The one million figure is my number, but seriously, the UK government wants advice on how to engage lots of people online.

Engage is the key word, the British Prime Minister already receives e-petitions online (nothing like that with the White House, Congress, or even one U.S. governor despite our constitutional right to petition) which is more about political expression than engagement.

From the UK-based OpenDemocracy site you can learn about UK government’s “desire to hold a national debate on a British Statement of Values as part of the Governance of Britain Green Paper.” You can read a summary of input thus far and comment here.

In citizen media/online news space we seem to be stuck in a reactionary rut – we put up news and people react through mostly disparaging reader comments. Sure people are more likely “respond to a draft,” but perhaps there are other more two-way models you’ve experienced and can share with us and the UK government.

From my base in Minneapolis – I’ve done past work for the UK government on e-democracy issues (governments in the U.S. haven’t invested squat in using the Internet to connect with citizens other than one-way information access) – I was asked to contribute my detailed thoughts,

I’ve cross-posted my detailed response on my Democracies Online blog along with related links. I proposed:

  • Distributed Online Survey with Comment Submission and Rating
  • Networked Engagement through Multiple Partners, National Promotion
  • Online Deliberative Participation

What would you do online to “engage” 1,000 or even 1,000,000 people in important public policy matters of our time?