Technology is rapidly changing the way our government works. YouTube can make or break a political campaign, Wikipedia offers detailed information on obscure subjects (often rather…creative information!), blogs give us the chance to test our rhetorical skills, and various wikis offer opportunities for people to explore new methods of collaboration and consensus-building.
How can we best harness these tools to foster better policy development, better communication between officials and constituents, and steer our country in the right direction?
Is it possible that for the first time in history, we actually have tools available that will make democracy work? Or will the complications of technology work to subvert democracy, making truly authoritative voices hard to find among the chatter, or creating loopholes for opportunistic companies to exploit at the public’s expense?
I’ll make the case that the choice is ours, and that those who embrace new technology the most effectively today will be building tomorrow’s society and government. I will present a few simple ideas for how to work toward a better future.
(Another relevant web site I built: http://aboutus.org/theopenlobby )
Pete is a writer and community organizer on Wikipedia and in the Oregon political world. He takes inspiration from the late Senator Wayne Morse, who advised that the American people are capable of making all kinds of difficult decisions, provided they are presented with the relevant facts.