Brazil eGov: Public Works and Internet Voting

I’m always interested in metaGovernment. That’s not where a politician chats on Twitter or does broadcast YouTube videos or widgets for fund raising – but where voters are asked to make a difference to their own country other than donating or voting.

brazilBrazil (PortugeseOpens in a new tab.) (EnglishOpens in a new tab.)  has something a little similar to Future of MelbourneOpens in a new tab. project:

Elected officials set aside $11 million taxpayer dollars to build the most popular proposals in each of the city’s nine wards. What better way to end interminable debates and remove the decision from political wrangling: let the people decide.

This is real eGovernment or The Social Network as Government.

The winners would receive funding from the total pool of $11 million in available funds. The project built upon the city’s grassroots-driven participatory budgeting program, which has allowed citizens to allocate resources through participatory decision-making since 1993. During a 42-day voting period, registered voters could log on and vote for one project in each ward, as well as post comments in an Internet forum. In order to maximize availability of the voting system, the city established 178 voting points around the city, including a mobile unit consisting of a bus with Internet access and carried out an extensive public relations campaign.

The Results

After voting closed, 172,938 people had registered votes in the system, 9.98% of the city’s registered voters. (Voter registration is mandatory for adults) The forum received 1,210 posts. Peixoto’s paper compared the average number of votes per capita from each district and the average income per capita, and found there was no relationship between the two. Sadly, the case study does not discuss the nature of the public works projects, the nature of the winners, or evaluate whether the government actually followed through and built them. (The resultsOpens in a new tab. seem to include parks and sports facilities.) (more at Sustainable Cities CollectiveOpens in a new tab.)

So perhaps instead of Australian Idol and Big Brother voting, we could have City Idol? Government Idol? Integrate a SBS or ABC TV show with a voting system online. Cross Media Government. I always thought there were better, more educational ways to use heritage broadcast media such as television…

(Hat Tip Ari HerzogOpens in a new tab. from Twitter)

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

6 thoughts on “Brazil eGov: Public Works and Internet Voting

  1. Brazil uses social media for voters to choose public works such as parks http://twurl.nl/hrqtn3 hat tip @ariherzog

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