The Pirate Party in Germany brought it up, and the idea has spread to a few American politicians as well - that government might be better as an online service than as a representative body. Parts of it, at least. Certainly we would still need an executive branch as a host of enforcers, but what of the legislative and judicial branch? Judgement of the law already relies on the input of a jury, everyday Joes and Janes like you and me, and legislation is expedited (theoretically) by a group who represents us Joes and Janes (at least, they are supposed to represent us, though the 9% approval rating would suggest they have failed in that regard).
So why not just turn those areas of government over to the Joes and Janes? Of course we would still have to pay qualified professionals for their expert opinions on matters in which the average citizen is not versed, but that expense is already present. Moreover, we could eliminate the cost of paying the exhorbitant salleries and lifetime benefits of congress-persons and judges. It would also curb the ability of special interrest groups to target campaigns at people in power, since ALL the people would be in power. It wouldn't be so easy as putting a few million bucks in the pocket of a senator or justice to get what you wanted anymore. All the money we use to pay politicians and their first-class travel expenses could go toward buying everyong a smartphone or tablet PC, providing them with free internet as a government service, and even providing free repairs or replacement for those tools that allow everyone to have a voice. I guarantee you it would require only a fraction of the cost of current government. There's your stimulus plan - get the fatcats out of Washington and turn America over to its citizens. If you think it wouldn't work, tell that to the Arab Spring movement or Occupy Wallstreet.
Hell, even enforcement could be vastly improved by online participation. Take, for example, the incident with Sean Power losing his laptop in a New York cafe. After announcing it on Twitter, and spotting the thief through the computer's built-in camera, a posse of people aided in its PEACEFUL recovery. Now imagine you had lost a laptop and reported it to the police, what would they say? "Uuuuhh, sorry dude, you're shit outta luck. File a report." And you would never see your laptop again.
Let me know what you guys think about this idea. What are the benefits, and what are the costs? Is it feasible? And if you have information on potential costs versus current costs, that would be very helpful.