[Some excerpts from my opinion piece at Internet Evolution -- BSA]
Government 2.0: The Next Generation of Democracy http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=506&doc_id=154118&
For years, experts predicted e-government would be a driving force for broadband usage. The assumption was that many government services, from dog tags to taxes, could be done electronically over the Internet. Despite modest success in this area, e-government hasn't pushed broadband usage. But now many pundits are starting to realize that the better value of e-government may be allowing the public to have greater input on government operations and processes.
Now, the goal is to use Web-based collaboration to "reinvent government." Well known author and futurist Don Tapscott advances this concept in his new research project called, Government 2.0: Wikinomics, Government & Democracy.
Wikis and Web 2.0 technologies have the potential to fundamentally transform the way we are governed and radically reshape political philosophy. Not since the days of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau have we had such opportunity and the tools to address many shortcomings of democratic society, especially the domination of special interests and lobbyists.
As Winston Churchill once commented, "Democracy is the worst form of government, but it is better than any other type of government we have ever tried." Government 2.0 represents an opportunity to redress the many shortcomings of the worst possible government we have -- democracy as we know it today.
[..]These are just some simple examples of the possibilities of applying Internet and Web 2.0 technologies to how we are governed. We are only limited by our imagination, in optimizing the Internet as a new revolutionary tool to truly personalize democracy. For more musings on this subject, please see my blog, Democracy 2.0 – Next Generation Democracy.