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For executive, legislative, judicial, administration and citizens, residents, organizations, companies
(e- service public ) including:

Electronic voting

ICT systems

Under E-democracy involves simplifying and handling processes relating to information , communication and transaction within and between institutions of the legislature , citizens , companies and other state institutions through the use of information and communication technologies .

Dimensions of e-government
E-Government Dimensions.svg
Sources (among others): Dowe / Märker, Hart / Pflügler

Here, however, the formation of will and opinion or the choice , i.e. the preparation for filling the institutions, also play a role. The use of e-democracy offers is voluntary as long as internet elections ( electronic voting ) are not established nationwide. The media used for e-democracy even exclude possible users, for example citizens without internet access. It is part of e-government .

Forms of e-democracy

A distinction is made between “ top-down ” and “bottom-up” actions. In the first case, measures within the framework of e-democracy are initiated by incumbents, in the second case by citizens. For example, in the context of the LiquidFriesland project, a distinction is made between “administrative procedures” and “citizens' procedures”.

There is also a distinction between direct democratic and indirect democratic forms of e-democracy.

Direct democratic forms

  • Internet elections offer the possibility of voting in elections or referendums via the Internet.
  • E-Protest creates links for protest actions, for example via the website of a citizens' initiative.
  • E-Activism is an umbrella term for Internet-based bottom-up initiatives, which are usually very directly oriented towards the implementation of a specific political goal or the communication of political interests.
  • E-participation enables citizens to influence political decisions via the Internet, for example in construction projects or planning processes.

Indirect democratic forms

  • E-information serves as an introduction to electronic decision-making, for example by providing information on the website of individual politicians.
  • E-Parliament involves the citizen in parliamentary work, for example through discussion forums on the parliaments' websites.
  • E-Party offers party members opportunities to collaborate on the Internet.
  • E-petitioning ( online petition ) offers citizens the opportunity to ask questions directly to the petition committees of parliaments and to point out grievances
  • Internet election campaign provides information from election campaigners.

Further approaches

In addition to the elements of e-democracy described, which essentially focus on direct influence or the mapping of existing political processes in the network, there are other approaches. The focus of new offers that make use of social software is not aimed at formalized exertion of influence, but rather on a sustainable improvement in communication between citizens and political actors. With its democratic structures, the internet offers a number of possibilities to involve the citizen in the formation of political will. Elements such as user-generated content , evaluation platforms and online communities are taken up and adapted to the policy. The aim is to make political participation simple and exciting, to clearly communicate “people's will” to politicians through aggregated evaluations, and to enable political concerns to be networked through the social community concept.

In the conception of Liquid Democracy , the basic ideas of e-democracy have been further developed.


Digital democracy, platform for participation

In the Manifesto for Digital Democracy : Digital Democracy - Switzerland, we have to talk! (2017), an initiative of the University of Zurich Digital Society Initiative (DSI) , appeal to the initiators and scientists ( Abraham Bernstein , Professor of Computer Science, UZH and Digital Society Initiative ; Fabrizio Gilardi , Professor of Policy Analysis, UZH; Maximilian Stern , staatslabor und foraus ) for consciously and positively using digital instruments in direct democracy . They invite all Swiss citizens to contribute their ideas for shaping digital democracy and set out the following principles for this further development of Swiss democracy :

  1. Digitization enables a more direct democracy, but does not guarantee it
  2. digitization should turn more affected people into participants
  3. Digital democracy should not only simplify existing processes, but redesign them in the interests of the citizens.
  4. digital democracy must find a balance between agility and stability
  5. this requires resources and the willingness to test on a small scale - in the following three areas:
  1. talk to each other
  2. decide together
  3. determine collectively

They have set up a digital democracy brainstorming platform for ideas, suggestions, how to improve democracy with digital means and voting on them .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Christoph Dowe, Oliver Märker: Electronic Citizen Participation in Large German Cities 2004 - Website Ranking , Initiative eParticipation
    Thomas Hart, Frank Pflüger (ed.): New Media and Citizen Orientation
    - Strategies for the Local Future , Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung , Gütersloh 2004
  2. Christian Heise: “In the 2013 election campaign we will only see a very limited amount of participatory online elements” ( Memento of the original from March 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Interview with Kathrin Voss. e-demokratie.org . 3rd December 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.e-demokratie.org
  3. ^ Friesland district: LiquidFriesland - information on the platform
  4. digital-manifest.ch
  5. dsi.uzh.ch
  6. Sarah Lechmann: Manifesto for Digital Democracy , News, UZH Digital Society Initiative, November 19, 2017, on dsi.uzh.ch
  7. allourideas.org/digitale-demokratie , on allourideas.org