Local Democracy: is there an app for that?

The Guardian
23 February 2012

Robert Ashton


Isn't it about time we found a better way to deal with local democracy? Turning out on a Thursday to visit some draughty village hall to vote is not convenient nor, frankly, engaging.

What's worse is that political party allegiance is often seen as a substitute for effective campaigning. Get yourself selected as a Conservative candidate in most of Norfolk and you can be sure of election. Yet the role is to represent the interests of all in your ward or division. Party politics is a necessary evil at Westminster, but is it really necessary in local government today?

A simple democracy app would enable councillors and local authorities to engage with those they represent in a truly democratic way. A cheap tablet computer in every community would help those without a smartphone to be consulted on a wide range of issues. An app would offer the chance for people to have a meaningful dialogue with their local councillor.


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