Prof. Stephen Coleman is probably the world’s leading e-Democracy expert (top-3 for sure). He is also a good friend of Bristol. Stephen chaired our recent Activists and Authorities conference and has evaluated many local e-democracy initiatives for us.
He takes a healthily sceptical view of authority’s ambitions – typical quote “democracy is not the gift of government to citizens” – and I have learned a lot from him.
Stephen’s latest publication is sponsored by Hansard Society and Endemol and builds on an ongoing Coleman theme – the attitude of Big Brother voters to politics and politicians.
Called “How the other Half Votes” the report (PDF) dispells as an urban myth the idea that more people vote in Big Brother than in general elections. However, it suggests that young people want to know more about who politicians really are. E-voting’, ‘live TV debates’ and ‘virtual campaigning’ are amongst the solutions Professor Stephen Coleman suggests to help reconnect politicians and citizens.