Two interesting and timely Guardian Online articles

On the flight back from Sweden yesterday afternoon I was treated to a free copy of The Guardian (not much of a perk, I know). There were two excellent articles by Michael Cross tucked in there. The first article explores where e-voting is in the UK, a not unreasonable question considering the pilots this year but very much paper-based pilots this year. Cross answers the question and also rather nicely mentions that e-voting is unlikely to fundamentally change the levels of engagement in e-democracy. He argues that the money for e-voting would be better spent on e-democracy for local engagement. I quite agree, but still we need to be careful, technology won't have much impact in motivating the disengaged… but it could engage those who already care about political issues.

The other Michael Cross article looked at m-government, in particular the use of mobiles for parking in…. Sweden! With high levels of mobile phone ownership in many European countries I see much more of this happening soon – particularly when strong security and authentication isn't needed. It's a good overview… and to add colour, here's a photo I took of the m-parking signs in Gothenburg!

Swedish m-parking