Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I wonder what the next big revolution in government will be, due to the internet? It already has caused governments to come face-to-face with citizens. It has raised citizens' expectations of government. Citizens no longer are delighted and surprised to find government information and services online – they expect it. They demand it. So I wonder…will they want to become part of it? Can e-governance be far behind?

I am a baby boomer, and – like other baby boomers – I believe what my parents told me: that we are the best and brightest generation (written with a big smile and tongue in cheek). We are beginning to retire; and because we live longer now, we could have as much as a third of our lives in front of us. We want to lead productive lives. We believe we have knowledge and ideas that can be valuable. We are going to look for ways to be heard and to be involved. I think we’ll look to the internet to make that happen.

Governments should find meaningful ways to let citizens participate through the internet. It really is the right thing to do. Through the internet, citizens could get involved in virtual teams and online discussion that define and solve problems. It will mean a new way of thinking. It will mean sharing power. But the Internet has opened a door to government that won’t be closed. Citizens want to participate. Citizens want to contribute. Citizens have knowledge and expertise and wisdom that could help. The web offers an opportunity to harness that energy and commitment and use it for the good of all. That’s government of and by the people – not just for the people.

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