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partnerships:articles:ukcod [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Citizens Online Democracy
 +=========================
 +
 +*The Internet holds the promise of enhancing national and local
 +democracy. Irving Rappaport, coordinator of UK Citizens Online Democracy
 +explains how.* *He wrote this article in 1997.*
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +UK Citizens Online Democracy (UKCOD) is Britain'​s first and only
 +national online democracy service . It can be found at
 +[http://​www.mysociety.org](http://​www.mysociety.org) and has been
 +developed by volunteers with the support of the Computing Services and
 +Software Association,​ the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Sun
 +Microsystems,​ Xara Networks, Internet Vision Ltd., and Ultramind Ltd.\
 +\
 + It is an experiment to find out whether people can use the Internet to
 +discuss and become better informed about the complex issues that affect
 +their lives. It is also designed to enable the public to participate
 +directly in and affect the political process. We hope it will become a
 +place to make things happen - a powerful new interface between the
 +public and politicians,​ both locally and in the Palace of Westminster.\
 +\
 + This initiative is not associated with any political party although
 +politicians and citizens of all political persuasions are being invited
 +to participate.\
 +\
 + ​UKCOD'​s first client is the UK Office of the European Parliament which
 +has commissioned us (in association with the Scarman Trust) to host and
 +manage an online seminar and discussion on one of the most controversial
 +issues of the day - whether Britain should join the European Monetary
 +Union. The discussion will be launched on 18th November 1996 and will
 +involve an invited list of participants including MEPs and
 +representatives of major commmercial,​ financial, civic and voluntary
 +organisations. It will last for one month and the results will be
 +forwarded to the European heads of government who are meeting at the IGC
 +summit in mid December.\
 +\
 + ​National support for UKCOD continues to grow through contacts with
 +politicians,​ political and academic organisations,​ local authorities,​
 +sponsors etc. For example, Brent Council has invited UKCOD to partner an
 +application for funding to the European Commission entitled "​Enhancing
 +Community Involvement in the Democratic Process"​.\
 +\
 + In order to help the public find out what is actually going on in
 +Parliament (as opposed to what the media choose to report), we will be
 +providing an online link to Hansard. We are also planning to set up
 +trials for a live, on-line audio internet link with the House of Commons
 +chambers and committees as a later development of our web site.\
 +\
 + The Cabinet Office supports UK Citizens Online Democracy and has
 +confirmed that we may approach all Government departments about the use
 +of their material and that UKCOD is "​congruent with the Government'​s
 +aims under the Citizen'​s Charter of facilitating the dissemination and
 +accessibility of Government information to the public and enhancing the
 +effectiveness of UK democracy"​.\
 +\
 + ​I'​m personally delighted but not really surprised at the support we've
 +been getting. After all, we've simply taken our cue from some of our
 +more forward looking politicians. For example, Graham Allen MP is on
 +record as saying, "...to use new technologies to provide a much greater
 +degree of interactive consultation between political representatives and
 +their electorate...the challenge for politicians as we approach this new
 +era is to ensure that the conditions are created for the genuine
 +development of informed, electronic citizens."​ ('​Wired'​ Magazine
 +Sept.'​95)\
 +\
 + ​[Irving Rappaport](mailto:​irving@easynet.co.uk)\
 + ​Coordinator,​ UK Citizens Online Democracy\
  
partnerships/articles/ukcod.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)