Toward E-Participation on the Basis of Era based Cellular Planning System

Toward E-Participation on the Basis of Era based Cellular Planning System

Ali Asghar Pourezzat (Public Administration Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran), Seyyed Mahdi Sharifmousavi (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran), Ghazaleh Taheri Attar (Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran), Hashem Sodagar (Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, Iran) and Majed Naji (Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, Iran)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jide.2012100103

Abstract

The idea of direct democracy has been regarded as an unachievable ideal by political philosophers throughout history. Previously, the direct and sustainable participation of the public in trifling affairs related to their destiny wasn’t possible. By developing electronism, the possibility of direct and continuous polls makes direct democracy achievable. However, temporary polls can never refer to deliberated opinions of the people. Therefore, designing a system of continuously collecting public opinions about details of social life is necessary. Strategic era based cellular planning system (ECPS) using “Comprehensive system of the public information and communication” provides the capacity of gathering the opinions of various interest groups of the society as executable scenarios and saving to the database of system in order to chose them for implementation in accordance with their attractiveness and requirements of each era, depending on the opinions of the people and policy makers. In this regard, the possibility of continuous restructuring of social institutions based on deliberated opinions of people is provided. In this way, it prevents the imposition stemmed from traditions established in the old social institutions; so, democracy can be realized in its real sense away from traditions, institutions and power of political parties.
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Participation In Direct Democracy

In the past eras, the relationship between individual and the institution of government was established on power (Iglesias, 1993, pp. 269-283). The public (named vassal) had various responsibilities and had to obey the government. By forming nation-states and establishment of democratic governments and administrative structures, the concept of vassal turned into citizen; a citizen who is not only responsible, but also holds a collection of rights and freedoms. Accordingly, a legal relationship is defined between people as a citizens and governments as power institutions. In this situation, government or the power institution has no right to change the domain of citizens' civil rights and freedoms. Government has to execute commitments that citizens delegate to it as a part of a legal relationship - holding elections and giving the right of representation (Behrouzi, 2006).

Safe, real, free and periodical elections are among the special attributes of democratic society (Urbinati, 2008; Brennan & Lomasky. 1997); in this approach, government is not an independent institution separates from the citizens and cannot define rights and freedoms of the people or pass laws on its own. Rights, freedoms and basic laws must already be developed in the form of constitution and normal laws and implemented by the government. In this situation, government should be impartial about the customs, traditions, cultures and beliefs of the people and look at people as citizens of the society.

It must be considered that in early state-cities, actions were carried out by direct and active participation of the citizens. For example, during voting and polls about doing or not doing an action, all the citizens participate in election and polling process directly through face to face interactions. But today, due to the expansion of societies, relationships and multi agent interactions, direct and absolute participation of all citizens in social arenas is not possible; therefore, based on the principal-agent relationship (Hughes, 2003), through the process of election, citizens give their governing right to their representatives (agents) who should respond to citizens (principal). Also it should be considered that the necessity of representatives’ responsiveness to the public is transparency, rule of law, informational justice, existence of independent juridical institutions and independent, free and impressing Media. This will guarantee the survival of all democratic and citizen-oriented societies.

It can be seen that this level of participation is not easily achievable and establishing new and suitable information systems of decision making and planning models is its prerequisite.

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