, community e-publish CMS (open source)
enable local communities to debate and raise local issues
Q: Do you have any laws or regulations that are encouraging local government to participate in the online communities you are creating?
A: [Anan Tan] No. We’re working with them using various strategies like getting web masters involved.
Methods to increase the use of E-democracy tools by local government
* Help elected officials believe it’s there idea
* Feedback from constituents. Citizens and citizen groups
$490 Million English Pounds invested in e-democracy by the UK national government