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What is the basic building block needed to form an e-democratic platform?
Typically decision-making first requires discussion then the reaching of an actual decision. It is easy enough for citizens to vote on options that have been generated by discussion. But how can citizens be involved in a democratic way in the initial discussion before it comes to voting and is this the most fundamental part of e-democracy?
For citizen discussion different possibilities exist:
- 'software option': a popular option is to use semantic web options to allow software to gather and merge opinions from social media etc To what extent is this a viable method of generating sophisticated integrated community views? Would people trust the software and its designers with such an important and nuanced role?
- 'human-driven option': another way would be to take the model of Wikipedia and change it from a knowledge-based platform to an opinion-and-knowledge platform. It would need to be re-engineered to enable voting on all types of decision - from the change of a word upwards. Sophisticated scalable design would be needed to keep track of all changes made, with their voting-weighting, at the same time as showing the most popular evolving page.
Which track seems best - both in terms of ideals and/or practicalities?