Parts of Brazil practicing e-democracy
Align Remain Calm Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 8,207 mod
edited April 2014 in Discussions
Overall online civic engagement dwarfed traditional offline participatory budgeting and accounted for a sevenfold increase in votes cast over the prior year when no online component was present.
This may sound impressive, but, statistics reveal that Brazilians may actually have an uneasy commitment to direct democracy. When participatory budgeting is compared to the percentage of people who vote in traditional elections, stats show that less than 10% of citizens voted in the online budgeting process of 2006. Peixoto noted in an e-mail that voting in elections is mandatory in Brazil — an important factor in their average 83% turn out in municipal elections.
But there have been instances that proved more successful. In Porto Alegre, participatory budgeting is credited with increasing access to clean water and service to sewage systems for 98% and 85% of the population, respectively. Though there aren't similar statistics for e-democracy (for logistical reasons), the poorest areas were among the most represented, giving hope that e-democracy is imbued with the same spirit of grassroots empowerment.