Increasing public participation in the political process
A key part of modern regulation is including the public in political processes. Recent developments have shown that traditional tools are no longer sufficient for ensuring adequate levels of political participation. Instead, methods for getting involved must be developed that are sporadic, issue-specific and largely independent of organizations and institutions, methods that reflect today’s lifestyles and living conditions. Public participation is not only a prerequisite for a functioning democracy and for ensuring rule of law in its most vital sense, it’s also the key to improving processes and outcomes in the political sphere and to ensuring that government regulations are effective and reflect public needs.
The Internet also has a critical role to play in helping individuals participate, since it has become a much-used medium for disseminating information and increasing access. Recent applications -- such as online surveys, Net-based public initiatives, participatory budgeting efforts and websites through which citizens interact directly with government representatives -- have shown that not only is it possible to use the Internet to make information available anytime and anywhere, but it can also be employed to carry out highly efficient processes that bring together private citizens, experts and interested parties in large numbers to produce useable results. Such applications, however, are still in the early stages of development, and policymakers, administrators and the general public have not yet recognized the potential benefits they offer.
The Modern Regulation project has thus committed itself to promoting the development and dissemination of suitable applications and to increasing awareness of their existence and their potential uses.