What is the phenomenon of e-democracy?

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Answered by: Andrew, An Expert in the Democracy and Human Rights Category
With the dawn of the age of “e-everything” and the rapid transformation that it has thrust upon the very stubborn world of political campaigning, I thought the ensuing paradigm shift would give birth to a host of literature on the online “campaignsphere.”

In an era where the tweet has become the new media release and a Facebook “like” the next Gallop pollster, the role that technology plays in politics and campaigning has become an undeniable force to be reckoned with and acknowledged. Those not willing to follow this vogue in its trajectory will quickly fall victim to it. The world has bore witness to the marvel that is social media and its prowess in managing to topple regimes succesivley across the Arab world in what became known as the Arab Spring. Americans are all too familiar with the bombardment of info bytes come campaign time across the 1.2 million social media pages of the candidates who annually run for 500, 000 elected positions. Turkey pays more than enough homage to the cyberspace’s contribution to its internal political affairs, what with its internet censorship laws and micro-management of its citizen’s social media pages.

A political approach on technology and not a technological approach on politics is required. Moreover, there is a pressing need for anyone with an interest or a stake in politics and political campaigning to not only be aware of this digital revolution but to ensure they cover all basics accordingly.

Comprehending e-democracy and how it impacts upon the daily ebb and flow that it is the political realm and electioneering is of paramount for all with a stake in politics, whether their base is on or off the campaign battlefield.Now, the noble men and women that seek to serve and represent the needs of their respective publics, and the indispensable staffers that tirelessly provide support so critical, need to have facilitated their seamless and complete transition to online political campaigning by way of the "digital revolution."

A punctilious attitude toward the rules of engagement that have somehow been formulated throughout the rollercoaster that is the " digital revolution" is imperative for those who are custodians of democracy of the 20th century, as they move into the present century as pioneers of this new brand of democracy.

Virtual interaction, whereby an individual's online presence seems to be more reliable as source to the general public than the offline, has become the forum that politicos and related parties have increasingly been honing their efforts on, as old-fashioned face-to-face interaction has become a mere luxurious fad of the days of yore. While some stop to lament the loss of tangibility when dealing with their target audiences, others continue to procure how best to tackle reaching audiences from behind the computer, tablet and cellular phone screen.

E-democracy, among other "e-ified" phenomena, is a field yet to be ventured and delved into depth as of yet - a shift in focus on how best to manoeuvre this powerful force will only see to the better performance of its players in the field and its spectators who seek to bask in its beneficial value.

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