If one argues (and I do) that democracy is at it’s most effective when people who are elected are making decisions, and that those decisions should be made without undue pressure from campaigners and lobbyists, one rapidly finds oneself explaining that this doesn’t mean that the public can have no influence on policy in the years between elections.

In summary, if one argues that civil society has a duty to present elected representatives with conversations that are worth eavesdropping upon, then I believe that this deals with this particular objection. Finding ways of helping elected representatives understand the issues that they are deliberating upon is, surely, the democratic role of the media? And – because the media chooses not to do it very well, increasingly, it is a role that is being adapted by ‘new media’ types.

The other day, I pointed to ‘POV-shifting media’ – a good example of an issue being explained and presented properly. Another example of this is the way that issues are being visualised by interface designers. Here’s an excellent post (thanks to MySociety for the tweet) that shows some of the best visualisations of 2008. There are a few there, but the one I’ve illustrated (above) is particularly good, I think?

In this case, it presents information in a way that we can all add value to it by discussing it. My only problem with this one is that I don’t speak Spanish…. 😉