What E-Democracy Connotes in our lifes?


                                                                                                                       (WEEK 7)

There are many definitions of democracy for people or citizens. Generally, it means that it is right for say opinions in society in a freely way about different issues in terms of economic, social justice, political or education etc. As people who want to say something in democratic frame, there isn’t any restrictions, pressures, obligations on people. When we look at how  democratic society is conducted behalf of politic, people who have right to vote about one political party which get along well with their mentalities. After they voted, parties which are enumerated according to percentages which is one of the most important indicator of what democratic society means in todays life condition so these are showed that what democracy is before I penetrate that what e-democracy is. The concept of  e-democracy which enters to our lifes with improvement of technology. With technology particularly improvement of Internet, new information age was start because not only communication styles of people change, which means they interact, talk with each other through mail, through social media, they organize collectively, they react something more than that their daily life, they hold a place in different areas, organizations in the Internet to promulgate their voice and it unfolds new democratic environment for citizens because they participate to say something, to express their opinions. Actually, this new democratic environment is arguable because in order to create e-democracy, there should be people who have Internet access. In addition to this, political condition is so crucial in terms of using Internet behalf of Information Communication Technology to reach people or to have knowledge them but there is an obstacle when I think e-democracy because everybody has no Internet access or don’t know how to use it and because of this reason we don’t generalize e- democracy that this is available for every person to reach them.  I want to give examples from the world. In Newyork, South Bristol, deputies who asked their citizens about building new fire brigade. Portion of acception is %30, and assembly which continued their researchers with mail in order to provide big participation of citizen.

In Malaysia, the e-posta system encircled around Malaysia Net. The writer, who is called Sang Kancil, who haven’t chance to publish their wrtings in Malaysia. And he started to write his opinions about this issue in e mail which includes 800 subscribers. Also, these subscribers write their  spread their thoughts in their country about politics after they write, politicians who defend and corresponds claims which subscribers write about themselves. This example is so effective about how Internet exaggerates limitations.

In England, December 1997, there was applied campaing which was called ‘Have Your Say’ and this was good example about participation. Also, in February 1998, there was taken feedback of citizen during preparation of ‘Freedom of Information Act’.(I take these examples from this link: Page 257-258 : http://www.siyasaliletisim.org/pdf/edemokrasiyegecis.pdf )

I add some informations to these. Lucas Walsh who gave conference about what e-democracy is Sdyney in 2004. He investigates e-democracy according to four types. e-government services and administration; participatory technologies; informal modes of participation using the Internet; and mass news media. The first type is about goverment who gives information, have knowledge them about what is going  on in country about every issue, about obligations, laws, social issues through Internet in terms of specific system to their citizens in order to provide democracy. Walsh gives example Austriali. E-governance is most developed than other countries. According to this, Austrialian people who have an idea about taxation, have an idea about every discussions of politicians through website . The second one is about voting in a formal way. Because of voting, participation enlarges. For example; The Citizenscape website of  Western Australia promotes active participation in involvement in decision making and informs about citizenship related activities.( Page 4) The third type is about individual blogs, and Hactivism which isn’t formal like first and second types of  e- democracy. Especially, in personal blogs, people who write their thoughts independently way because  blogs which implicates their inner worlds, their reactions what the issue is but on the other hand, Hacktivism is different because they take hold of information , web pages or they damage. In the fourth type,news media which disseminates information. It has many channel spread knowledges to people. Sweden, for example, has formally recognised the “problems with the Swedish mass media in contributing to the public sphere by fulfilling the democratic indicator of enlightened understanding” (Rothstein et al. 1995) so I try yo summarize informations from article.

As I look at Turkey behalf of e-democracy, it isn’t possible to say available environment for it. The first obstacle is that political condition because our political environment rulership party doesn’t allow people to say their ideas, opinions even if  we live in a democratic country. What my example about is this, in mass media , the number of contest programs are so limited and also people who hold a place there and who can’t talk about political problem in a freely way. Also, the year before our rulership party close personal blogs during two days because some blogger who criticize rulership ideology so yes we live in democratic country because we vote and then percentages which talk behalf of political schema and manipulate our lifes but after voting, there isn’t any resistance, any promulgation of ideas of people  so  ironic situation occurs because rulership party gather around an assembly, decide on issues, talk and discuss them and then  approve them  in terms of viable conditions without asking public, or individuals so I think that Turkey which should be progressive about an issue of e-democracy. After maybe 4 or 5 years, the conditions are available for conducting e-democracy in Turkey.

In conclusion, today, there are many applications and examples of e-democracy in some countries. Some of them which I give way successful but it isn’t generalizable or applied every country because of political conditions, politicians who manipulate peoples life and their decisions is determining. If they don’t apply e-democracy, people have no chance to hold a place , react independently and act collectively through Internet and what advantages of e-democracy is that which fetches interactiviness- attractiveness, enlarges communication possibilities, disseminates informations between people, establishes comprehensive relations but on the other hand there should be two things which is answered to talk about e-democracy how we talk about e-democracy if people don’t use Internet and how we talk about e-democracy if political hands don’t want to take an action towards problems,issues with their citizens?