Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Democratizing the 'sphere

I'm liking the Adam Smith Institute's blog more and more as they get used to the format and find their voice in the medium. It's a great source of news snippets as well as a quick, concise and prescient analysis of the impact of that news.

So it's only natural that they should host a seminar on 'Democracy and The Blogosphere' when so many others have tried (and dismally failed) to discuss the issue in an intelligent and well-researched manner. This time, though, the Big Blog Company bunch are involved - halleluljah for expertise. Here's the rundown:

"Much hype surrounds the internet's self-publishing phenomenon known as blogging. Many claim that the blogosphere - the community of millions of blogs - is the key to reinvigorating the political process. Some believe that, using blogs, politicians will better serve their constituents, the disaffected will become involved in politics, and public confidence in the ability of government to solve society's problems will skyrocket.

There are also those who fiercely believe that, if only MPs would all start blogging, public debate would be dramatically revitalised. Is this wishful thinking in the age of spin doctors and party whips? Would more conversation with the public encourage our MPs to follow better policies, or lead to governance by opinion poll?

Does the blogosphere really strengthen the political progress, or is it more anti-Establishment than the Establishment would like to believe? Should the unprecedented ability of citizens to spread criticism of the state, its actions and its employees be cause for governmental alarm? Can our political process withstand such scrutiny? And is the blogosphere the big, equality-driving democracy so many claim that it is, or is it really a meritocracy, where the most interesting, compelling, and worthwhile ideas rise to the top?"

I won't encourage people to attend because those that should attend have some natural interest and don't need encouragement. I just want you to know it's there. And that there's champagne.


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