Internet, the Right to Be Informed and the Rule of Openness of the State's Actions in Democracy

Przemysław Maj

Abstract

The goal of the article is to point out changes in the way of realizing one of the basic rules of democracy- transparency- under influence of the Internet. The following problems were analyzed: the term “transparency” and its meaning for democracy; the citizens' right to demand information from state institutions as the basic authority connected to the rule of transparency; transparency of state power (legislative, executive and judicial) in democracy in general; problem of limits of transparency realized by publishing information in the Internet. Author concludes, that political system's transparency and openness of the state's actions are the main goal of using the Internet by the state in democracy. He points out, that openness of the system is a principle realized in democracies which are mature and consolidated. Regimes referred to as pseudo-democracies which do not find transparency as one of priorities treat Internet as a competitive source of information. Thirdly, from perspective of citizen the transparency in the political dimension is especially important. In the context of representative power it limits informational manipulation on the politicians part (the governing side and the opposition side). Moreover, political transparency, understood in positive sense, gives a voter a chance to make decision basing on rational premises.

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