March 20, 2009 |
Yesterday the Russian government discussed the amendments to the budget for the next year along with the antirecession program intended to help the country survive the crisis without heavy damages.
Of course there is nothing surprising about this fact as every government in the world is now engaged in some very similar activity. The surprising part is actually in how the antirecession program will be discussed with the citizens of the country where everyone is invited to share their opinions online.
Of course there will be the usual procedure of discussing the document with the experts and businesses but the government is actually generous enough to invite everyone to join in the discussion by offering their own opinions. In quite a revolutionary move it will be possible for everyone to comment on the document online on the official websites of the Prime Minister and of the Government. There is no commenting system like IntenseDebate integrated on Barack Obama’s site, it is quite a simple contact form with a captcha but it is still more than I’d expect.
The full text of the document is already available online on both sites and it is accompanied with an invitation to fill in a small online form to offer amendments or share concerns and opinions. What’s more, the Prime Minister Putin actually demanded for the government officials to actually pay attention to such comments so that some of them are included in the final text of the document.
Unfortunately something tells me that there will be tons of various opinions but the vast majority of them will contradict each other as one will ask for support of small business and entrepreneurship while another person will demand for employment guarantees. As a result, it will be virtually impossible to actually include many of such suggestions in the final document.
But of course it all looks very 21st century with the government inviting everyone to share our opinions online on such an important document. And we must be happy that the government will even spend money on officials to read these opinions and sort them out. But as to actual results I still have serious doubts and I’m afraid this initiative will be nothing but wasting more of the taxpayers’ money to give us an allusion of participating in making decisions.