With the current state of politics in Australia, let alone in many countries around the world, the idea of a Government 2.0 no longer seems like an abstract one. We live in a world where information is actively keep from citizens, ‘for their own safety’, and were we all have a buzzing of thoughts on how things should work, yet no platform for our voice to be really heard. This is where Government 2.0 could change these issues. The Government 2.0 Taskforce (2009) describes the concept as work that falls into two streams. The first relates to increasing the openness of government through making public sector information more widely available to promote transparency, innovation and value adding to government information. The second stream is concerned with encouraging online engagement with the aim of drawing in the information, knowledge, perspectives, resources and even, where possible, the active collaboration of anyone wishing to contribute to public life. For me personally these two concepts that have the potential to be easily realised and would have many positive impacts.
Having a citizen based governance whereby we are all equally given the opportunity to have a say in how our country is run, rather than being given only an opportunity to vote for a party that then makes the decisions for us, should not be just a concept, it should, to a reasonable extent, be the reality. As Catherine Styles (2009) points out there seem to be so many areas of government policy and service that might be improved by some citizen collaboration. We all have our own thought patterns on how politics, economics and culture should work and of course these will be diverse and often polarizing. Yet this diversity could be the exact reason why Government 2.0, citizen government, could work. Part of being an educated society is being able to have open discussions and understanding of differing perspectives. Naturally for this concept to work a framework must be established, however I believe what is fundamental at this stage is being able to peruse the full set of government functions – at federal, state and local levels (Styles 2009). What is essential for our society is that we all understand the political landscape, how it affects us and how we can affect it.
Government 2.0 Taskforce, C. (2009), About. Available from: http://gov2.net.au/about/index.html [Accessed: April 28, ].
Styles, C. (2009), A Government 2.0 idea – first, make all the functions visible. Available from: http://catherinestyles.com/2009/06/28/a-government-2-0-idea/ [Accessed: April 26, 2014].