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e-Democracy and the Scottish Parliament

Abstract

This paper focuses on the introduction and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the new Scottish Parliament to enhance Scottish citizens' understanding of the governance of Scotland and to encourage them to participate in the democratic decision making of Scotland. The primary focus is the use of the World Wide Web as a vehicle both for dissemination of information and for interaction with the Parliament.

In particular, the paper concentrates on one aspect of use of the Web, i.e. that of electronic petitions. The Scottish Parliament actively promotes petitions as a way in which the public can effectively lobby the Parliament, and has established a Public Petitions Committee which enables the public to submit written or electronic petitions. Essentially, the paper assesses the value of electronic petitioning in the Scottish Parliament.

copyright: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001