Monday, March 17, 2014

In the tenth chapter of the text Breyman spends a lot of time talking about using the internet and other modern communication technologies to improve the representative ability of our democracy. With his main argument being that it would allow for significantly more people to participate in democracy all while raising the point that it would be incredibly difficult to implement without the help of the current system and massive support from the general public.
With the powerful impact that the internet has had on the way people interact, it would be surprising if there were little to no online forums for debate at this point in time and within a very short time I was able to find hundreds of websites that existed for people to debate the politics of their choosing. However finding independent forums for local politics that existed outside of news sites like the Troy Record proved too difficult,  but these newspaper forums still existed with a seemingly active user base and goes to prove the point of people being interested in debating current politics in an online forum. With all of these forums that exist they all have a central system of moderators that help to keep discussion on track but none of them seem to be the central authority for politics. With all of the interest that can be seen it could be the time for a central authority to form for political discussion. But this system would have to exist outside of the government because if there were to be controlled by the government any ideas that the current powers disagreed with could be moderated away and in a worst case scenario the people who posted those threads could be hunted down and arrested for suggesting a radical idea. Obviously such a scenario would only exist in a more totalitarian state than we have now but it is an eventuality that should be avoided at all costs. For example the Egyptian revolution of 2011 was started by a facebook event to protest the Mubarak regime which led to the recent Egyptian revolution.
Currently steps are being taken to implement democracy over the web, with initiatives like We The People at which allows anyone to submit a petition to the US Senate and if more than 25,000 people sign it the idea will get time and at least be mentioned on the floor of the house. This is an amazing first step towards people being able to more transparently interact with their representatives and effectively makes our democracy stronger. If we want to step away from the classical model of democracy that we have used for the last two hundred and fifty years we will need to take full advantage of our ability to integrate technology into anything to make it a corner stone of every citizens democratic authority.

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