The software utility, eVote and the eVote clerk, injects true democracy and deliberation into our real-world landscape.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Mobile phone technology could have a greater impact on the workings of democracy than the internet, according to the leading French politician and e-democracy pioneer Andre Santini.

Santini, mayor of the Paris suburb Issy-les-Moulineaux and co-president of the internet, ICT and e-commerce working group of the French Assemblee Nationale, was speaking exclusively to E-Government Bulletin ahead of the fifth Worldwide Forum on e-Democracy (, to be hosted by his authority on 29-30 September.

"For the past year, current events have provided us with new examples of the impact of new technologies on our daily life, and even more on the democratic process," he said. "From the mobilisation of public opinion in Spain by SMS after the terrorist attacks of 11 March that
challenged the official version of the party in power and led to its defeat in the general elections . . . to the digital photos taken by American soldiers in Iraq and the Howard Dean phenomenon during the American presidential campaign, the impact of technology on democracy has demonstrated its potential."

But most of all, it was the mobile phone that had shaken the world, he said. "The cell phone has conquered the planet in just ten years: more than one person out of five owns this little device today and its functions go far beyond that of the traditional telephone. It is certainly the technology that has undergone the biggest boom in history, with 20 per cent worldwide penetration rate in one decade, far ahead of electricity, stationary telephones, the television and the computer.

"I . . . remember the mobilisation of Spanish public opinion after the terrorist attacks of 11 March in Madrid. How could such a mobilisation have taken place without cell phones? The development of citizen participation by cell phone may even have more of an impact on political life several years down the road than that of internet."

Politicians and public bodies must take note, he said. "The world of politics cannot ignore this new channel of communication with its citizens. Sending an SMS to inform people about a local event, a weather alert or the arrival of an administrative document has become commonplace for the many inhabitants of our modern cities. The use of cell phones to access everyday services, such as paying for parking, is growing."

NOTE: For the full interview see 'E-Democracy Champion with an Iron Constitution.' (link above)

The software, e-Vote, does use email. And email is able to be put into place with cell phones. So, eVote and cell phones can be combined in clever ways.

Even in China, the saying was, the beggars in the city all had cell phones.


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