E-minister calls for online polls

E-commerce minister Douglas Alexander has called for IT to be used to encourage more people to participate in the democratic...

E-commerce minister Douglas Alexander has called for IT to be used to encourage more people to participate in the democratic process as the next stage of the UK Online campaign.

The Internet can create a convenient and accessible means of online voting and could increase public participation so that people can influence decisions between elections, he said.

At the Democracy in the Information Age conference last week Alexander said, "New technology will help to empower people, encouraging them into and strengthening the democratic process."

He announced plans to get more people online, and integrated contact centres offering them help to do so.

If the Internet is to be effective for e-democracy it must inform people of their rights and responsibilities; ensure access for all with the skills and confidence to use it; be secure and private; enable the government to listen and make the most of people's ideas, he said.

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