Kind words on digital democracy

I thought I should offer a quick update to last week’s post about the Digital Democracy guide for police and crime commissioners.

Commissioned by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (and written by Catherine), it makes the case for how and why PCCs should be using digital means to develop a meaningful, productive relationship with the public.

(Read it here: Digital democracy – building new relationships with the public.)

Since that post we’ve had some really great feedback on the guide – and I wanted to point to it on our blog and say thanks to the authors.

They’ve said nice things off their own back – which I think helps to show how strong (and well supported) the argument for ‘digital democracy’ is becoming.

  • Firstly, Anthony Zacharzewski on the Democratic Society’s Open Policy Making blog said it was an “excellent introduction and handbook, not just for those involved in policing.” (Please check out the blog, which is a shared space for discussing open policy making that’s being run by Demsoc in association with the Cabinet Office.)
  • Then Jon Harvey, who has been one of the leading online voices talking about the police and crime commmissioners, added his recommendation. Commending the report he said: “…the boldest and the best PCCs will be actively seeking ways of reaching out to their hundreds of thousands (and millions in some cases) of constituents to listen to what they think are the key policing priorities, among other communication objectives.”
  • Most recently, Russell Webster has provided the most detailed review of the guide I’ve seen. Again, Russell is very supportive of the arguments Catherine makes. He said: “What I like most about this report is the way it lays down a challenge to newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners… It provides ideas for how in just two hours per week, PCCs can maintain a healthy online presence which delivers a holy grail for most politicians: ‘A direct connection with the public without media interpretation.’”

As Anthony pointed out, the report is written with police and crime commissioners in mind, but could be almost as applicable to other forms of democracy. So please give it a look if you are coming from a non-policing, non-PCC background but are interested in the way that the development of digital technology and social media can and should have on the way our democracies interact with their electorates.

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