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The Governance of e. Democracy: From Consultation to Participation John Morison Connex Seminar , QUB 23 rd September 2005
The Governance of e. Democracy: From Consultation to Participation 1. 2. 3. Consultation imperatives Government consultation practice Better consultation - a recommendation
1. Consultation Imperatives “Crisis” of democracy b. Modernisation New protocols for decisionmaking a. c.
a. Crisis in Democracy: A disconnect between formal electoral process and democracy n n n Perceived irrelevance of state structures Reduced use of formal democratic process – election turnouts of less than 40% Marginalisation of minorities, sense of disempowerment
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”
Traditional, incumbent democracy Aggregative Procedural Top-down Formal and electoral Blind as to informal inequalities Justificatory and legitimising “thin” Frameworks
Radical, transformative democracy Integrative, Direct, Bottom-up, Aspirational, Informal and substantive Challenging and empowering “thick” process
ocracy as “widening and deepening” demo From simple e-voting to an electronic agora?
b. Modernising Government in the Europe (and beyond) An international phenomenon OECD Briefing on Public Sector Modernisation (2003) http: //www. oecd. org/publications/pol_brief
Big-scale changes in the “project of government” “Steering not rowing” D. Osbourne and T Gaebler Reinventing Government (1992)
“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.
“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.
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”
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
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
Modernisation as a “brand for other reforms n 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, Civil Society as a “space of dialogue and debate”
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 24 th August 2005 (available at http: //www. smf. co. uk/index. php).
for modernisation = www. ukonline - Online Services - 100% target - Consultation mechanisms - fine-tuning market led s
c. New Protocols for decision making: evidence-based policymaking
2. Government Consultation – existing practices in the UK
A managed process
Can we do better? Democracy and the nature of decision-making
Technologies of communication
Technologies of Democracy: Modelling democratic decisionmaking
1. Support dialogue (i) a) Two way communication
Support dialogue (ii)…. ii. Hearing many voices
2. Hear all voices – software that explores problems/plans solutions
3. Sharing information for informed decision-making
h voice equally - measuring needs and b
4. Share the authorship of outputs – writing documents
Example: Simultaneous global teamworking
Design an open, equal democratic space - integrated systems for this are coming soon…
Recommendation: online civic debating systems Funded by Government n Independent n Citizen orientated n Sufficient cheap bandwidth for useable ICT information support n
A neutral public space for endogenous, genuinely participative decision-making
HEA e-consultation project http: //www. e-consultation. org/. j. [email protected] ac. uk