Some observers have even gone so far as to suggest that the Net offers the potential to have direct

Some observers have even gone so far as to suggest that the Net offers the potential to have direct

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Some observers have even gone so far as to suggest that the Net offers the potential to have direct democracy. A system where people do not have representatives but do the business of a legislative body, that is, propose legislation, debate the bills, and vote on which ones should be law. An electronic “Town Hall Meetings” would replace the legislatures. Electronic democracy would also mean voting for elected officials from computers. Elections could be conducted over the Net. Of course, we are no where near that dream that some people have concerning the potential impact of the Internet. What then is the reality? So far, a significant number of people are using the Internet to acquire political information during election campaigns. The mass media, television and newspapers, are no longer the only media that is important in election outcomes. However, electronic participation is restricted, at least at the present time, it is limited to
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Unformatted text preview: gathering information and communicating with individuals, interest groups and government officials. We have not allowed people to register or vote on the Net. There have been some pilot programs but nothing on a large scale. It may be that the future will have politics on the Internet. Voting could be conducted that way. However there are two major problems. So far access to the Internet is basically restricted to an elite group. Most of the poor and uneducated are not computer literate. They are left out of this process. Also the incumbent politicians are opposed to technologically expanding access to voting. They were elected the old fashion way and fear that change will not return them to office. So, people like me, wonder if the Internet will ever reach the potential some observers think it has?...
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course POS POS2041 taught by Professor Dr.feinman during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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