Quote of the week
“Westminster governments were never designed with the digital era in mind.”
Westminster governments have gone through centuries of change (since the Magna Carta, believe it or not) and different models including unitary states and federal ones like Canada.
Westminster governments are interesting because so much of what happens in them, and how they work, is governed by convention. This is unlike the U.S. model where roles, responsibilities and the like are spelled out in the Constitution.
But can the Westminster system survive the impact of digital technology? That question will be explored during a conference next month (January 28 and 29) in Ottawa.
It is a profound question. At one level, it challenges our democratic institutions themselves.
Does it matter than elections are now being managed through data analytics, allowing political parties to target specific segments of the population?
And does it matter that this same information is being used to drive government policy decisions and announcements?
And drilling down into government operations themselves, what does the advent of social media, data analytics and the like do for policy development, service delivery and regulatory development?
To answer these, you will want to attend the conference. It is being led by the Institute on Governance along with its SHRRC partners, the universities of Victoria and Dalhousie, OCAD and the firm Might Purpose. CGE magazine is a conference sponsor.
You can find out more about this unique event at www.digital-governance.ca.