Linnea Nilsson, co-founder of Demoex, evaluated the experiment at the University of Stockholm two years after it started. She pointed out the weakness of our democracy model: Visitors must feel that they get something out of Demoex, such as easy access to relevant information. It requires a political debate worthy of the name. The naive idea that local politicians would participate in the experiment and maintain the quality of the debates failed. Bad for us, because the information is crucial both for the usability and for the decisions.

Citizens in Vallentuna have not shown much interest. Only between 5-15 persons use to decide how Demoex will vote. (At most 41 persons.) The basic idea fails if people choose not to participate. One reason for the low voter participation might be that Demoex enters the process too late to affect the policy. Democracy does not work as intended. Issues are decided in advance, before they come to the City Council.

More people would certainly take part if Demoex had more influence. On the other hand one might ask what is most important – the number of voters, or that people have the opportunity to participate and vote? Demoex gives the opportunity, but a few uses it. The fewer who are voting, the more valuable is each individual vote. The decrease of political power of one person is mirrored by the same increase of influence of another person. Maybe we have to accept that some issues have a lower participation in order to empower the engaged people?

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