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E-democracy and digital gaps

The phenomenon E-democracy is well known and well used in Sweden. E-democracy is a solution that makes it easier for the population to vote or to participate in different questions, or just to make themselves heard. E-democracy is used a lot of municipalities as a simple way for the inhabitants to participate in the local debate.

E-democracy is often argued as a tool that makes participation more available for everyone. For example since it makes it easier to vote or express a suggestion just by clicking in your phone or computer instead of take time to go to a organized election. Expressing an opinion in a phone is often perceived as less serious or scary and a lot of people express that they prefer to vote in smaller questions online.

But there is a huge problem with the E-democracy. E-democracy is a way to include more people in the democracy by letting them use their electronic equipment. But this also causes some gaps between the ones in the community that use and can afford modern electronic equipment and the ones who can’t.

The digital gap is a growing gap in the class society and a lot of everyday errands are today more and more digital in Sweden. For example is the population referred to do their banking errands online as much as possible, if you need help live that’s often possible but with an additional cost. This makes it hard for old people who’re not used to modern technology to do their everyday errands in a normal, smooth way, instead they´re more or less forced to ask someone more specialized for help, same happens for them who can’t afford digital equipment.

So even if the E-democracy is made for including as many people as possible it’s very important to remember the excluded ones, and consider to these or to solutions that makes it available for them as well.