Online Town Hall a Positive Step for Democracy

Format shows administration is serious about opening government
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2009 4:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Sure, President Obama’s online town hall meeting today ended up being mostly like a normal press conference, writes Jose Antonio Vargas for the Washington Post, with Obama answering mostly “predictable” questions with “tried-and-tested policy responses.” What makes the event important is that the president was asked questions that received the most votes, with little White House filtering.

Such an opening of government, via the Internet, is a big step for US democracy. It signals that the administration has found “a place for the crowd-sourcing, here-comes-everybody ethos of the Web to be a part of the governing dialogue,” Vargas writes. “The president himself just proved it.”