How scholars thought the Net would affect democracy and politics
In the early years of the internet, there were mixed views in the society about how the internet would affect democracy. However, a majority of the people had one view, and that was optimistic. The early scholars had a view that the internet would change the way democracy was handled and overly they viewed it as an engine of fairness. The early scholars also saw the internet as a forum through which they would be able to speak freely of the ideas that they had as if it were a town hall.
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How Cass Sunstein and other scholars see the Internet’s effect on political discourse
Cass Sunstein and other scholars of recent times have had a change in the way that they view the internet’s effect on the political discourse. The scholars have come out with the idea of group polarization concerning the internet in which like-minded people in a group usually create views that in the end come out as extreme positions when every member reinforces the other member’s views. Therefore, this creates political ideas that are led by ideas of an isolated group that believes in one idea or the other.
Did they view the Internet as a positive force or a negative force on political discussions?
The scholars viewed the internet as a negative force on political discussions as it does not encourage democracy since individuals are forced to follow the ideas of a group as opposed to the ideas that they may hold personally.
In my view, online forums are quite effective since they allow people to come out with ideas that they have openly, and in the process, they can mix their ideas with those of other people. However, when not practiced wisely, online forums may create the aforementioned group polarization. Therefore, they sometimes degenerate to name-calling whilst sometimes they help to play healthy politics, but it is variable. One example of the websites that help to exchange ideas but negatively is the (republic.com)
What are the public policies in conflict here?
In the real sense, there several public interests in conflict when the information about the funding of a politician is disclosed or not disclosed. The major public policy that conflicts is the right to information. Generally, the public needs to know the organizations that fund and organization so that they can know as to what the intentions are. When the information is not disclosed, the public policy generates conflict. Additionally, according to democracy, when an individual wish to run for whatever post, he or she is usually inclined to give out information as to how he or she got his or her money, and this then means that transparency is an issue.
Why should it matter that campaign contribution is open to the public?
Which side of the debate are you on?
Disclose of information with regards to campaign contributions is quite important since when they are made public, it would help the general citizenry to know who funds which politician and why. This would help to curb the issue of politicians being funded by organizations for personal gains. Consequently, my side in the debate would be that the information should be made public for its good.