e-Consultation Platforms: Generating or Just Recycling Ideas?

December 06, 2016 by Efthimios Tambouris, Anastasia Migotzidou, Konstantinos Tarabanis

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A number of governments worldwide employ web-based e-consultation platforms to enable stakeholders commenting on draft legislation. Stakeholders’ input includes arguing in favour or against the proposed legislation as well as proposing alternative ideas. In this paper, we empirically investigate the relationship between the volume of contributions in these platforms and the amount of new ideas that are generated. This enables us to determine whether participants in such platforms keep generating new ideas or just recycle a finite number of ideas. We capitalised on argumentation models to code and analyse a large number of draft law consultations published in, the official e-consultation platform for draft legislation in Greece. Our results suggest that as the number of posts grows, the number of new ideas continues to increase. The results of this study improve our understanding of the dynamics of these consultations and enable us to design better platforms.