The Internet and Democracy Essay

The Internet and Democracy Essay

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The topic of Internet voting is a controversial one, but as our society continues to advance I do not see why we should shy away from it. Internet voting will substantially increase voter participation, and ultimately reflect societies values more accurately with each election.
We are at the height of the digital age, a closely integrated society where information is being commodified, and sold. This is referred to as an information economy, and it is a global epidemic that is only being made possible by our growing dependency on the Internet. The Internet has successfully woven itself into the very fabric of our society, and the implications of this integration can be taken very arbitrarily. On one end of the spectrum it is seen to be both a social, and societal detriment. While on the other, it is seen to be a necessary tool for innovation, and a medium for efficient communication. It is clear that the Internet is very much a part of our society, but what were to happen if it were to play an active role in the construction of our democracy? To understand the answer to this conundrum we must first take a look at how each side of this controversy understands the concept of democracy itself.
In the article Why Internet voting is bad for democracy by Froma Harrop of the Seattle Times, it is argued that Internet voting discriminates against societies have-nots, as well as those citizens that are not technically savvy; namely the older generation. It is also apparent that Internet voting is not one hundred percent secure, and that voting results can be manipulated. However her boldest claim by far is that Internet voting is a detriment to the traditional definition of representative democracy. Her reason for this is th...

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...obou Ikeda provides a much more optimistic point of view on the future of liberal democratic states. The days of going to a polling station are numbered; it is becoming increasingly clearer that most citizens are not fulfilling their civic duty in voting any longer. Internet voting has a whole list of benefits including things like: efficiency, convenience, and increased participation levels (as aforementioned again and again). Ikeda cites a comparison between Internet voting, and the traditional process of voting from American politics. Wherein, Voter turnout at the 2001 House of Councilors elections stood at 56%, which failed to reflect the will of nearly half of the eligible voters. In contrast to, the primary Democrat elections of the year 2000 in the state of Arizona, which adopted an Internet voting system, and had a voter turn out of 93%.

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