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29.1.06

How to restore a workable democracy 

has probably become the highest-profile co-author of Beyond Branding, to which I also contributed in 2003. In the latest Time he is quoted in ‘No More Heroes’, a piece on the public’s disappearing in :

Simon Anholt, an international who advises political leaders on ways to improve their , thinks the answer lies in moving away from the current obsession with polls and focus groups. “Most provide second-rate customer service rather than ,” he says. “Governments are popular when they have real problems and deal with them well.”

   The article is noteworthy for this other matter, in my view:

So what’s the solution? and a willingness to listen and adapt and help. While November’s unrest and arson attacks affected many suburbs around Paris, the town of to the south of the French capital was largely spared. There, Mayor André Santini has bet heavily on infrastructure in a successful bid to attract international firms such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems. He’s also used technology to interact more openly with Issy’s 63,000 residents. Issy was the first French town to start an Internet-based local TV service, and last December it held an for councilors for Issy’s four districts. Candidates campaigned via their own pages and discussed issues with voters through the town’s website. Such measures have bolstered Santini’s local support: he won a landslide victory in the last municipal .

   I’m awaiting the first nation that can implement this level of trust and transparency. I suggested it to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, but she passed the matter on to one of her Cabinet members and I never heard more. The has the infrastructure, though I doubt it’d be courageous enough. The are the most likely, in my book, with their binding referenda—but it would be perfect to see it done in a larger nation.

Del.icio.us tags: democracy | voting | online voting | trust | transparency | politics
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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