Saturday, February 10, 2007

The limits of e-democracy

Road cameraBy far the most popular petition on the prime minister's experimental site is against further road charging, with over 1 million signatures. It seems we have already reached the limit of e-democracy, with Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander saying:

“I understand there are strong feelings on this issue but strong feelings alone are no substitute for considering how we tackle the challenge of congestion."

Alexander also claims that the government is sensitive to the privacy challenges of road charging. I hope this is more than hot air, and that any scheme does not turn into a national traffic surveillance system in the manner of the police's Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network and London's CCTV-based congestion charge. If Singapore can do it, why can't we?

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