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Business - Written by on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 18:14 - 0 Comments

Don Tapscott
Who would make Gov 2.0 happen?

As our neighbours to the South go to the polls, I thought it would be interesting to throw out an open question – who would be better for technology and government 2.0?

Given Obama’s dominant use of Web 2.0 tools to power his campaign, it’s hard to imagine anything less but a significant shift towards openness and participation should we wake up tomorrow with him as President Elect. As for McCain, he’s admittedly less adept with the tools currently available, and is against Net Neutrality, but his taxation and trade policies might actually do more for innovation then we care to admit.

Either way, as a I wrote a few weeks ago in the Globe and Mail, whomever is elected will have a tremendous challenge and opportunity on their hands. As “Having grown up digital, they (young voters) will want to be involved in the act of governing — by contributing ideas before decisions are made. What’s more, they’ll insist on integrity from politicians; if politicians say one thing and do another, young Americans will use their digital tools to find out, and spread the news.” They want Government 2.0.

So how do the candidates match up?

Barack Obama would:

  • Ensure an open Internet.
  • Create a transparent and connected democracy.
  • Encourage a modern communications infrastructure.
  • Prepare all of our children for a 21st century economy.
  • Improve America’s competitiveness.
  • Employ science and technology to solve our nation’s most pressing problems.

John McCain would:

  • Encourage investment in innovation
  • Develop a skilled work force
  • Champion open and fair trade
  • Reform intellectual property protection
  • Keep the Internet and entrepreneurs free of unnecessary regulation
  • Ensure a fully connected citizenry

Based on both candidate’s proposed policies, it’s far from a cut and dry debate. But if at the heart of this issue, and at the heart of Government 2.0, is a commitment to transparency, participation and engagement then the fact that Obama’s campaign encourages the submission of ideas and insights regarding his campaign policies is a far clearer signal of future intentions and the future of government.

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