Interactive democracy (cont…)

Jay Rosen: Interview with Herbert Gans.

Gans states someway down the interview (it’s kinda long, so I’ll reprint it here – the whole article is worth the read):

“However, I see a campaign as at best an introduction for citizens’ democracy; the real thing can only take place when there is a government ready to make decisions on the big issues. And then it has to decide which citizens to favor at the expense of others when necessary– and when to put citizens behind not only the national interest but also the demands of the economically vital (like those who create jobs) and the politically powerful.

But there is one complication even around the exciting events surrounding Dean’s Web-related constituents: the fact that the people who are being active via the web are not representative; as always, they are the better educated citizenry– the same people that always get involved the moment a new form of participation becomes available. (Usually they are also the more affluent, though maybe not in Dean’s case.)

And they are the ones who vote as well, which is why I said in the book that we are moving toward an upscale democracy. This is obviously not Dean’s fault, but at some point it has to be addressed. In a proper citizens’ democracy, the less educated, less affluent, and the non voting non participating people also have to be drawn in or at least consulted and represented, and all that is very difficult.”

This says far better than I could what I’ve been trying to say about the Dean phenomena, and how that might translate once (this is hopeful thinking here) he is in power.